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smart cities (13)

Technologists and analysts are on a path to discovery, obtaining answers on how technology and the data collected can make our cities more efficient and cost effective. 

While IoT may be seen as another buzzword at the moment, companies like SAP, Cloud Sigma, Net Atlantic and Amazon Web Services are working to make sure that for businesses, IoT is a reality. It’s companies with this willingness to change, adopt and invent that will win the new economy. Mobile phones, online shopping, social networks, electronic communication, GPS and instrumented machinery all produce torrents of data as a by-product of their ordinary operations. Most companies want their platform to be the foundation of everything it does, whether it is with big data, data analytics, IoT or app development. The same  rub off phenomenon was emulated in Latin American countries  like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and European countries like Brussels, Italy,  Germany, Denmark , Poland and Prague in recent times.

It is important to realize that technology is exploding before our very eyes, generating unprecedented opportunities. With easy access to cheap cloud services, smarter people came up with these platforms, and it has fundamentally changed businesses and created new ways of working. Mobile cannot be an afterthought. It needs to be integrated in everything you do and positioned at the forefront of your strategy. You have no valid reason to avoid migrating to the cloud. Cloud provides a ubiquitous, on-demand, broad network with elastic resource pooling. It’s a self-configurable, cost-effective computing and measured service. On the application side, cloud computing helps in adopting new capabilities, meeting the costs to deploy, employing viable software, and maintaining and training people on enterprise software. If enterprises want to keep pace, they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers.

One of the main factors of contributing value additions is the concept of a Smart City which is described as one that uses digital technologies or information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. We will interact and get information from these smart systems using our smartphones, watches and other wearables, and crucially, the machines will also speak to each other.The idea is to embed the advances in technology and data collection which are making the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality into the infrastructures of the environments where we live. We will interact and get information from these smart systems using our smartphones, watches and other wearables, and crucially, the machines will also speak to each other. Technologists and analysts are on a path to discovery, obtaining answers on how technology and the data collected can make our cities more efficient and cost effective. The current model adopted for IoT is to attract businesses to develop software and hardware applications in this domain. The model also encourages businesses to put their creativity to use for the greater good, making cities safer, smarter and more sustainable.

A few years ago like many others  I predicted  that Business models will be shaped by analytics, data and the cloud. Moreover, the IoT is deeply tied in with data, analytics and cloud to enable them and to improve solutions. The key goal is to ensure there is value to both customers and businesses. You can effectively put this strategy into action and build a modern data ecosystem that will transform your data into actionable insights.  

Till we meet next time...


Raj Kosaraju



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Preparing for Urban 4.0


Guest post by Andrew Hamilton

It’s time for a better paradigm of urbanization. Conventional models, while still solid, are no longer up to the heightened challenges of the present. Exponentially improving technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence are enabling urban developments with much higher levels of efficiency and flexibility to conserve resources, promote security, and boost the quality of life.

            The key development is not the technologies themselves, but their integration around a holistic view of urbanization that enables a series of smart services. Instead of focusing on single services, or specific buildings or highways, leading organizations around the world are using IoT and analytics to optimize infrastructure generally and evolve with changing needs. While getting there will take a great deal of investment and expertise, the result will be places where residents thrive in unexpected ways in their personalized urban developments. 

The Future of Urbanization

To understand the business opportunity, it’s helpful to break urbanization down into three phases. Over most of history, Urban 1.0, this happened with little general direction or coordination. People gradually moved into towns and cities, and new and old residents adjusted largely on their own. Urban 2.0 started in the early 20th century, as reformers launched ambitious city plans to improve the cityscape and its governance.

            Urban 3.0 came at the beginning of the 21st century, as planners applied computers, automation, and systems thinking to improve efficiency and coordination. This smart urbanization brought many advances. But its focus on solutions for a specific area (a building, street, or factory), or sector (transportation, energy, waste), led to static efforts that failed to realize many potential gains. To take a simple example, buildings got sensors that turned off lights when not in use. But those sensors failed to learn from all the data they were seeing, and they didn’t connect to air-conditioning and other systems.

            It’s time to go to the next level—Urban 4.0. The Internet of Things enables residents and planners to monitor and adjust much of the urban infrastructure. These sensors generate a flood of data, but with machine learning, cloud communication, and advanced analytics, we can optimize planning and operations across multiple components. Buildings can have smart controls that adjust lighting and HVAC according to expected usage, and that predict and indicate when equipment needs to be repaired, replaced, upgraded, or modified altogether. We can also monitor energy usage across a portfolio of buildings, and share efficient practices such as overnight battery storage to reduce demand in peak daytime periods.

            Developers and officials can now “future-proof” their designs by calculating citywide dynamics over time. They can look on a city as a living organism, where all the components have to be healthy for residents to thrive.

            Urban 4.0 goes beyond the direct provision of municipal services. It helps companies take advantage of telecommunications to improve the quality of life. Residents can choose to provide data on their wants and needs, along with their geo-location. Businesses granted access to this information can serve urbanites more efficiently and boost their margins. While these offerings, at least in theory, will eventually be made available everywhere, they’ll initially concentrate in large, mixed-use urban developments to gain scale economies. That’s because many of the large developers are better funded than cities, and eager to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Thanks to IoT and AI, their developments will make full use of ubiquitous connections.

            While technology is pulling the world to Urban 4.0, serious social and environmental challenges are pushing. Developing countries are in the midst of an urbanization wave the world has never seen, both in scale and rapidity. China alone expects 200 million new city residents in the next 10 years, or 15% of its population, and other Asian countries are similarly shifting. We’re seeing the emergence of supercities, such as the agglomeration around Shanghai, which could exceed 100 million residents by 2050. That’s when 70% of the world’s population is expected to be urban, up from 54% today. Such a massive concentration could overwhelm those societies.[1]

            Even developed countries, many of which have little absolute population growth, are still seeing a continual move to metropolitan areas. City centers are attracting residents, reversing decades of suburban sprawl. Despite early predictions that the internet would encourage people to live and work anywhere, they’re voting with their feet and concentrating in urban clusters. Those same cities, often suffering from decades of underinvestment, are now struggling to handle the newcomers and their high expectations for services.

            Besides the usual difficulties of serving people unaccustomed to urban ways, cities face heightened environmental constraints. Unchecked growth in previous decades has left many areas choking on traffic and smog. Managing water and waste is a challenge in many developing countries and even some developed ones. Climate change has added to the urgency to reduce emissions from vehicles and factories.

            Cities will increasingly compete with one another for high-value investment and trade. The winners will be those that combine efficient services with a good quality of life, enabled by integrated technology. 

Enabling the Transformation

Government officials, developers, and their suppliers around the world are increasingly interested in this integrated transformation. They’re eager for new approaches that take optimization to a new level. The trouble is, most cities are focused on short-term fixing and maintaining legacy infrastructure. They’re reluctant to commit to new systems, especially since those emerging IoT and AI technologies are still in flux. Rather than fancy technological solutions, they want to lay the foundation for new possibilities that can be built gradually and evolve with the changing city.

            Fortunately, the marketplace is similarly evolving to help make that possible. Instead of transactional relationships around one-off projects, some vendors are now willing to work and plan with cities and developers as long-term partners. Instead of the conventional vendor relationship, these providers are taking on some of the risk and responsibility for improvements. This is especially true for large mixed-use developments within cities.

            Rather than implement point solutions, they’re signing on for 10- to 15-year journeys with developers, suppliers, and officials.  They’re learning from one another and residents along the way. And because the vendor expects to be involved over the long haul, its teams can take the wider perspective to encompass multiple systems in a building or multiple components in a city. This long-term perspective is also essential for combating the inherent uncertainty of such complex developments.

            Another innovation is “smart infrastructure as a service,” where the client owns the asset but the vendor builds and operates it, and simply charges the city or private client for usage. Here, the vendor takes on most of the financing and risk, and works with the user to provide continued satisfaction and development. Both of these steps can go a long way to realizing ambitious city dreams.

            These partnership-oriented approaches, however, fit poorly with established vendor-management practices, which tend to focus on RFPs for projects limited to a single product or service. Developers will need to adjust their mindset, at least for the more ambitious integrated developments, for both financial and operational reasons.

            To fully realize these possibilities, it’s not enough for city governments and private developers to evolve toward this more integrated, partnership-based approach. Vendors must as well, and move beyond specific areas, such as design, IT, or mechanical. To make integration work, vendors must be able to speak the language of architects, construction contractors, and engineers. They have to make the business and the technical case for the project at the same time, with the help of an ecosystem of industry partners.

Integration in the Real World

What does this holistic approach mean in actual urban development? For example, the island city of Maui, Hawaii, is rethinking its energy infrastructure. Most electricity comes from expensive imported fossil fuels. Municipal officials wanted to build a few large solar power plants, to take advantage of the abundant sunshine. Then they expanded their view and considered transportation dynamics. They realized that most vehicles in the future would run on electricity, not oil. Instead of centralizing electrical production, it would be more efficient to locate it where people would likely charge their cars. With this holistic perspective, Maui officials are shifting their energy investments and licensing. They’re looking for help from sensors that can track evolving patterns of consumption. By preparing the island for charging stations, they’ll reduce not just oil imports but also air pollution.

Mixed-use urban projects are a major opportunity for businesses, especially in the burgeoning cities of Asia. These projects range from single buildings to clusters

of towers with millions of square meters of floor space. Despite those projects’ enormous scale, the owners are working to integrate smart services in energy, water, telecommunications, predictive maintenance, video analytics, security, traffic, and parking. Everything will run on a single IoT-driven platform and command center—even projects that include office, retail, hospitality, and residential areas. Embedded sensors and analytics capabilities will enable property managers to continually adjust and optimize building operations and the ongoing resident experience. Expected to open in 2021 and to serve 60,000 people daily, it will be a demonstration site for existing sites as well as greenfield applications. (Hitachi Consulting is assisting on the project.) The developers expect to deploy many of these smart services to existing properties throughout their international portfolio.

            Southeastern Australia is another case in point. Sydney and Melbourne are two of the most expensive cities in the world. In response, people are sprawling out to faraway suburbs, which damage both the environment and quality of life. To address these issues, private enterprise in partnership with government is considering the creation of eight new densely settled cities between these two metropolises, which are about nine hours apart by car. High-speed rail would connect the eight cities with the two endpoints, so each one would be no more than an hour’s ride from either Sydney or Melbourne. The satellite cities would have all of the amenities and efficiencies of urban life, while reducing energy use and aggravation and preserving the environment.

The worldwide pressures for urbanization are powerful, and the opportunities from smart, integrated infrastructure are compelling. Over time, we expect holistic urban development to become the norm, facilitated by cities, developers, and vendors taking the long view.  Companies that stay with the old approach to urbanization will lose out.

About Andrew Hamilton

  • Andrew Hamilton is a Global Client Partner for Hitachi Consulting. He is responsible for Key Clients focusing on social innovation projects, runs Social Innovation Business for APAC and provides on the ground project support and industry expertise.
  • He has run projects in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe in the infrastructure, telecom, media and power sectors.
  • Andrew has over 30 years of project experience with 23 years of experience with infrastructure projects, vendors and management consulting firms in SEA, India and China. Experience includes very large international infrastructure program management in Asia and the Middle East, healthcare, supply chain, pharma, national infrastructure recreation, national distribution networks, mobile phone company launch programs and contract negotiations, Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), manufacturing, large IT deployments, and international logistics programs with APEC.

[1] “Urbanization and the Mass Movement of Peoples to Cities,” by Bret Boyd, Grayline, Jan. 17, 2017.

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The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs

A few days before Christmas holidays, I received an email from a customer that said “... I want to tell you that I have really appreciated your help, your professional approach and your “human touch”: they are as important as knowledge is …”.

Moved by the Christmas spirit that surround us these days, made me change my priorities of publishing the next articles and I decided to dedicate a few lines to what I consider a very important issue: What is the human touch value of the CEOs in the IoT?

I do not intend to convert this article into an analysis of the types of CEOs, or a list of the best CEOs of IoT companies (for that there will be time). 

My objective today is in making IoT´s CEOs aware, especially those of large multinationals, of their responsibility to print a human touch on their actions and decisions. Not only will the stability and quality of work of millions of people depend on them, but also the conservation of our planet in favourable conditions for future generations.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to save the World

Global Warming is very real.  Even if greenhouse gas concentrations stabilized today, the planet would continue to warm by about 0.6°C over the next century because of greenhouses gases already in the atmosphere. Its effects are already so visible that no one doubts its catastrophic consequences.

We know that the IoT can help in many ways to monitor and control Global Warning, and there are many great stories of how companies are making use of IoT technology to help save water, money … and the planet. 

In  the article “3 ways businesses can use the internet of things to save the environment“, Jayraj Nair - Global Head of IoT, Vice President Wipro-, suggest  a few steps that business leaders could take to lessen the effects of these barriers and set their companies on the right path to become champions of a more sustainable and connected future.

1.       Emphasize digital citizenship and individual responsibility

2.       Share knowledge and resources across departments

3.       Collaborate to create guidelines for tech development

We should reward those IoT´s CEOs who follow the slogan “ We develop the IoT that Save the World!..

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to build ethic AI

When I wrote  “Internet of Things – Kings and Servants” I gave great importance to the CEOs visionaries of the companies that were destined to change the world of the 21st century. CEOs like Sundar Pichai (Google) or Satya Nadella (Microsoft) have been responsible from conceptual shift for their companies, moving from “mobile strategy” to “cloud and artificial intelligence”.

Could we avoid psychopath and sociopath robots? CEOs of the Tech Giants companies need to influence in developers of AI the human touch. We do not want to live with fear surrounding by not ethic AI machines and robots. 

IoT´s CEOs involved in Artificial Intelligence must believe that machines and robots will help us to be better people. They need to boost the challenge in our future society and make sure that their Robots and Artificial Intelligence not only pursue productivity and profit but also other values eg justice, opportunity, freedom, compassion.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to ensure democracy

We cannot conceive democracy today without the free use of technology. Technology, on the other hand, that is more difficult to control by citizens. Is it possible to democratize the technology, not only the Internet of Things? Could we avoid that a handful of companies come to dominate the Technology? and therefore our Democracies.

The temptation of the power is great in the IoT´s CEOs of the companies that manipulate huge amount of data of the people, of the intelligent devices at their whim.

I thought at some point that the Countries could prevent the creation of these monsters, but their powers already transcend the States. I fear that the fight of egos, in the heights in which these CEOs live, give priority to the Highlander philosophy "Only one can be left!" And drag the dormant democracies for their technology into the vacuum of complacency.

Today more than ever, we need CEOs with a human touch that ensures the health of our democracies.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to ensure equality of job opportunities

Which IoT companies have a culture that allow dissent between the CEOs and the employees? IoT´s CEOs need to understand that people are not going to do what they want them to do unless I engender equal commitment and passion on their part.

I have worked for many years in different technology companies, and I have regrettably proved that their business cultures, far from differentiating themselves, are more and more similar.

We all know cases of companies, including those of IoT, that abuse salaries of interns or inexperienced employees, but the problem of overqualification when applying to a new job is no less true. Many of us have heard numerous times: Sorry, you are overqualified. Not sure I can manage you.

I am convinced that a human touch on the part of the CEOs would help to correct these endemic problems of the current business culture. What are you waiting for?

The Human touch of CEOs to ensure a dignified life for the elderly

I was wondering a few years ago with the Smart Cities hype, How will be our life as retired workers in the Smart Cities we are building?.

In light of what I'm seeing, there are currently not many IoT´s CEOs that are worrying about the elderly. Of course, because, they consume less, they produce less, they do not understand the technology created for millennials or the digital native, the generations that is going to change the world.

Considering that all IoT´s CEOs, or at least that's what I want, will also be older people, a human touch in the investment of technology for the elderly will now make their lives more dignified in a few years.


In a time where digital premium on the physical, where business results are required not every quarter, but every day, in a time of robots, cryptocurrencies, virtual reality it is not easy to be a CEO with human touch. But to save the World, to make sure we build ethical AI, to ensure democracy in the technology, to ensure equality of job opportunities, to ensure a dignified life for the elderly, we need their human touch.


Thanks for your Likes, Comments and Shares

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As businesses are trying to leverage every opportunity regarding IoT by trying to find ways to partner with top universities and research centers, here is a list of the Top 20 co-occurring topics of the Top 500 Internet of Things Authors in the academic field. This gives an idea of research frontiers of the leaders.
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Smart IoT - Generate Greatest Value

Digital Transformation

We have now entered an era with a new virtual revolution, particularly, the Internet of things (IoT). The virtual revolution marks the starting of information age. We use the Internet almost every day. The net has turned out to be one of established ways for us to work together, to share our lives with others, to shop, to teach, to research, and to learn. However  the next wave of the Internet isn't about people. it's far about things, honestly?

All about IoT

IoT is defined as the network of physical objects that can be accessed through the Internet. These objects contain embedded various technology to interact with internal states or the external environment.

IoT is characterized as "the figuring frameworks of sensors and actuators associated by systems, where the processing frameworks can screen or deal with the status and actions of connected objects and machines, and the connected sensors can likewise screen the characteristic world, individuals, and creatures." The center of IoT is not just about interfacing things to the Internet. It is about how to generate and use the big data from the things to make new values for individuals, and about how we empower new trades of significant worth between them. In other words, when objects can sense and communicate, IoT has its knowledge to change how and where choices are made, and who makes them, and to pick up a superior esteem, solution or service.

Smart IoT

Fundamental to the estimation of IoT is in actuality the Internet of smart things (smart IoT). Supported by intelligent optimization, smart IoT can increase productivity of work and enhance quality of lives for people. Let us take “cities” — the engines of global economic growth — as an example. Smart cities have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of everyone. In intelligent transportation systems (ITS), smart IoT can not only monitor the status of the transportation, but also optimize traffic signal controls to solve traffic congestion and provide the travelers with better routes and appropriate transportation information, etc. Combining IoT and machine learning (ML) can also make our roads safer. Profits by smart IoT have been shown also in health-care, logistics, environment, smart home, in the aspects of better quality, energy conservation, efficiency increase, and so on.

Smart IoT remains in its infancy now in terms of the technology  development and the effect on our global economy system and our daily lives. Maximum IoT statistics aren't used presently within the era of big data. Maximum IoT has no intelligence inside the generation of artificial intelligence (AI).  IoT which might be used these days are on the whole for anomaly detection and control, as opposed to optimization and prediction. Given the brilliant anticipated increase of the Internet over the following 10 years, it is considered one of vital challenges and possibilities for us to invent and practice in real-global programs on a way to make the IoT smarter to generate the greatest value.



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"Trends in Smart City Development" is a new report from the National League of Cities featuring case studies about how five cities – Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., and New Delhi, India – are using different approaches to implement smart city projects.

The report also provides recommendations to help local governments consider and plan smart city projects.

A "smart city" is one that has developed technological infrastructure that enables it to collect, aggregate, and analyze real-time data to improve the lives of its residents. The report suggests that any smart city effort should include explicit policy recommendations regarding smart infrastructure and data, a functioning administrative component, and some form of community engagement.

You can read the full report here. (PDF)

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The capital city of Ohio has proven to be a true innovator among U.S. Smart Cities, and has even been awarded the winner of the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge. Columbus was chosen thanks to the city being a leader in innovative ideas that will transform the city to become greener, more efficient, and easier to live in. This is the first Smart City award in history, and it comes with some significant benefits for Columbus and its residents.

The most important, is a massive $40 million grant from the Department of Transportation. This will be supplemented by up to $10 million from Vulcan Inc., Paul G. Allen’s project and investment company. This $50 million will go towards a number of city initiatives, and is in addition to around $90 million that the city has already raised from private investors and partner companies.

Plans for the Future

The plans that secured Columbus the win are both ambitious, and holistically minded. Rather than just tackling one or a few different areas of the city for modernization, Columbus plans to invest in a number of different areas to benefit private residents, while supporting important sectors of the economy and attracting new investment.

A new rapid transit system will connect consumers to the main retail district of the city, and self-driving electric shuttles will be a major aspect of this system. This will not only provide easy access for consumers, but it will connect residents to jobs in the central districts of Columbus.

Healthcare is another major focus for smart innovations, and the new rapid transit systems will provide residents with easier access to facilities.

In addition to the rapid transit system, Columbus will implement new RFID technologies that will help to streamline toll payments, monitor traffic flow, and plan for future expansion and improvements based on road usage patterns.

A Worthy Winner of this Unprecedented Award

Columbus is the perfect city to be made the inaugural winner of the Smart City Challenge. Their innovations will help boost the economy and improve quality of life in one of America’s largest business and educational centers.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

For more info visit our website at IOT Recruiting

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Smarter Cities and How They Can Serve Humanity

Communications technology is progressing at a phenomenal rate, especially when it comes to wireless communications and the ever growing Internet of Things. While many observers and media outlets focus on the benefits of devices and how they will impact consumers, producers, and service providers, there are also huge benefits to be gained by modernizing cities, and progressing towards a smart city model.

A smart city is any city where technology is used to improve public services, safety, and efficiency, and the development of such cities will have major economic and social benefits for individuals and organizations within them.

Major Benefits of Emerging Smart Cities

While many of the consumer technologies in the IoT industry have focused on consumer convenience and entertainment, smart city technologies are aimed more at improving quality of life and providing economic advantages within urban areas.


One major area of focus for smart city developers, is transportation. Smart city planning requires that transportation is completely integrated, with mass automation. Big data plays a significant role, as connected sensors record data ranging from traffic statistics, to public transport vehicle location, or even the number of pedestrians who are using a major controlled crossing at any time of the day. A smart city will collect this data to aid urban planning, making it easier for cities to plan new infrastructure.

A smart city can also better manage its transportation infrastructure in real time. Sensor data can help to reroute traffic using electronic road signs, or could automatically adjust signal light timing at major intersections, depending on real time congestion and traffic flow. Rather than urban planners reacting to accumulated data over long time periods, smart cities will have immediate access to sensor data which can be interpreted by machines almost immediately, allowing for traffic management changes to occur within minutes, rather than days or months.


Safety in large cities has always been a major concern, and a significant area of expenditure for governments. Smart traffic management aids road safety, but other areas of personal safety can also be improved with smart cities. Automation can control lighting in public areas, allowing for increased security. Sensors can alert public services when maintenance needs to be performed on street lighting and traffic signals, and data can be used to increase efficiency of maintenance schedules, resulting in cost savings for large cities. Public cameras can deter and detect crime, and sensors can be used to detect gas leaks, fires, or air quality risks in public spaces. With the integration of location beacons in emergency vehicles, fire, police, and ambulance services can better coordinate coverage in high risk areas, and respond to incidents with increased speed.


The benefits even extend into utilities. Sensors on electrical lines can detect faults and control electricity flow in real time. Water lines can also be monitored by IoT connected sensors, allowing for the real time detection of leaks and flow problems. Advanced sensors can even test for water quality along mains. Sensors on gas lines will also increase safety and reduce waste from inefficiency. According to data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, wide scale smart energy sensors could save the United States up to $1.2 billion dollars per year, and efficiency improvements with other utilities would only add to the potential savings.

Significant Advantages for Stakeholders and Residents

The worldwide smart city technology market is expected to be worth almost $30 billion within the next seven years, a figure that illustrates the huge level of interest from cities and their technology partners.

Smart cities are not just about reducing the costs and resource requirements of the cities themselves, because the benefits will be directly felt by all who live and work within these urban areas. Convenience and quality of life can be improved, and city savings may translate to reduced local rates and taxes, while allowing for increased investment into key infrastructure and public services.

What do you see as the future of smarter cities.   Please call if you would like to discuss and see how we see them unfolding   Click here for a free Consultation 

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Originally Posted by:  

With the announcement of the Cisco Solution for LoRAWAN™, Service Providers have an integrated solution that enables them to extend their network reach to where they’ve never gone before – i.e., offering IoT services for devices and sensors that are battery powered, have low data rates and long distance communications requirements. The solution opens new markets and new revenue streams for Service Providers, and can be deployed in a wide range of use cases in Industrial IoT and Smart City applications such as:

  • Asset Tracking and Management
  • Logistics
  • Smart Cities (e.g., smart parking, street lighting, waste management, etc.)
  • Intelligent buildings
  • Utilities (e.g., water and gas metering)
  • Agriculture (e.g., soil, irrigation management)


Our Cisco Mobile Visual Networking Index estimates that while LoRa is in its early stages now, these types of Low Power Wide Area connectivity means will quickly gain traction and that by 2020, there will be more than 860 million devices using it to connect.  One of the reasons for such forecasted aggressive adoption, especially in North America and Western Europe, is that LoRa® works over readily available unlicensed spectrum. Cisco is a founding Board member of the LoRa® Allianceformed in January, 2015, with a goal to standardize LPWA Networks in order to stimulate the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Cisco has been working with a number of Mobile Operators who are trialing and deploying LoRa® networks to target new low-power consumption IoT services such as metering, location tracking and monitoring services. Many Mobile Operators are looking at LoRa® as complementary to NarrowBand IOT (NB-IOT), an upgrade to current mobile networks that drops the transmit power and data rates of the LTE standard to increase battery life. As NB-IOT networks, devices, and ecosystems will not be commercialized until 2017, LoRa® gives Operators (and all SPs, in fact) a way to gain a head-start on offering new IoT services based on various new low cost business models.

Cisco’s approach to IoT is to deliver integrated solutions that enable SPs to support different class of services aligned with specific pricing models across unlicensed (Wi-Fi, LoRa) and licensed (2G/3G/LTE, and soon, NB-IoT) radio spectrum as demanded by the IoT application. Our multi-access network strategy for IoT is complemented by the Cisco Ultra Services Platform (USP) – our comprehensive, virtualized services core, which includes mobile packet core, policy and services functions. Cisco USP delivers the scalability and flexibility that Operators focusing on IoT need as more and varied “things” get connected to their networks.

Cisco continues to integrate and evolve solutions such as LoraWAN™ to help Service Providers of all types capitalize on new IoT opportunities and transform into next-generation IoT Service Providers.

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The observation deck won’t be finished for a few years yet. If you want to see the future of New York, walk north along the High Line, round the curve at the rail yards, and turn your back to the river. Amid the highway ramps and industrial hash of far-west Manhattan, a herd of cranes hoists I-beams into the sky. This is Hudson Yards, the largest private real-estate development in United States history and the test ground for the world’s most ambitious experiment in “smart city” urbanism. 1

Over the next decade, the $20-billion project — spanning seven blocks from 30th to 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues — will add 17 million square feet of commercial, residential, and civic space, much of it housed in signature architecture by the likes of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; and Bjarke Ingels Group. 2But you don’t have to wait that long to see where this is headed. The first office tower, Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 10 Hudson Yards, opens next month, with direct access to the High Line. The new subway stop is already in business (and has already sprung a few leaks); an extension of the 7 train line connects the diverse, middle-class neighborhood of Flushing, Queens, with this emerging island of oligarchs.

Read the complete story here.

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The Importance of Smart City Contests

Earlier this week Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen announced that he was teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to offer a $50 million prize to the winner of a “Smart City” competition aimed at promoting high-tech solutions to traffic snarls.

The aim is to show what is possible when communities use technology to connect transportation assets into an interactive network. The Smart City Challenge will concentrate federal resources into one medium-sized city, selected through a nationwide competition. Funding of up to $40 million in funding will go to one mid-sized city that puts forward bold, data-driven ideas to improve lives by making transportation safer, easier and more reliable. DOT will partner with Vulcan, Paul Allen’s venture arm, to offer an additional $10 million to the winning city to support infrastructure for Electric Vehicles.

Photo: Courtesy of Cisco via Flickr

February is the deadline to submit proposals for transit innovations and DOT’s experts will select five proposals as finalists. Each of the finalists will receive $100,000 in federal funding for further development, and the winner would be announced by next June. The competition is open to U.S. mid-sized cities, which is defined as cities with a 2010 census population between 200,000 and 850,000. You can see the guidelines here.

Fifty million dollars may not sound like much compared to overall spending on transportation, but for cities of this size it’s a great start for creating a smarter city.

This week’s announcement is one of many smart city competitions announced over the years, and surely there will be more to come. Cities are where the majority of people will live and by 2050 some estimates predict that as many as seven out of 10 people on Earth will live in an urban area. The continued population increases will exceed the capacity of human administrators.

Cities will have to get a whole lot smarter.

This is why you are seeing more and more contests for cities to get smarter, and for them to be more open.  Witness cities like Glasgow who won the UK’s Future Cities competition, Barcelona’s Smart City ecosystem, India’s Smart City Challenge, the Obama Administration's Smart City challenge, and New York’s efforts to build a smart city.

What this means is that sensors will be woven into every aspect of daily life. By 2020, the number of thermostats, pressure gauges, accelerometers, acoustic microphones, cameras, meters and other micro-electromechanical measuring devices linked to the Internet is predicted to reach 50 billion worldwide, a number predicted by Cisco.

Think solar powered WiFi connected trash cans to let rubbish collectors know when they are full, sensors to alert public works directors of clogged sewers, traffic cameras connected to an IP network to notify engineers in a central location of mounting traffic jams, air quality sensors to monitor pollution and rooftop acoustics sensors triangulating sounds of gunshots.  

These contests are a way to drive industry towards a new era of more efficient and responsive government, driven by real-time data. The role of the IOT will also drive new economic opportunity and business development, centered around the creation, analysis and intelligent use of these data feeds. The benefits are many: increased cost-savings, bolstered civic engagement, and strengthened public health and safety.

Cheers to more contests and to the winners, which will be all of us.

Further reading: Wall Street Journal Special Report: As World Crowds In, Cities Become Digital Laboratories


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