Chicago was the setting for Ubisoft's hit game, Watch Dogs. The creators told The Wire they choose Chicago because it has more surveillance cameras than any other city in the country, tying perfectly into their theme of a hero using a hacked central operating system as a weapon. While Chicago has never had an operating system quite like the one in the video game world, reality is moving closer to Ubisoft's fiction with their most recent city development. By the end of the year, Chicago will have as many as fifty sensors on light poles, tracking everything from humidity and air quality to noise level.
The project is called "Array of Things." It is meant to help create a system making city navigation as easy as possible. By sensing that cars are at a standstill, it can sense traffic patterns, and suggest where a bike lane might be best suited. By gathering air quality data, areas of air pollution and high pollen areas can be avoided.
Charlie Catlett, director of the Center for Computation and Data at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, told USA Today, "The whole project is, how can you get the city to be more helpful to people by telling us about itself?" Catlett is leading the project, a partnership with the city of Chicago.