Because the device will be modular, meaning the user can swap exactly what data they want to collect at any moment, the audience is extremely wide.
For the thesis process, I will choose one specific audience to apply this project to. I will focus user testing and overall design on these subjects. These are what I am working on at the moment:
• Indoor Air Pollution study participants in a northern region of Peru. This would be a collaboration with the Instituto de Investagacion Nutricional, who I have been in contact with for some time. Unfortunately, the next planned run of the study will happen in June 2010, after the thesis process has ended. However, I still intend to develop a specialized Neuroid for this purpose (non-modular, strictly CO and PM2.5 sensors), and travel there at that time. This is an extremely interesting project, and I hope that I get the opportunity to collect data in rural and urban areas of Peru.
• Asthmatic children, aged 9 – 12. I intend on contacting after school groups who might be interested in using M//N as an educational tool to teach children how their immediate environment affects their bodies in real-time. For example a child might report “I had a headache around 4pm yesterday.” Using M//N we can deduce the child’s location, as well as what they may have been exposed to at that time, explaining their symptoms. The child would get a better understanding of what affects their body in which way, and learn from this.
• Smokers. CO is a known byproduct of smoking, something that is inhaled and is undoubtedly toxic to our bodies. I want to use the system to compare exposure levels to CO of two people with similar daily routines in terms of location and travel; however one being a smoker, the other not. Measuring how much CO the smoker is exposed to not just from their own habit but from those they spend time with. The non-smoker stays indoors more, as the smoker joins their friends outdoors for a puff, knowingly exposing themselves to higher toxicitiy levels.
• Industrial Environments. Construction sites, water treatment facilities, and the NYC MTA (Subway and Bus workers) are a few contexts where air quality is extremely important. Often, however companies do not want to to know how bad the air that their employees breathe is. For this idea, I will focus on contacting unions that represent workers in these industrial environments.
• The Public. Crowdsourcing in a voluntary effort to map out our local living space. Our neighborhoods, our streets, our homes, our work are all things we should be concerned with in general. Whether it’s noise pollution, air pollution, light, our own bodies – where we live matters. And it might be interesting to compare your ‘average’ life to that of someone living in Los Angeles. Or Beijing, China. Or Europe. Or my Mother.
• The Public. Involuntary crowdsourcing. For $60, creating a “GPS sticky” and attaching it to people unknowingly. Follow the life of this stranger through data.