Project Orient

From smart sensors to smart city

Insight

Gdynia, one of the main hubs on the Polish seacoast, is known for merging typical modern cityscape with the atmosphere of a seaside resort. Each year authorities invites for young designers to create innovative improvements for the city. Project Orient, created by Vorm is an attempt at enhancing the city by equipping it with a web of wireless sensors measuring weather conditions and working like smart beacons.

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Connecting the dots

Even though we live in the age of information, we still struggle to learn more about our surroundings. Take a seaside resort like Gdynia: the only weather maps available for most people are country or region based. We don’t know if a beach is windy today and we can catch cold instead of getting some good looking tan. We don’t know if the temperature in the city park is high enough to leave a sweater at home. Lack of information leads to wasting time and feeling lost in the cityscape.

Project Orient was designed to answer these problems. The idea is based on wireless weather sensors measuring variables like temperature and air humidity. Entire web of such sensors placed in various districts and landmarks would create a dynamically changing weather map of the city available on a website. People browsing it could learn when it’s good time to go sightseeing or if you can play full basketball match on a local court before it starts raining.

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Inspiration

Creating Project Orient consisted of never ending brainstorming sessions. Our designers kept coming with various ideas for the device. We wanted it to match the maritime personality of the city. The ideas ranged from seashells, barnacles to lighthouses but in the end we agreed upon the theme of sea waves. In Gdynia calmness and tranquillity of sea waves clashes with sound, radio, electric and many other types of waves generated by modern cities. Project Orient was made to reflect that clash in its looks.

The device is powered by Bluetooth Smart and features long lasting batteries. It can be stuck to any type of surface like building wall or a street sign.

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