Anthropocentric Urban Sensing Unit – ESUM developed for the Chair of Information Architecture ETH Zurich.


The ESUM project was initiated by Dr. Reinard König at the Chair of Information Architecture ETH Zurich. The idea behind is to create a mobile sensor unit that will measure, analyze and correlate ambient and biometric data from a subject’s itinerary in an urban context, so as to correlate environmental qualities with psychosomatic effects.

The author’s task was to design, develop and document the hardware and software of a stable prototype, to be replicated by research labs around the world.

The software was developed as a Visual Studio C# console application. The ESUM case is made from plywood and partly plexiglas, and can be laser cut and assembled in less than 1 hour. The fabrication plans, software source code and an extended setup and documentation handbook guide will be published soon on public repositories, open to collective further development.


  • Barebone PC
  • Battery unit
  • 16 point wireless EEG
  • GPS
  • WiFi sniffer
  • Biometric watch (electrodermal activity, photoplethysmography, peripheral temperature, motion)
  • Atmospheric pressure sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Humidity sensor
  • O3 sensor
  • Air pollutants sensor I (C4H10, CH3CH2OH, H2, CO, CH4)
  • Air pollutants sensor II (C6H5CH3, H2S, CH3CH2OH, NH3, H2)
  • CO2 sensor
  • NO2 sensor
  • Sound pressure sensor
  • Luminosity sensor
  • Dust sensor

Prototype design & development, documentation design.

ESUM is currently a joint research project between The Chair of Information Architecture ETH Zurich and Bauhaus-University of Weimar, with ties to other interdisciplinary research groups at ETH Zurich and the Future Cities Lab ETH in Singapore.

ESUM Project site:
ESUM Project repository:

Chair of Information Architecture ETHz 2014-2015 / Prof. Gerhard Schmitt, Dr Reinhard König, Matthias Standfest, Constantinos Miltiadis