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The “Smart Beach” project is celebrating its second year

The ROCK Vilnius team has been capturing emotions of beach visitors for the second consecutive year now. VGTU researchers and the Advanced Technology Implementation Team of the City of Vilnius are convinced that sensors not only will help to find out how Vilnius residents and city guests feel in renovated public spaces, but also what they think about the quality of services at Vilnius beaches.

Three sensors that are used to measure depersonalised emotional and affective data of holidaymakers will operate till the end of the beach season (15 September) at the renovated beaches of Žalieji ežerai (Green Lakes) and Žirmūnai, as well as at Lukiškės Square, where the sensor will be in operation for a shorter time. Special screens installed at the beaches provide visitors with information about the water and air temperature, invite them to actively use city services and also show the index of happiness of holidaymakers.

“Time spent on beaches is normally associated with good emotions because people choose to relax there, be active or just have a good time with family and friends. However, visitors do not always experience positive emotions; they can change for various reasons or circumstances that may be related to the provided services or order. Having data on the change in emotions and comparing them with the quality of services provided that day, incidents, events or environmental conditions, we will be able to assess how important one or another additional service offered at beaches is, what events are more or less acceptable,” said Eglė Radvilė, Adviser to the Director of the City of Vilnius on IT matters.

According to Eglė Radvilė, the quarantine and imposed constraints have significantly affected the ways in which we spend our free time and our destination choices. Thus, local rest and leisure places become very important. They must be renovated and adapted for residents of Vilnius and city guests of all ages and needs in order for them to feel happy in their city, stay as active as possible, and be involved in the life of the capital.

The project team has no doubt that these data will be one of the most important tools in assessing public space renovation projects and the quality of services provided by municipal companies or contractors at beaches in the future.

Sensors and special equipment are used to capture the strongest emotions of passers-by at ten places of the capital and are displayed as a cumulative expression of happiness of residents of Vilnius on the website https://api.vilnius.lt/happiness-index. The website not only provides the overall value of the happiness index of residents of Vilnius, but it also displays the happiness index of visitors and employees measured at the building of the City of Vilnius for comparison purposes.

The neuroanalytical system developed by VGTU together with the City of Vilnius is aimed at data collection and analysis of depersonalised emotions, affective and physiological state of residents in public spaces, including additional data and combinations of information layers, which will later be used to create emotional, affective, physiological and pollution maps of public spaces and to provide targeted recommendations.