Imagine smart buildings in smart cities with sensors and systems streaming data into the cloud via intelligent gateways capable of performing edge analytics. Everything's online and everything is connected.
Well, that dream is getting ever closer to reality. In January 2013, Glasgow won 'smart city' funding and has taken the view that an open data source will spark innovation that will build more integrated systems for the city in future. We're providing analytics to the Glasgow Life team including participation at Commonwealth sites.
Cascade3d® is also involved with Intel's European Ignition Lab. They have been helping us to use IoT to connect elderly and vulnerable people to their families, health and social care workers, emergency services and each other to create a smarter safer world for us all with our Connected Care platform.
What is a Smart City?
The term Smart City can mean different things to different people, but broadly speaking it involves the use of ICT and IoT to manage a city's assets and infrastructure, things like schools and libraries, traffic and transportation systems, hospitals, water and waste. Smart city technology allows the local council to monitor what is happening in the city (often in real time), and make smart decisions about the best use of resources to enable a better quality of life.
It's also about businesses working in a different way so, for example, as well as monitoring traffic and public transport to enable a faster journey across the city to work, IoT could also be used to turn that traditional model on its head and facilitate more effective home/hub working.
How do you create a Smart City?
A smart city requires a partnership between local communities, businesses and Government. Recently we took part in the India Connected Mission to Delhi, Pune and Kochi. The Indian smart cities market is immense with £24 billion investment expected across 100 cities over the next five to seven years.
The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills believes that there are six key requirements for a successful smart city:
a modern digital infrastructure, combined with a secure but open access approach to data, which enables citizens to access the information they need, when they need it
using management information to provide a coherent service, rather than operating in silos (for example, when someone changes their address), and offering internet service delivery where possible and appropriate
an intelligent physical infrastructure (via the Internet of Things), to enable providers to manage service delivery on a daily basis and to inform strategic investment (for example, whether public transport is adequate to cope with rush hour peaks)
an openness to learn from others and experiment with new approaches and new business models
transparency of outcomes/performance, for example, city service dashboards to enable citizens to compare and challenge performance, establishment by establishment and borough by borough
leadership with a clear and consistent vision of what the future city will offer its people, with a commitment to deliver the necessary change to improve the quality of life of all its citizens by anticipating their needs and meeting them.
Smart Cities are an incredible development and we are very excited to be part of this amazing journey.