The eLens is a mobile platform which allows pedestrians to virtually “tag” their city, posting electronic messages for one another in physical locations. Working with Telefonica, Motorola, Cisco, and the Generalitat de Catalunya in Barcelona, the MIT Mobile Experience Lab put the eLens technology in the hands of high-schoolers to test and explore the potential of the technology. Over the course of two semesters, the workshop explored challenging technical and design challenges, as well as conceptual issues surrounding the information-augmented cityscape.

Simply by pointing their mobile device at a tagged location, users can access the eLens platform to leave or retrieve information in form of text, voice, image or video. Projects like the eLens have the potential to increase civic participation, while at the same time enhancing the cultural life of the city by fostering hyperlocal conversations.