Smart Citizens, Armed with Sensors

Climate Confidential

Next-generation wearable technologies promise to deliver real-time information about our surroundings to inform decisions that may benefit both our health and the environment. In the final installment of our Smart Cities issue, Amy Westervelt takes a look at the potential for these tools to transform our urban experience.

Published May 29 at 3:31 pm


On an average day in 1998, statistician David Fairley was walking up a busy San Francisco street to pick up his son from preschool. Traffic was heavy, and halfway to the school, he started to feel weak and dazed.

“Actually, a homeless guy saw me and helped me to the school,” Fairley said.
“[People at the school] had me lie down for a...

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Fairley felt better after a rest, but the school administrators insisted he go to the hospital. On the way there, he had a heart attack.