Performing Data is running a competition!

Win a prize of £500 for your treatment of data

New Extended Deadline: September 15th 2015

The competition focusses on the use of air quality data, made available on the internet. This data stream consists of real time data on air quality, captured from a range of sensors in a single unit positioned in an interior space.  We are interested in creative options for feeding back information on this data stream to a user who will be spending some of their time in the same space as the sensor unit.  In all cases, higher numbers for each data stream equal a reduction in air quality.

How to Enter

Submit your project/proof of concept by email to using the subject line “performing data competition”. You should submit in the form of video/pictures/slides showing your work, along with a two page document describing it, including an introduction, system/data-flow diagrams, comments on the user experience and your creative process. Entries will be judged by panel and a winner announced by September 30th.

How You Can Start To Access The Data Stream For Your Own Projects

To access the data, you’ll need to make use of Pubnub. There are SDKs for lots of popular programming languages – see here.

All you need is the subscribe key to get access to our channel:


And the name of the channel:


Next you’ll need to understand the format of the data. It comes in JSON formatted packets every ten seconds (so you won’t have to wait too long for a connection) However, the data is only sampled once per minute and changes fairly slowly.

The data is formatted as follows:

There are three collections:

  • channeltypes – contains an ordered array with a list of the data types for each channel (all floats in this case)
  • channelnames – contains an ordered array with the list of channel names
  • data – contains an ordered array of arrays, where the first value of the inner array is the timestamp in seconds of when the data was written, and the second is another ordered array containing the values for the 14 channels.


A typical message might look like this:

<airquality> {“channeltypes”:[“float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”,”float”],”data”:[[1437143096.572191,[7.62,0.25,23.68,158.98,23.5483894348,37.0931091308,-7.422823905899999,0.7129032135,1.8387097357999997,0.625806427,1.5064516067]]],”channelnames”:[“PM10Conc”,”PM25Conc”,”PM10Count”,”PM25Count”,”temp”,”pressure”,”humidity”,”CO2″,”methane”,”contaminants”,”VOC”]}

You can view the data live in our online oscilloscope here. Just enter ‘airquality’ as the channel name and click ‘enable all’.

If you have questions, you can email for info and help.

This competition is sponsored by Unilever

It is understood that participants own the rights to their own ideas / methods, and that Unilever and the University of Nottingham reserve the right to discuss options with respect to any of the ideas / methods presented directly with the idea / method generator.