Subscribe to our Newsletter | To Post On IoT Central, Click here


smart city (11)

IOT

IoT stands for “Internet of Things.” Breaking down the phrase, we get two words Internet and Things. Internet stands for Interconnection of Networks. It was born in the late 1950s and was known as ARPANET. Experts say that the concept of IoT was taken with the ARPANET but, because of the lack of hardware and software support, it was tough to bring Internet of Things to the real world. Between 2006 and 2008 the first European IoT Conference recognized by EU. In this conference, experts talked about commercializing IoT. Finally, in 2009 CISCO was the first one to connect thing around us to the Internet. Later on, in 2009, companies like IBM and Ericsson also developed IoT solutions for the real world.

Smartphones were the first devices that connected people to the Internet even while roaming. This breakthrough came with the launch of the first iPhone. That is the first instance when IoT started impacting our lives. Since, then a wave has begun to flow across the globe to make everything around us, “smart.” The growth of IoT has been exponential since, 2009.

How IoT Affects Our Day-to-day Routine?

Our day starts at home and ends at home. IoT has reached to our homes and is spreading like wine. Households are getting smarter. Starting from the door from where we enter to the bed we sleep, everything is smart.

Smart Home

There are two types of Home Automation, semi-home automation, and complete home automation. Semi-home automation is where devices can do some of the daily tasks for us and have limited access to other gadgets of our home. Total Home Automation is where the gadgets have full access to the house.

Devices like Amazon Echo, Apple home pod, and Google home are capable of playing songs according to our mood, booking a cab, setting reminders, providing weather updates, making a call, controlling lighting, etc. and they do it via voice commands only.

The gadgets that we use daily are getting smarter as well such as IOT enable smart air conditioner, Fans and monitoring devices like gas meter, water meter, electricity meter, etc. IoT is also prevailing in security solutions for homes and offices. IOT enable Smart smoke detectors, motion sensors and intelligent bio-metrics database are already implemented in homes and offices.

Smart Vehicles

The automobile industry has evolved quite a lot when it comes to automation and safety. Automatic Gearing system and electronic parking system have changed the way we drove the car. Some of the examples of how automobile industry is facing change because of IoT are automatic emergency SOS message, automatic service booking, maintenance alerts, automatic fuel sign, Trip analysis, breakdown information, etc. If there is an ideal car having all the specifications mentioned above, then the owner of that car will save a lot of precious time which others cannot.

Environment Friendly

Internet of Things is helping us save the environment by smart gas detectors. These gas detectors are spread across the city which collects data of all kinds of hazardous gases and measures its density in each area of the town. Using this data, we can take the appropriate steps to reduce carbon emission in the city.

Smart gas detectors have the capabilities to detect even a small leakage which could destroy an entire city if not fixed in time. IoT has the skills not to improve our lifestyle but also to save lives and towns.

Smart Infrastructure

More significant the building higher is the maintenance cost. IoT helps to reduce the maintenance cost by suggesting the most effective solutions to maintain a building by measuring its condition time-to-time. IoT can also help reduce the risk of the data security breach at any level. It also protects the structure from fires.

Personal Health

Blood Pressure and Diabetes are some of the most dangerous diseases that kill slowly. The risk of such conditions has reduced to a fantastic level as people started using wearable techs such as smartwatches and fitness trackers connected to their smartphones. According to a GFK survey, one in every three people around the world wears a fitness tracking device. Some of the fitness trackers also track the sleep and send the sleep data to their smartphones. The app creates a detailed report using that data which user can access from anywhere provided the internet connection.

How will it benefit us?

IoT is making everything around us smart as mentioned. As these things will get smarter, it is going to replace humans in performing all the non-productive tasks hence, improving productivity. The tasks which we would have never imagined to do as humans are going to be accomplished by IoT.

Control Homes Remotely

Robots connected to the Internet will clean our homes whenever instructed regardless of our situation. With the help of IoT, monitoring will be extremely easy. We will be able to see and control our home from far away via an app. Although, staying away from home, IoT will make us feel as if we are at home.

Preemptive Vehicle Maintenance

Any vehicle needs maintenance. In our busy lives we might not always get time to provide proper maintenance to it. IoT will help us complete the tedious task. It will send the remainder to car service center for us to send the mechanic and service the car. With the help of GPS we can also track it live on our phones so, no chance of theft. IoT will also benefit at the time of emergencies. The system present in car will automatically detect the type of emergency and ask for the relevant help.

Save Environment

No one can deny the Climate change happening around the world. We cannot reduce the global warming but we can surely stop them with the help of IoT. Smart sensors help us collect and organize pollution data according to Country, state, city and area. We already have the ways to reduce pollution all we needed was “data.” IoT not only improves our lifestyle but also save lives.

Eco Friendly Buildings

The concept of energy efficient building is prevailing around the world. Such buildings are known as “Green buildings.” IoT can help us save energy that is consumed in big corporate offices and public places. That energy can later on be used at the time of crisis.

Healthier Lifestyle

All kind of wearable tech comes with GPS functionality and smart watches comes with Internet as well. Most of them has a panic button functionality through which we can alert our loved ones at the time of emergency. The heart rate sensor present in the fitness tracker tracks our heart rate 24x7 hence, it gives an alert to the nearest hospitals automatically whenever our heart rate deviates from the normal range.

Verdict:

Internet of Things has been impacting our lives since 2009 and is going to impact forever. The only difference will be that the impact will be much more than what it is today.

Read more…

 

What is a smart city? The answer depends on who you ask. Solutions providers will tell you it’s smart parking, smart lighting or anything to do with technology. City officials may tell you it’s about conducting city business online, such as searching records or applying for permits. City residents may tell you it’s the ease of getting around, or about crime reduction. Everyone is right. A smart city, built properly, will have different value for different stakeholders. They may not think of their city as a “smart”city. They know it only as a place they want to live in, work in, and be a part of. To build this type of city, you have to first build the smart city ecosystem.

 

A smart city is built on technology, but focused on outcomes

A scan of the various smart city definitions found that technology is a common element. For example, TechTarget defines a smart city as “a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare”. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) envisions a smart city as one that brings together technology, government and society to enable the following characteristics: a smart economy, smart mobility, a smart environment, smart people, smart living, smart governance.

But what does a smart city really do? Our scan of smart city projects worldwide showed that initiatives fell into one or more smart city “outcomes” (Figure One).

Figure One. Smart city projects are aligned to one of seven outcomes.

 

As a starting point, we define a smart city is one that uses technology extensively to achieve key outcomes for its various stakeholders, including residents, businesses, municipal organizations and visitors.

 

The smart city ecosystem framework

Figure Two shows our framework for a smart city ecosystem. A vibrant and sustainable city is an ecosystem comprised of people, organizations and businesses, policies, laws and processes integrated together to create the desired outcomes shown in Figure One. This city is adaptive, responsive and always relevant to all those who live, work in and visit the city. A smart city integrates technology to accelerate, facilitate, and transform this ecosystem.

Figure Two. The smart city ecosystem framework.

 

Four types of value creators

There are four types of value creators in the smart city ecosystem. They create and consume value around one of the outcomes listed in Figure One.

When people think of a smart city, they automatically think of services provided by municipal and quasi-government agencies, such as smart parking, smart water management, smart lighting, and so on. In fact, there are three other value providers and users that co-exist in the smart city – businesses and organizations, communities, and residents.

Businesses and organizations may create services that use and create information to create outcomes for its stakeholders. Some examples of “smart” businesses include Uber and Lyft for personal mobility, NextDoor for information sharing, and Waze/Google for traffic and commute planning.

Communities are miniature smart cities, but with very localized needs. Some examples of potential smart communities include university campuses, office parks, airports, cargo ports, multi-dwelling unit (MDU) or apartment complexes, housing developments/neighborhoods, business districts and even individual “smart” buildings. They have needs for smart services that may be tailored specifically for their stakeholders.

Residents or individual citizens are also smart services providers in the smart city. A resident living near a dangerous street intersection can point a camera at the intersection and stream that information live to traffic planners and police. Residents place air quality measurement sensors on their properties to monitor pollution and pollen levels during certain times of the year, and make that information available to other community members. Residents can choose to make these smart services temporary or permanent, and free or fee based.

 

The Smart City is built on layers

A smart city is an ecosystem comprised of multiple “capability layers”. While technology is a critical enabler, it is just one of many foundational capabilities that every smart city must have. No one capability is more important than the rest. Each capabilities plays a different role in the smart city. These capabilities must integrate and coordinate with each other to carry out its mission.

 

Value layer. This is the most visible layer for city residents, businesses, visitors, workers, students, tourists and others. This layer is the catalog of smart city services or “use cases”, centered around the outcomes (Figure One), and offered by value creators and consumed by the city stakeholders.

Innovation layer. To stay relevant, value creators in the smart city must continuously innovate and update its services for its stakeholders. Smart cities proactively facilitate this through a variety of innovation programs, including labs, innovation zones, training, ideation workshops, skills development and partnerships with universities and businesses.

Governance, management and operations layer. The smart city creates disruption and results in digital transformation of existing processes and services. Smart city management models must integrate a new ecosystem of value creators and innovators. They must plan, support and monetize new business models, processes and services. They must upgrade their existing infrastructure and management processes to support “smart” services. Finally, they must measure the performance of the city with a new set of metrics.

Policy, processes, and public-private partnerships, and financing layer. The smart city doesn’t just magically appear one day. An entirely new set of engagement models, rules, financing sources, and partners are required to build, operate and maintain the smart city. Cities must develop a new set of “smart” competencies in order to get and stay in the “smart city game”.

Information and data layer. The lifeblood of the smart city is information. The smart city must facilitate this in several ways, including open data initiatives, data marketplaces, analytics services, and monetization policies. Equally important, they must have programs that encourage data sharing and privacy policies to protect what and how data is gathered.

Connectivity, accessibility and security layer. People, things and systems are interconnected in the smart city. The ability to seamlessly connect all three, manage and verify who and what is connected and shared, while protecting the information and users is crucial. The highest priorities for smart cities are to provide a seamless layer of trusted connections.

Smart city technology infrastructure layer. Most people automatically think of technology when talking about smart cities. The smart city technology infrastructure must scale beyond the traditional municipal users and support a new class of value creators, and city/user stakeholders.

 

Leveraging the smart city ecosystem framework

The smart city is a complex ecosystem of people, processes, policies, technology and other enablers working together to deliver a set of outcomes. The smart city is not “owned” exclusively by the city. Other value creators are also involved, sometimes working in collaboration and sometimes by themselves. Successful and sustainable smart cities take a programmatic approach to engage its stakeholders across the ecosystem.

Our research has found that many cities are not taking an ecosystem approach to smart city projects. This is due in part to smart city projects being managed by the Information Technology (IT) organization where their charter is on systems development and deployment. In contrast, more experienced smart cities manage their smart city programs through internal cross functional “Transformation” or “Innovation” organizations.

Regardless of where cities are in their smart city journey, they must get ahead of the “curve” with smart city projects. They begin by thinking in terms of building the broader ecosystem in order to create a sustainable and scalable smart city. Key next steps include:

  1. Understand the smart city ecosystem framework and tailor it to the realities of their specific city. Incorporate this model into the development of their smart city vision, strategy and execution plans.
  2. Relative to the smart city ecosystem framework, identify current capabilities and gaps across the various layers. Understand what is needed to support the four types of value creators.
  3. Evaluate existing and new smart city projects and initiatives against the ecosystem framework. Use this framework to identify what is missing from the project plans and what is needed to make the projects fully successful.
  4. Prioritize and develop competencies across the various ecosystem layers. A smart city requires new skills and competencies. Augment existing capabilities through strategic partnerships and contracting with service providers, as required.

 

About:

Benson Chan is an innovation catalyst at Strategy of Things, helping companies transform the Internet of Things into the Innovation of Things through its innovation laboratory, research analyst, consulting and acceleration (execution) services. He has over 25 years of scaling innovative businesses and bringing innovations to market for Fortune 500 and start-up companies. Benson shares his deep experiences in strategy, business development, marketing, product management, engineering and operations management to help IoTCentral readers address strategic and practical IoT issues.

This post was co-authored with Renil Paramel, an IoT Innovation Catalyst, Strategist and Senior Partner at Strategy of Things.

Read more…

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. https://graylinegroup.com/urbanization-catalyst-overview/

Read more…

Smart Cities and Components in the IoT Era

 

To cope with the increasing population, hyper-urbanization, globalization as well as to ensure economic and environmental stability, cities are now focusing on becoming smart cities. Smart City is a concept of utilizing technologies and connected data sensors to enhance and become powerful in terms of infrastructure and city operations. This includes monitoring and managing of public assets, transportation systems, citizens, power plants, water supplies, information systems, civil bodies, and other community services. As per the new study from Navigant Research, the global market for smart city services is expected to reach $225.5 billion within the next decade.

Connected technologies and IoT solutions play important roles in transforming cities into smart cities. Implementing smart city with IoT and connected technology helps enhance the quality, performance, and interactivity of urban services, optimize resources and reduce costs.

Let’s see the various components of smart city and their impact in the IoT era:

 

1. Smart Infrastructure

 

The global market for smart urban infrastructure in smart cities, include advanced connected streets, smart parking, smart lighting, and other transportation innovations. Here’s how they work:

  • Smart Lighting: With smart lighting, city authorities can keep real-time tracking of lighting to ensure optimized illumination and deliver demand-based lighting in different zones. Smart lighting also helps in daylight harvesting and save energy by dimming out sectors with no occupancies For e.g. parking lots can be dimmed during work hours and when a car is entering, it will be detected and appropriate sectors can be illuminated, while others can be kept at diffused setting.

  • Connected Streets: Connected and smart streets are capable of acquiring data and delivering information and services to and from millions of devices, which includes information about traffic, road blockages, roadworks, etc. This helps in efficient management of resources and people to enhance public transportation and the urban landscape.
  • Smart Parking Management: Smart parking management system can be used to find the vacant location for a vehicle at different public places. Smart Parking’s In-Ground Vehicle Detection Sensors are core technologies, playing a key part in the Smart Parking solution that is revolutionizing how drivers in the malls and city centers can find an available parking space. Wireless sensors are embedded into parking spaces, transmitting data on the timing and duration of the space used via local signal processors into a central parking management application. Smart Parking reduces congestion, decreases vehicle emissions, lowers enforcement costs and cuts driver stress. For effective deployment of smart parking technologies, each device needs to have a reliable connectivity with the cloud servers.
  • Connected Charging Stations: Smart infrastructure also includes implementing charging stations in parking systems, city fleets, shopping malls and buildings, airports, and bus stations across the city. Electronic vehicle (EV) charging platforms can be integrated with IoT to streamline the operations of EV charging and addresses the impact of the power grid.

2. Smart buildings utilize different systems to ensure safety and security of buildings, maintenance of assets and overall health of the surrounding.

  • Safety & Security Systems: These include implementing remote monitoring, biometrics, IP surveillance cameras, and wireless alarms to reduce unauthorized access to buildings and chances of thefts. It also includes utilizing Perimeter Access Control to stop access to restricted areas of the property and detect people in non-authorized areas.
  • Smart Garden & Sprinkler System: Smart sprinkler system synced with connected technologies and cloud can be used to water plants with the assurance that plants get the right amount of water. Smart garden devices can also perform tasks such as measuring soil moisture and levels of fertilizer, helping the city authorities to save on water bill (smart sprinkler devices use weather reports and automatically adjust their schedule to stay off when it rains), and keep the grass from overgrowing in the convenient way (robot lawnmowers).
  • Smart Heating & Ventilation: Smart heating and ventilation systems monitor various parameters such as temperature, pressure, vibration, humidity of the buildings and properties such as movie theatres, and historical monuments. Wireless sensor network deployment is the key to ensuring appropriate heating and ventilation. These sensors also collect data to optimize the HVAC systems, improving their efficiency and performance in the buildings.

3. Smart Industrial Environment

 

Industrial environments present unique opportunities for developing applications associated with the Internet of things and connected technologies which can be utilized in the following areas:

  • Forest Fire Detection: Helps in monitoring of combustion gases and preemptive fire conditions to define alert zones.
  • Air/Noise Pollution: Helps in controlling of CO2 emissions of factories, pollution emitted by cars and toxic gases generated on farms.

  • Snow Level Monitoring: Helps in identifying the real-time condition of ski tracks, allowing security corporations for avalanche prevention.
  • Landslide and Avalanche Avoidance: Helps in monitoring of soil moisture, earth density, as well as vibrations to identify dangerous patterns in land conditions.
  • Earthquake Early Detection: Helps in detecting the chances of tremors by utilizing distributed controls at specific places of tremors.
  • Liquid Presence: Helps in detecting the presence of liquid in data centers, building grounds, and warehouses to prevent breakdowns and corrosion.
  • Radiation Levels: Helps in distributed measurement of radiation levels in nuclear power stations surroundings to generate leakage alerts.
  • Explosive and Hazardous Gases: Helps in detecting gas levels and leakages in chemical factories, industrial environments, and inside mines.

4. Smart City Services

 

Smart city services include services for public safety and emergencies.  Below are the key areas where IoT and connected technologies can help:

  • Smart Kiosk: Smart kiosks play an important role in providing different city services to the public such as Wi-Fi services, 24×7 IP surveillance cameras and analytics, Digital signage for advertisement and public announcements. In some cases, free video calling and free mobile charging station, as well as environmental sensor integration can also be implemented. Smart kiosks also provide information about restaurants, retail stores, and events in the immediate area. It can also provide mapping for visitors and can sync with smartphones to give additional data as needed.
  • Monitoring of Risky Areas: Sensors (cameras, street lights) and actuators for real-time monitoring can be implemented in risky areas or areas prone to accidents. Upon detecting any crime, or mishap, these sensors can alert the citizens to avoid such areas temporarily.
  • Public Security: IoT sensors can be installed at public organizations and houses to protect citizens and provide real-time information to fire and police departments when it detects a theft.
  • Fire/Explosion Management: Smart fire sensors can detect and automatically take actions based on the level of severity, such as detecting false alarms, informing firefighters and ambulance, blocking off nearby streets/buildings on the requirement, helping people to evacuate, and coordinating rescue drones and robots.
  • Automatic Health-Care Dispatch: Smart healthcare devices can be implemented at public places to provide 24/7 health care for patients like dispensing medicines and drugs to patients. These devices can also be used to call an ambulance to pick up the patients in cases of emergencies.

5. Smart Energy Management

 

Here’s how cities can implement smart energy management:

  • Smart Grid: Smart grids are digitally monitored, self-healing energy systems that deliver electricity or gas from generation sources. Smart grid solutions can be across industrial, residential as well as in transmission and distribution projects. Various IoT solutions like gateways can be used to achieve energy conservation at both the transmission level and consumer level. For e.g., gateways can provide a broader view of energy distribution patterns to utility companies with high connectivity and real-time analytics. Also, it develops a Demand-Response mechanism for the utility providers to optimize energy distribution based on the consumption patterns.
  • Smart Meters: Smart meters can be used in residential and industrial metering sectors for electricity and gas meters where there is a need to identify the real-time information on energy usage. Consumers and utilities with smart meters can monitor their energy consumption. Moreover, energy analytics, reports, and public dashboards can be also accessed over the internet using mobile applications integrated with these smart meters.
Read more…

What if a modern office could live on its own? What if it became an ecosystem that could function clearly, without any extra controls, providing all that is needed to support work activities? Sounds too perfect, doesn’t it? However, here we are going to consider the office of the future and focus attention on crucial issues that the IoT office is able to solve.

A Few Words about Smart Office Forecast

According to MarketsandMarkets research, smart offices will be a driver of tangible growth. The current smart office market is valued at USD 22.21 bln, with this expected to reach USD 46.11 bln by 2023. This means there will be a strong demand for IoT programmers in this area.

The Internet of Things is gradually immersing all spheres of life. Smart cities, Smart homes, Smart vehicles – it is reaching almost every system in which we need to control components remotely and/or implement their interaction. The Smart office is no exception. While we can currently see a bold border between these various just-emerging technologies, in the future the border is likely to disappear and several related smart areas will merge in a whole global IoT concept combining all existing similar systems – smart cars, smart homes, smart buildings, smart offices, smart infrastructure, smart cities... In other words, when speaking about the direction of IoT in one area, we touch on other areas because all of these mutually link to each other. The result is a common impact. A Smart lock is adopted by Smart buildings in Smart cities. A Smart car merges with a Smart home at the technological level.

Having said and recognized this, what however will the Smart office look like?

The smart corporate reality already exists, and advanced tech-savvy owners have endorsed the idea of intelligent digital workplaces responsive to the needs of the staff. Currently though the technology is still driven by human capabilities and market demand – it may take up to 20 years for the Smart office to have evolved and deployed enough to be a common illustration of the ideal future work space.

The Internet of Me, or IoT in HR

A human in the context of the system – a player in the context of the team. The Smart office concept can be considered in terms of it being an item in a community involved in a closed system that is designed to provide what is needed for efficient work. We can start treating the IoT system through ‘The Internet of Me’ approach.

Popular HR editor Steve Boese has discussed his vision of HR innovations. In his opinion, the Internet of Me takes the IoT concept a step further by integrating increasingly personalized products and services into corporate culture. Thus, in the same manner that a group of people begins from a single person, such a personalized approach will find the best way to create an efficient management system. If we keep track of following issues that Smart office technology resolves, we’ll see that each issue is a problem for every employee, and we therefore see that the main mission of the IoT office is to help the employee to do their work smoothly, to easily incorporate separate employees into a solid team, and to take control of and facilitate working and personal needs in the office.

What challenges will Smart office solve?

Speaking generally, IoT allows us to automate all office activities, including parts of the workflow to deliver more efficient work results and the work environment to form the conditions and the highly-equipped workspace where an employee has all they need at hand. Any network system consisting of some items integrated as with each other or directly with processing equipment can be considered as a future IoT system. So, we need to manage this network of objects to:

  • reduce the time we spend for fulfilling any tasks;
  • evenly spread actions and tasks to avoid over- and underloading;
  • reasonably spend energy resources to reduce financial ones;
  • automate all the things to simplify system management.

IoT office solutions can serve employees as well as employers. In the Smart office context, implementation of IoT technologies can not only speed-up workflows but cover the most topical business issues. Let’s consider them.

1. An intelligent environment to make convenient conditions for work

The Smart environment provides the capabilities of a smart building. For example, the organization of an office can include automation of electric lighting and work equipment, an intelligent security system (biometric and remotely-controlled locks), smart counters to collect statistics on electricity consumption, office microclimate specifications and differences, checking of the water supply, ensuring sufficient household and office supplies, and smart support for staff requests.

When an employee enters the room, sensors identify the visitor via motion sensors or other access controllers and send signals to the lighting system and all equipment inside the room to be switched on. Lighting, computers, conditioners, air-humidifiers all start working at levels pre-set for the employee’s comfort.

On one hand, the Internet of Me works because all the conditions are changed to be favorable for the employee. From the business perspective, the intelligent environment is beneficial for employers because its usage considerably reduces office maintenance and ongoing costs.

Challenges:

  • monitoring humidity, temperature, air quality, illuminance;
  • maintaining comfortable office environment;
  • sensor monitoring and automatic device control;
  • lighting failure analysis and replacement notification;
  • roller blinds control;
  • blocking standby power (reduction of power consumption).

To provide such operations, the room is equipped with sensors that detect the environmental status and devices such as air-cleaners, air-conditioners, humidifiers, lighting wall switchers, and smart plugs, which execute programmed commands according to various scenarios:

  • turn on the office lighting based on information regarding the beginning of working hours and motion detector readings; 
  • gathering the temperature and humidity information in the office;
  • when the temperature is high, air-conditioners are automatically turned on;
  • when humidity is low, humidifiers are automatically turned on;
  • when equipment is turned off, smart plugs are also turned off to block standby power;
  • when the lighting in the office fails, the IoT system sends the administrator information about failure and turns on lighting from an extra generator if this is provided (in the case of a power cut).

2. Smart reception service to automate meeting visitors

The smart reception desk helps to unite in-house office life with some activities from outside. If we recently had a receptionist who met visitors, in case of automated reception service, it could work in the following way – a customer uses the wallpad to call the necessary employee, and the IP camera sends the employee a notification and a recorded image of the person waiting for him.

Challenges:

  • easy calling service and searching for an employee;
  • notification of customer visit to employee’s smartphone;
  • customer identification through the camera image.

3. Smart meeting rooms

This works well in big companies of 200 persons and over. In this case, visiting a colleague can be difficult – finding a mutually convenient time and place, for example. However, the inner smart meeting system organizes all arrangements and discussions to avoid over-loading them when things are busy or under-loading when things are calm.

The smart meeting system can have several connected devices and software to provide all opportunities. Firstly, it is a web or mobile service to enable preparations for the upcoming meetings, and secondly, it is a service for remote control of devices. For example, you can customize your presentation remotely through a projector in advance, and coming to the smart meeting room, you can control the whole demonstration through your smartphone.

We should also mention that using AR and VR technologies at the junction of the IoT office can massively expand the opportunities for remote meetings – especially when thinking about very long distances.

Challenges:

  • automated convenient booking system for meeting rooms;
  • email request to attend a meeting;
  • push notifications of meeting attendance; 
  • distribution an email of meeting minute;
  • auto mode function (presentation start, complete);
  • broadcasting to employees’ smartphones and possibility to join the meeting online.

4. Smart security zone

Security inside the office can also be smart. It’s not just the outside wall that needs to be secure for many offices. The system is outfitted with door sensors, IP cameras, motion sensors, smart alarm integrators and others, providing fully-automated control of every action in the office during the day, when staff are working inside, and at night, when all people have left the office. We can treat security in general, but overall it means more ways of control, enabling control over employees’ actions to avoid information leakage and intervention against insiders. A separate direction is the use of smart locks, smart cameras, smart tracking software, etc.

Challenges:

  • intrusion detection and notification;
  • real-time camera images;
  • video recording;
  • smart locks status and remote control.

5. Smart space management service

Speaking about smart office opportunities, we shouldn’t forget about the personal necessities for employees. One example concerns the automation of restrooms and kitchens. The employee can use connected devices when – for example – going to get a coffee and relax in the lounge zone: the system will tell him before he goes there how many people are there and whether the zone has free spaces for him.

Challenges:

  • occupancy checking using Smartphone;
  • real-time update of occupancy information.

To sum up the smart office opportunity, we see that there are many corporate scenarios where IoT can make a difference to the enabling of business activities, rather than spending resources on redundant actions. This is the main idea of IoT development as a whole: the technology helps to make a system efficient, reducing all expenditure and increasing its potential.

Photo Credit: Tayloright

Read more…

"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)

Read more…

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

Read more…

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.

Transportation

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

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.

Utilities

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 

Read more…

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)

AU43170

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.

Read more…

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

 

Read more…