Local Sense Lab

Founded in 2016, the Local Sense Lab operates a sensor-activated space in the middle of Downtown Crossing, Boston’s densest retail and commercial zone. The Lab was formed as a research collaboration between three MIT startups specializing in sensor integration (Bitsence), data integration (Categorical Informatics), and urban planning (Supernormal), with support from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.

we are piloting a scalable technology for sensor and data integration. For this specific project we are measuring outdoor environmental conditions at different locations to understand their impact on pedestrian comfort. Some of the factors we measured include: Light, noise, temperature, humidity, dust, and air quality.

— We installed the sensors in Downtown Crossing | Boston

— The sensors are mounted in the light poles and are solar-powered!

— Filtering real-time data to produce aggregate results by day and week.

— Which street received the most light and the lower noise levels?

— At what times are people visiting the site and for how long?

— This is a short video of the installation process.



We hope to increase local engagement around hyperlocal sites, make it easier to deploy new smart-city technologies, and help coordinate current and future public-private partnerships in the world of IoT. To learn more about this project, visit the Local Sense Lab website.