SF rolls out 'innovation zones' with 'Whispering Dishes' piece

San Francisco announced Tuesday that it will be rolling out science and technology innovations along Market Street that the public will be able to interact with.

The initial Living Innovation Zone — a first-in-the-nation initiative, according to Mayor Ed Lee — is a partnership between the Exploratorium and Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and will focus on Market Street from Octavia Boulevard to The Embarcadero. The Mayor's Office said The City plans to streamline permitting in order to boost participation in the program and bring more projects to sidewalks.

“Whispering Dishes” is the first exhibit, at Yerba Buena Lane and Market Street. It features two 8-foot-tall dishes facing each other on the sidewalk 50 feet apart. They focus sound in such a way that two people whispering across the 50-foot distance will be able to hear each other even with surrounding street noise.

The initiative launched an Indiegogo online funding campaign that ends Nov. 13 and can be viewed at www.exploratorium.edu/livinginnovationzone. More information about the Living Innovation Zone can be found at www.sfliz.com.

— Staff report

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