Culture & Events

Hamilton Smart Space opens this week

Sensors to report on the condition of remote beehives, monitors optimising classroom environments to improve children’s learning, and road signs capturing data about traffic flows and driver behaviour – the innovation in Hamilton’s Smart Space reveals technology developed to solve community problems.

Hamilton’s Smart Space, next to the Central Library in Garden Place, opens to the public this Wednesday.

The space is an initiative of Hamilton City Council’s Smart Hamilton programme, which builds on the global ‘smart city’ movement to build a smart society in Hamilton and the Waikato.

The space features displays and interactive exhibits showcasing ‘smart’ initiatives by the Council and local businesses, including Beca, NEC, ModuSense, Smooth Sensors and Opito.

One of ModuSense’s displays profiles its beehive-monitoring technology, which allows keepers to monitor the weight, internal and external conditions and performance of hives in remote locations.

Smooth Sensors’ ClassMate device captures data about classroom conditions, such as temperature, lighting and air quality, to help schools make smart decisions about investing in their buildings to improve students’ health, comfort and concentration.

Road signs developed by Opito log information such as average, minimum and maximum speeds in areas where the signs are located, so trends can be analysed to drive safety improvements.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Richard Briggs, says key aspects of the Smart Hamilton programme are connectivity, collaboration and citizen-led problem solving.

“The Smart Space is a channel to drive engagement with the community to create conversations, and to challenge us.

“Technology is here and will change the way we do things, but it’s not the reason we’re going to do it. What we are hoping, and what we expect, is that the community will have conversations with the Council and the businesses involved to help us continue to improve our city.”

The Smart Space will be open Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm. The opening of the Smart Space coincides with the launch of the smarthamilton.nz website.

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