Coming Next to Cities: Buildings That Empathize With You

Sensors that gather data from specific individuals using a particular buildings will transform homes and workplaces into dynamic spaces with an ever-pleasant ambiance.

What's the Latest Development?


Engineer Akira Mita wants to make buildings smarter by installing amazingly intelligent robotic sensors that concentrate primarily on gathering data from individual personalities occupying the building. "Early prototypes, called the 'e-bio', are about as big as the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. They're equipped with a pair of bat-like ears that can determine the precise location of sounds. They also have an 'eye' that sweeps a laser beam around the robot, allowing it build a complete, three-dimensional picture of its surroundings ten times a second." The sensors could interpret the body language of a person who is uncomfortably hot to adjust the thermostat. 

What's the Big Idea?

Mita has taken nature as his cue in creating the new robotic sensors. "Living organisms give birth to the next generation, and have immunity to viruses such as influenza," says Mita. "Our idea was that we wanted to give architecture this kind of biological response capability." Just as the immune system operates without one cell controlling the process, the sensors could work on a consensus basis, making the best decision based on the individuals present at the time. In one case, the sensors created a music playlist which kept a group more productive. That data could then tell us how to build better buildings. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.