Posted March 4 2019
Cities have evolved quite a lot over the years. From small, walled enclosures to sprawling mega-cities containing millions of people, practically every aspect of city living has changed, especially in areas where technological developments disrupted the traditional way of doing things.
The internet of things is the new frontier for development of how cities are built and run. The IoT consists of various devices that are inter-connected and share information with one another. Often, the term also includes the autonomy of IoT devices that take specific actions when they receive preset data.
City revolution is going to be a hotbed for business opportunity for those savvy enough to get in at the right place and time, especially with several governments beginning to express a clear intention to incorporate IoT tech into their urban strategy.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor, administrator or just interested in knowing more, here are three of the most notable ways IoT will shape the smart cities of the future:
Privacy and Security
The most obvious area the IoT has been implemented to improve security in urban areas is video surveillance, which allows the police to monitor live feeds across an entire city, relying on AI systems to detect and report incidences of crime or sightings of wanted persons or vehicles.
As city administrators and tech developers work to strike a balance between privacy and efficacy, some programs have already been implemented including a gunshot detection technology in some parts of New York City, which automatically alerts nearby police officers whenever a gunshot occurs.
As cities expand and affluence spreads, the number of cars and drivers continues to increase., which brings the inevitable problem of congestion and higher incidence of accidents. Several innovations have been made to solve the problem, from redesigned traffic lights to improved parking systems, but it’s still a major issue in many cities.
The first way the IoT is addressing traffic problems is by replacing the current system of fragmented and unreliable self-reporting by drivers with a comprehensive system that gives accurate, real-time information about traffic dispersion, making it easier for drivers to be guided to other roads, or for autonomous vehicles to simply reroute on their own.
Parking automation is another developing area. In Shanghai, a pilot program is being run by the city to allow drivers to search for, book and navigate their way to a parking space, as well as pay directly with their smartphones. Automation like this reduces the loss of productivity while people circle blocks in search of space and provides extra revenue.
Smart and Efficient Architecture
Everything from the shape and structure of buildings to the lighting in them is currently being geared toward having a greener, more minimal impact on the environment, especially since energy efficiency has a major effect on building value. The IoT provides exciting potential to harness energy in a more efficient manner.
“Energy efficiency and coverage should play a pivotal role when implementing new technologies for city development,” said Sheen Xin Hu, CEO of MXC Foundation. “Sometimes the most efficient solution, isn’t the solution most commonly used.”
Smart bulbs are already quite common, and even elevators are being modified to make them responsive to population factors in the course of a day and reduce the waste of valuable hours. Allied Market Research expects the smart elevator market to nearly double from $12 billion in 2015 to $23 billion in 2020.
Street lighting and meter systems for resources such as water, gas, and electricity are also being updated. A recent Amsterdam program installed smart electricity meters in homes to allow for automatic management of generated solar power and the sale of excess electricity to the central grid.
Adaptations to modern cities will continue to be made to make them more connected and efficient. The cities that are able to maximize these features and enhance the quality of life for its inhabitants will be the trend-setters that other cities will look up to and model their changes after.
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