An Open-Source Environmental Monitoring Platform consisting of arduino-compatible hardware, data visualization web API, and mobile app.
The Smart Citizen Kit is an open-source package developed at Fab Lab Barcelona for monitoring the environment in a user-friendly way. The kit comprises 3 technological layers: electronic hardware, an online interface and API, and a mobile app. The goal of the project is to allow anyone to collect environmental data, visualize it, and share it with others with very little hassle.
The hardware used by the Smart Citizen Kit consists of 2 printed-circuit boards: an interchangeable daughterboard or shield, and an Arduino-compatible, data-processing board. The shield included in this version of the kit is dubbed as the Ambient Board. As its name suggests, it carries sensors that measure:
Using an onboard rechargeable battery, micro SD card, and Wi-Fi module, the hardware only needs some minor initial configuration (for accessing a wireless network or telling it to just log the data on the SD card), and it's ready to start gathering measurements and posting them to your account on our cloud-based servers. You can then access the data, visualize them, and share them with others! The hardware can also operate in an 'offline' mode where the data are collected onto a micro SD card (sold separately). The data collected while in offline mode can also be synced at any point with the online servers.
The overall design is optimized for low power consumption, which allows the hardware to be placed on balconies and windowsills without the need to be plugged into a computer or power source. For long-term, unsupervised operation, the device can be powered by a solar panel (sold separately) in addition to the 3.7V rechargeable battery that comes with the kit. The two boards fit nicely inside the basic laser-cut enclosure included with the kit, however, we have designed a 3d-printable enclosure to better safeguard the hardware, particularly for outdoor applications!
The online component of the Smart Citizen Kit is used for logging and visualizing the data measured by the hardware. After configuring the hardware, you can navigate to www.smartcitizen.me and visualize your measurements in real-time (with the inherent delays associated with uploading the data). The site also allows you to share your data with others (e.g., via Twitter), and view what other users in your community or around the world are reporting.
The third layer of the project is a mobile app, which allows you to communicate with the physical hardware over an easy-to-use, native application on your smartphone. The iOS version of the Smart Citizen App is available for download from the App Store; we are in the process of developing its Android counterpart.
We have put together a series of guides including video demonstrations for getting acquainted with the Smart Citizen system (check out our tutorials). These take you step-by-step through the process of configuring the hardware, navigating the www.smartcitizen.me website, interacting with the API, and using the mobile app. We also have a dedicated forum for answering any questions and eliciting ongoing discussions about the project.