Human Sensors

There has been a lot of talk about using humans as sensors. With a mobile phone, humans become a good source of information, in most cases without any effort on their part. There have been ideas about harnessing these mobile (human-based) sensors for a range of applications.

Amit Sheth pointed out an interesting application to me. This one is using pbones for traffic control.

As the students drove the freeway, the phone sent data about each car’s speed and position back to the company’s research facility. The data is compiled and used to predict traffic patterns and help drivers get where they need to be quickly. Nokia hopes that one day the system could be a significantly cheaper way to track traffic than the permanent sensors installed in roadways or next to them because it uses equipment most people already own: cell phones.

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