Looking to connect your historic site to the information superhighway? You might be interested in the newest gizmo out of Spain: iPavement. It’s a 16 x 16 inch calcium carbonate paving tile with a computer inside the three-inch thick body. The computer operates under Linux, has motion and temperature sensors, and provides wifi and Bluetooth access. And it also comes in a grooved anti-slip surface and operates between -22 to 167 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s probably sufficient; I can’t imagine any pedestrians walking on these pavers outside of these extremes).
What would you do with this high tech tile? According to the website, you can use its various integrated apps to “transform streets from analogical to digital entities” by:
- putting a library on the street. It can be a “highly useful distribution tool for the promotion of culture and the distribution of works in digital media.”
- sending alerts by phone or email of icy or hazardous conditions.
- monitoring pedestrian use to provide you “everything that you ever wanted to know about the occupation of public spaces” [hmm]
- providing a map on a pedestrian’s smartphone that lists “key cultural reference points, patrimony, gastronomy” [what, no matrimony?]
- promoting events, sending notices, or giving away coupons automatically “to the mobile device whilst stating the establishment of its emission” [I think something went terribly wrong with the translation]
You can learn more at their website or watch a 10-minute video on YouTube (it’s in Spanish with a lengthy opening featuring ancient Roman roads and speeches, so you may want to start at 4:20 to watch the installation of “pavimento inteligente” in a plaza in Madrid). No costs are provided, but I think you might want to wait to see what other alternatives show up in the next couple years.