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Ever since the invention of the automatic traffic light we have been moving closer and closer to the vision of “smart cities.”  Until recently, the most visible implementation were light sensors that turned street lights on at dusk and off at dawn.  Those stood alone for many years.

In the past few years there has been an explosion in low cost sensors to the point that some are calling this the “Age of Sensors.”  Cheap sensors are one of the key driving factors behind all kinds of new technologies being installed in cities at an amazing rate.

These sensors are driving smarter traffic light controls, empty parking space detectors, more useful pedestrian cross walk warnings, urban mesh networks and much much more.

Over the past year in San Francisco I have begun to spot more and more devices up on light poles, glued down in parking spaces, attached to traffic lights and just about anywhere a device can be mounted.  Most of these are a mystery to me but I am fascinated by what they are and why they are there.

I started this blog to document these devices and try to learn more about what is going on around me.  If you are as fascinated as I am, I hope you will help figure out what the devices are, send pictures of sensors you spot, and discuss the wider implications of where these devices are taking us.

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