Sensitive Buildings: Final Projects

The students in our NYU ITP Sensitive Buildings class presented terrific final projects last Tuesday. They spent their Fall making the most of a unique opportunity to invent prototypes for large-scale sensor/device networks, then tested out their creations in a landmark 28-story apartment building on New York’s Columbus Circle. The property owners had invited ITP to develop a variety of prototypes to enhance the livability, ecology and community of their building. Here’s what the students delivered in their first round:

  • Environmental Network: “A wireless sensor network to measure the temperature, humidity, air quality, and noise at various locations throughout the building, logging and visualizing sensor data in real-time. Also, we created an interface that allows a user to control a small electronic appliance, like a lamp or air conditioner, remotely (or from the convenience of their own bed).”
  • Exercise Monitoring: Gymfo tracked the temperature, light, sound and humidity as it corresponded to gym traffic. By using several sensors, as well as a file of all fingerprint reader, we created a way to map useful info, log intensity of workouts, created a useful tenant dashboard and provide feedback for the building.
  • Postal Mail Chute: “There are countless stories and myths about mail being stuck of lost in mail chutes, which results in tenants being wary of using them on a day-to-day basis. Our tracking system aims to solve this by verifying the mail’s passage through several floors of the building until it has safely arrived in the 1st floor holding box.
  • Elevator Visualization: “Transpiration is a data-driven, reactive projection in 240 Central Park South. It is demonstrative of the motion of the elevators through the elevator shafts, based on the flux of people in and out of the building. The data is collected using the security cameras deployed in the four elevators.

The class was supported by New York University’s ITP program, the generosity of 240 Central Park South who provided the venue along with copious amounts of their time, and sponsorship from Digi International who supplied XBee, ConnectPort and iDigi networking solutions along with invaluable system architecture and support services.

Here’s a video from the elevator group, who has been asked to make their installation permanent:

1 Response to “Sensitive Buildings: Final Projects”


  • WONDERFUL!!!! My hat is off to the student’s hard work, talent and imagination! To the building owners for their foresight and open mindedness for allowing the projects in a live, working building!

    Sincere best wishes to you all!!!

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