Public Rooms + Tech (week 11)

Problem: People are not using public spaces.

People are tired of government initiatives trying to improve public spaces by only adding more soccer fields or parks.  Human Center Desing of public spaces led Solar4Revolution to create public smart rooms built under vulnerable people’s need (the real ones). While parks and soccer fields are crucial in providing public spaces for relaxing and to use it unlimited and free-advertising areas, the new approach looks for building public spaces to provide complementary areas for vulnerable people restricted at home to live comfortable.

Imagine a kid at 7 p.m. It is time for working on the school assignment. A single mother, after working 9 hours in downtown coming back to home and look at the kid ready to a) watch TV or b) work on the assignments. Watching TV sometimes is simple because is a matter of turning a device on. Doing homework relies on having a comfortable space, lighted enough, warm enough during summer and cool enough during winter, having tool for researching online (wifi), a computer, etc. This is an example of how to use the public smart rooms to provide a small family from a vulnerable zone a space for doing what they would do at home but in a public space.

The public smart room model requires a couple of them per street at each block in vulnerable areas. It has a registering process, first come first serve, but limited for purposes. The rooms are energized by the use of solar technology, batteries to work until 11 p.m. It has a transparent shape and it has responsive features to provide a space that address people’s needs. For seniors, it provides one service, for young people too, as well as for adults. The key is to be flexible and responsive enough to provide all the people living in vulnerable areas a comfortable space that invite to navigate the neighborhood at night. Figure 1 shows 2 models analyzed to be deployed.

model 1

Figure 1: Architecture for public rooms.

The technological aspects of public rooms are the challenges of how smart we can make them. Technology for public smart rooms follows three steps. First, using technology for data collection and therefore understand people’demands. Second, using existent tech solutions to provide the rooms an smart sense for interacting people. Finally, once data collected is analyzed and share with experts, it is time to be creative and built or improve the rooms to be human center designed.


Find a neighborhood where people have no incentives to use public spaces.

Agree in implementing a prototype.

Raise funds for investing in the deployment of the new infrastructure.


By Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642)

Some ideas are made to be copied. LinkNYC is one. (gg2642 – Week 10)

With the motto: Free ultrafast Wi-Fi. And that’s just the beginning, LinkNYC moved to London UK and started to deploy the kiosks using the same business model.

From a business model perspective, the initiative is really cool. Governments are providing a new set of services throughout part of the cities, such as WIFI, access to the internet (through a screen), charger, free phone calls, among others. Why is so interesting? The equity from the government is 0, the equity from the private sector is 100%. The way this genius made it possible was simple. What a corporation like Coca-Cola, American Airlines or Samsung would like to have in cities like NY, London, Hong Kong? One square foot, or maybe 3 to promote your services at every corner through very technological devices. That was exactly what it was offered by this private-public innovation. The government does not allocate equity, but provide a space to deploy these devices that provide services to the population, at the cost of showing advertising at every corner o the city. A good decision? It depends. Nevertheless, today we want to look at the technology and the supplier.


  1. Connect to free ultrafast Wi-Fi using your personal device.
  2. Access maps, directions, and city services from an easy-to-use touchscreen tablet.
  3. Stay in touch with free phone calls from BT.
  4. Press the dedicated red 999 button in the event of an emergency.
  5. Safely charge your device using one of two USB ports.
  6. Enjoy more room on the pavement with InLink’s sleek, resilient design.
  7. View public service announcements and more relevant advertising on two 135.7cm HD displays.



1.- You need a city where land is so expensive that even for a big corporation is too costly.

2.- Get in touch with Ruckus Wireless

3.- Find out the companies interested in promoting their services and products through the platform.



By Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642)


Problem: Children are not learning what they should because of the lack of libraries and books in Kenya.

Learning from books it is a very straightforward strategy for learning. However, even though it sounds pretty obvious is not for all. In Kenya, a great percentage of the young population has no access to books neither a library. Under this assumptions, Kytabu digitalized most of the books required, and today his methodology has been expanded to more than 15 countries.

Sin título

1.-An implementation process starts by defining the books required or the alternative books to cover the topics at school.

2.- Then it is necessary to provide the school devices to read books, that can be obtained through the aggregation of multiple schools, so reducing prices.


By Gabriel Guggisberg – gg2642.



In many countries of Africa, they still struggling with the provision of basic services for most of the developed and developing countries. Clean water and energy.

While some solutions are able to provide energy, others can provide water. In today’s world internet it is also a need for having access to information. What if one device can provide you the 3 needs. This concept was analyzed by Watly.


Resultado de imagen para watly water purifier


This device is able to provide drinkable water, through a smart system that purifies the water by using the energy generated by the solar panels. But In addition, it uses the energy generated to provide internet service as well as to provide electricity. Therefore, they were able to link and optimize a device (figure 1) to address 3 of the most pressing issues of undeveloped countries at once.

Implementation steps:

1.- Fundraise to pay the solution.

2.- Understand the optimal size or number of devices required to cover the demand of water, minimum energy, and internet for the community.

3.- Enjoy the privileges of a great percentage of the world population!



By Gabriel Guggisberg Week 7 (gg2642)

Frugal Innovation for life problems.

Why should talented people invest their time in potential innovations that solve problems that are not life changing?

When talking about profitability, creating new devices come up as the perfect match. Let’s consider the case of a lemon Juice maker (fig 1) that can cost approximately 150 USD. Why do we need people thinking about that improvements when making lemon juice can be done by a regular citrus juicer that cost 1 USD?


Image result for expensive lemon juice maker


The frugal innovation invites us to rethink where are we orienting our time to innovate and to plan the creation of new technology. Actually, it invites us to not only think of new technology but also to imagine how to give new uses to technology that already exist.

Consider the case of electricity in India. More or less, 300 million people in India have no access to electricity. Frugal Innovation would address this situation by addressing one specific problem and bringing a new technological solution, at an affordable price, to solve the problems that are life-changing, and not only for problems make our life more expensive and senseless. One example is a refrigerator. How do you refrigerate your food and drinks if you have no electricity. In India, a very smart guy thought about it and came up with a refrigerator that does not use electricity but water. He used the natural evaporation process when passing the water through clay bricks. So he made a refrigerator base only in clay bricks. The outcome is a refrigerator (figure 3), without electricity able to provide 5 days of cold environment for fruits, vegetables, and milk. The cost is below the 30 USD, compared to the 500 USD price of a regular refrigerator in the market.


Image result for refrigerator without electricity india


Steps for frugal Innovation:


1.- Look for problems that matter.

2.- Invest your time in thinking out of the box and not necessarily to increase the profitability of the companies.

3.- Invest your time in planning your operation, no matter if you have a great idea, if you do not plan how you will proceed, it is not gonna work!


By Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642), week 4

IoT for Mining Industry

Mining industry forecast a tremendous contribution in providing the metals for the tech industry. Industries such as copper, lithium, among others, are intensively investing in technology to overcome bottlenecks reducing performances.

Mining IoT

IoT devices, if WiFi limitations are covered, can provide solutions for monitoring key elements of the mining operations such as truck transportation, material storage, and exploitation. In addition, it provides alternatives to increase security in the fields, as well as to create a fast communication from field issues and concerns to the operating departments.


Technology Companies:

Step by Step:

1.- Understanding the operation & finding solutions.

2.- Presenting proposals to mining corporations.

3.- Implementing and monitoring.


By Gabriel Guggisberg, week 3.






Tech helping to reduce manure odors from Swine Industry is creating Circular Economies.

Sustainability Problem: People surrounding swine industries have lived for many years under the externalities of odors and water contamination because of the bad practices in manure treatment.

pigpicEach “pound” or “kilogram” of manure coming from pigs or cows has an interesting potential to generate energy for lighting, transporting, and heating/cooling. In the City of Santiago (Chile), 1,6 million of swines live in factories for supplying meat for the country as well as for exporting. The 1,600,000 swines, considering sizes and manure production, were estimated as an equivalent 16 MW of energy generation, considering 9 MW for thermal energy (heat), and 7 MW of electricity generation. Today, the swine industry understood that revenues coming from energy sales are extremely relevant to their business models, therefore, instead of expending money in manure treatment, they started to install “biodigester + Generators”. However, one big concern came up, there was a byproduct called “digestate”.  The digestate is a highly nutritive product for agriculture. If well managed, it can be used as a fertilizer. Bang! Now the swine industry, after many years, realized that all the externalities (odors) created to people living around the swine industry, can be turned into an opportunity.


The model of the circular economy can be summarized as follows. First, the swine industry sale meat. In addition, they take the manure and put it in the biodigesters, which generate electricity and heat (a new revenue), but also create digestate.

The digestate is treated and then provided (sometimes for free) for farmers cooperative in the area as a fertilizer. The farmers install pipelines to transport the digestate (sometimes swine industry contribute in the investment), and farmers production improve considerably because of the “natural” fertilizer. In conclusion, farmers reduce cost by not buying fertilizer and also increase revenues by creating additional value for their products.PBPO 2006 The benefits of agricultural small-scale biogas plants

3 steps for deploying the technology.
1.- Estimate energy potential identify the stakeholders involved in the ecosystem of the swine industry.
2.- Explains the benefit of using a biodigestor and a fertilizer pipeline. COnvince a venture capital or an investment fund to cover your expenses! Today the energy business in Latin America is pretty reliable!
3.- Install the technology, bring some cool operator from Europe or train people from your country, and start producing energy, reducing cost, providing fertilizer to farmers, and creating a cleaner city for all the neighborhood around the industry!



By Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642) Week 2.

People & Civic Tech in NYC.

Sustainability Issue.

People living in Manhattan now have access to public wi-fi through LINK-NYC. In addition, people living in big cities can observe how solar tech is used for multi-purposes and at different scales. However, most of the population have neither access to tech solutions, nor proximity to deployable technologies to solve day-to-day problems.

In 2017, after many weeks of civic engagement activities, starting by training sessions about tech opportunities, building advisory teams, and figuring out potential economics improvement by using Tech, the program Neighborhood Innovation Lab (NIL) was launched in Brownsville, NY. NIL seeks to enhance economic development through technology, but it also compromises the deployment of two civic technologies during the implementation of the strategy.

Osborn Plaza, Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York.


Solutions deployed

Technology Objective: Show how the technology can be part of our daily routine, as well as to familiarize people to new devices using internet of things (IOT).
Bigbelly solar-powered smart waste and recycling system, which can hold up to five times the amount of a regular trash bin and uses sensors to notify maintenance crews when it is full.
Soofa smart benches, which use solar power to offer free charging for mobile devices.
Big Belly (right), Soofa Smart Bench (left)

Where and How?
Big belly could be a potential solution to remote or public areas, while the Soofa Smart bench, can be deployed at any plaza if a cost-benefit analysis supports the investment. Most of the tech solutions for civic engagement require the use of the internet, for example, big-belly to report full capacity.  Therefore, sites, where Link NYC is already installed, are potential areas to take advantage of the use of public wi-fi.

Steps for Implementation.
1.- Mapping areas where tech could create a new economic development opportunity. Create a tech strategy, invite partners, create an advisory team, and get support from the Mayor´s office of Tech + Innovation.
2.- Solve people, SME´s, and other´s problems, if possible, by implementing tech solutions.
3.-Deploy civic tech in the area to create engagement in the civil society.

Neighborhood Innovation Lab.
Waste Management Solution.
Smart Solar Bench.

by, Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642)