Forget weather.com –soon you may be able to look to a new technology that can tell you if it’s sunny outside, report carbon dioxide levels and even predict the next earthquake. And, no, we’re not talking about your smartphone. Meet Rusty Cumpston and Hugh Martin, the co-founder and CEO of Sensity Systems and the visionaries behind what they call the “evolution of the lighting world.” Sensity is revolutionizing streetlights by combining big data with sustainable lighting infrastructure. Sensity’s LED streetlights save energy, provide cleaner, whiter light and have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years – but that’s just one part of this bright idea. What will make people look at streetlights in a whole new light is how Sensity combines LED lights with chips and sensors to create a network of smart lights, which can collect and send data about temperature, precipitation, carbon dioxide levels, seismic activity and potentially surveillance with the addition of a camera. Their next step is working with developers to use cloud computing to create smartphone applications that allow users to access this information. Their window of opportunity? Sensity estimates that there are three to four billion outdated streetlights in the world, with one billion of these in North America. With innovators like Sensity lighting the way, a few major cities have begun to adopt LED streetlight swap-out projects. In June 2012, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the completion of 141,089 LED streetlight installments. Additionally, New York City has undertaken a citywide campaign that expects to see a 35 percent reduction in energy consumption for streetlights by 2019. We bet Thomas Edison never saw this coming!
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