Here is a cool idea that is more than just a concept, but actually being done right now. Pictured above is the "Green Watch" and it is part of the la Montre Verte City Pulse project currently taking place in Paris France. It was started by the FING (Fondation Internet Nouvelle Generation) The project's goal is to create a system to measure air and noise pollution in urban centers, eventually learning how to create environmentally sustainable cities. There are currently three prototype Green Watches being worn that have air and noise sensors. The watches collect information and use a mobile phone that the wearer has to transmit information back for the database. What you get is map as seen below that measures in extreme detail the areas of the highest noise and air pollution in the city.
The project aims to have 1000 Green Watches in Paris that will constantly be measuring the environment. The Green Watch contains a few pieces of technology including a GPS chip, Bluetooth chip, and the ozone (o3) and noise (dB) sesnors. In addition to telling the time (see the little hands on the watch), the dial has color coded sensors that change depending on the environment. Thus, the wearer knows whether the air quality is good or bad, and (if they are deaf) if it is a loud area. To have the watch itself send data over mobile digital networks would be too burdensome on the battery. Instead, the device connect via Bluetooth to a nearby mobile phone which relays the data in real time. In the event there is no mobile phone, the wearer can have the Green Watch auto synchronize with the City Pulse network by connecting it to their computer in a manner similar to an iPod.
City Pules' data collected from the Green Watch will be available to anyone. You will be able to visit the interactive map located at la Montre Verte City Pulse here to see the most polluted areas in Paris (in French). You can also download the data on the website. The project literally just started in May, so it is brand new. I do think it is quite cool, and the watch looks like an eye on purpose. It is there to always "view" what is going on with the environment. Leave it to the French to build in the symbolism - I love it. Eventually the project will have thousands of people, hopefully all over the world who are using this type of cloud sourcing concept to battle the problem of having always up to date information on environmental conditions.
Via la Montre Verte.