An exploration of an interactive experience to be integrated in the heart of downtown Boulder.
Project Length: 4 days
Beautiful energy radiates up and down Pearl St all year round. It is a hub for dinning, retail shopping and cultural events. Currently Boulder is in year 5 of its 10 year city plan and are striving to keep up with new pedestrian experiences. The city has already garnered tentative buy-in from business owners to integrate any proposed solution into their business.
We were briefed with the task of designing a new interactive experience to implement, that also aligned with the Boulder County 10 Year Comprehensive Plan. The goal was "seamlessness". Pearl St, businesses, customers, and pedestrians would all be interacting with the solution. It would drive revenue for business owners, and would attract more people and events, and enable Boulder to lead the space of connected spaces.
From Boulder's Ten Year Plan...
"Ramp up climate action. The urgency of the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fules has intensified, and so has the city's efforts to be both a leader and a partner in the community in reducing local energy demand, improving energy efficiency and moving towards a more renewable energy"
Leverage What Is Available
After observing the movements of Pearl St for a day we came to the conclusion that almost everyone walked the full length of the mall once or twice or even more. Tourists popped in shops to browse but not buy anything. How could we leverage a footstep, and the movement of people to create a new experience.
Our research led us to a new innovative company called PaveGen - who are creating tiles that collect the energy form every footstep. Our solution - Kinnetic Tiles.
Harness Energy From Every Footstep
Kinetic tiles harness the kinetic energy of each footstep. Pearl St is about 90% pedestrian only. The energy collected from these tiles could be used to power low-voltage local applications such as lighting, wireless systems, kiosks, and way-finding solutions. The solution also aligns with Boulder's effort to move towards renewable energies.
These tiles also have wireless and bluetooth capabilities. They can collect data, analytics, and communicate real-time information on pedestrian movements. This will be beneficial to understanding and dissecting the pedestrian traffic in the part of town, as well as businesses being able to track their busiest times of day.
The tops of the tiles are completely customizable. It is extremely important to preserve the historic charm and brick on Pearl St, as well as match the aesthetic and demands of each business.
Customization is also important when understanding the areas of Pearl St that are more active durning the day and night. Interactive lighting, wayfinding lighting, or no lighting can be strategically placed throughout the mall.
Business that participate would get to keep the energy their tiles generate. They will also be able to access to data collected. Their businesses will be part of the next step, kiosks and mobile app, which will provide more business opportunities, all while boosting and improving the Pearl St community.