In the near future, lamp-posts – and other objects in public spaces – will be joining the internet of things, just like many objects in our homes have done already. Beyond the task of bringing light to the street, lamp-posts will also gain capabilities to sense and detect presence, movement, temperature, humidity, sound.
In this project, we explore the potential of conversational speech interfaces for artificial intelligence in public spaces: what if you could talk with a lamp-post that is connected to its surroundings, that collects super-local information, is part of a network, and can form a link to the municipality?
Our research will provide insights into how to design experiences with such talking lamp-posts that people appreciate. Factors we have determined to be of influence are, e.g., the lamp-post’s location, its identity, its tone of voice, the topic and the usefulness of its local knowledge.
The project delivers a series of prototypes, ranging from simulations to a fully functional talking lamp-post that is tested in city neighbourhoods.