How does price pressure in the supermarket act on agriculture? Why does the traffic slow down on expressways? Why do bee colonies suddenly change their behavior? The SensorStory finds answers to questions like these - in real-time and unprecedented detail.

The new journalistic format uses sensors to measure the world, and to tell stories thereby. Texts will automatically be generated from the bulk of data about temperature, volume, movement patterns or pollutant concentrations and will be fed into the Internet and social media - faster and more precisely than any human journalist could ever do this.

Depending on the object of study and the dramatic composition the information will be visualized on the Internet and processed multimedialy - with data clouds, small videos or live webcam transmissions. Thus viewers are directly involved when a calf is born, an ecosystem falters or a bee colony is under serious threat. Users can respond via social media, participate in discussions and, in some cases, even affect the conditions and thus even shape history. The SensorStory is a new way of storytelling with sensor data from the Internet of Things.

With his project "primordial soup" science journalist, Jakob Vicari, has developed a test arrangement that measures the development of prehistoric crabs (triops longicaudatus) and documented their only 60 days-lasting life in real-time. The project took the 1st place in the Format Festival of the Media Innovation Center Babelsberg in 2015.

Now he is going to develop the technology for a broadcast-ready prototype of the SensorStory within a team of developers and reporters. The will become a piece of journalistic hardware that enables SensorStories to be told. The software translates the data into comprehensible information. Simultaneously first journalistic projects will be developed with the format of the SensorStory.

For more information on the project progress you might want to visit, facebook or twitter

If you want to support the SensorStory with money, can now do so via steady. We already say "THANK YOU" for your support at this stage.

Project responsibility

Dr. Jakob J.E. Vicari is a freelance science journalist. He developed Sensor-Live-Report, a new journalistic reporting format. In 2015, a Medium Magazine jury selected him as science journalist of the year for the idea. His Web report “Falciani’s SwissLeaks” has been nominated for the 2016 Nannen Prize.

Björn Erichsen (right side), freelance journalist and Bertram Weiß (second from right), GEO-editor. They are the authors of the first Sensor-Live-Report. Erichsen was freelance editor for He has diverse experiences in developing editorial offices. Weiß was honoured with a prize of German Nutrition Society (DGE) and the Holtzbrinck Prize  for science journalism. 

Carolyn Braun und Marcus Pfeil (centre) are founders of the format developing company Chapter One. The journalists have specialized in producing innovative online-formats. After prizewinning productions like „GPS Hunting“ (2014), „Art Hunting“ (2015) and „Zetra Project“ (2016), they are coaching, developing and producing the first Sensor-Live-Report.

Robert Schäfer (left side), student of the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam. He is programing the algorithm behind the Sensor-Live-Report.

Jannis Konrad (not pictured), qualified computer scientist with focus of Internet of Things. He is constructing and programing the Reporter.Box, which collects sensoral data and makes it available to the bot.


The MIZ-Babelsberg funds SensorStory as part of the innovation funding for media professionals.