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Smart shirt journey on display at Hamilton’s Smart Space


The development of a ‘smart shirt’ being engineered to improve the safety of forestry workers is just one of the latest innovations on display at Hamilton City Council’s Smart Space.

Sensors in the shirt, being developed by The University of Waikato, can predict fatigue by measuring perspiration, heart rate and heart-rate variability, and then alert the wearer and a colleague.

Other innovations on display include a project to measure the effectiveness of predator trapping and the Loop car-share scheme.

The Cacophony Project, which features staff from Wintec, is tackling the threat of introduced predators to New Zealand’s native birds. To measure the effectiveness of the project’s trapping methods, the team is analysing birdsong using machine learning to see if native species grow in number over time.

Loop has brought the car-sharing movement to Hamilton, allowing users to hire a car by the minute, hour or overnight via an app on their phone. Supported by the Council through the exclusive use of 14 carparks in or close to the city centre, Loop’s alternative mode of public transport is helping to reduce traffic congestion, car emissions and reliance on vehicle ownership.

The Council’s General Manager Strategy and Communication, Sean Hickey, hopes the displays inspire visitors to tackle issues they are passionate about.

“The Smart Hamilton programme celebrates and encourages the use of data and technology to respond to challenges our community is experiencing,” he says.

“The new displays are great examples of innovation happening in Hamilton that is solving local, national and global problems.”

The Smart Space, next to Hamilton’s Central Library in Garden Place, is a key project of the Council’s innovation programme, Smart Hamilton. It is open Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm, and displays are renewed every three months.

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