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The City That Remembers Everything

The Atlantic

02.23.2018

“The smart city is more than just a city that watches and listens. City dwellers are constantly generating data about themselves, down to the vibrations of their footsteps. Consider a project called Big Glass Microphone, by the California-based design consultancy Stamen. Big Glass Microphone turned the fiber-optic telecommunications infrastructure embedded beneath Stanford University into a terrestrial eavesdropping tool. Able to pick up seismic disturbances created by delivery trucks, passing cyclists, and even the footsteps of lone pedestrians, the campus’s fiber-optic network became an underground tool for monitoring events on the surface. It is an invisible burglar alarm underfoot.”