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How The Internet Of Things Is Already Making Your City Smarter

If you have been to a “smart city”, it is likely that you have encountered a machine that has a connection to the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things is a compilation of data collected from everyday objects spread throughout cities. These resources; parking meters, traffic lights, and even vehicles, are all equipped with embedded microchips that track and relay data to the Internet of Things. Alone this data may not have much value, but when compiled it offers the opportunity to vastly increase efficiency in public services, utilities, and city architecture.

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By Fraz Jamil

April 28th, 2017

The Internet of Things Helps Smart Cities Save Energy

If smart cities sound futuristic, it’s simply because they are. As the availability of Internet of Things-ready devices rises, building managers in the U.S. are investigating ways they can be used to reduce costs and raise quality in their buildings and structures. Cities in Europe are moving towards implementing smart power grids, which will alleviate strain on public utilities, greatly so in overpopulated cities.

What To Look Forward To In Smart Cities

The ideal version of a smart city will optimize public life by offering private and public developers across the world the chance to create applications to support various projects like…

  • - GPS tracking of vehicles that helps drivers find accessible parking.
  • - Bike sharing projects have entered many cities, but soon they will also include sensors designated to tracking pedestrian biking statistics in smart cities.
  • - Sensors and cameras are being used to cross reference pedestrian traffic with auto traffic, allowing controllers to reroute traffic at times of peak congestion. Less drivers in congested areas means safer travel for city-dwellers.
  • - Gunshot detection technology designed to pinpoint the source of gunfire is already being tested in crime-heavy neighborhoods like the Bronx and NYC.

What Will Change?

We are still in the earlier stages of innovation with these new technologies. In smart cities, the distribution of real time information will allow for city-wide interconnectivity. The increased efficiency and accuracy of collecting public statistics will pave the road for more convenient interactions within cities. The potential exists, but there are still some obstacles to the fluidity of implementing smart cities worldwide.

Without the appropriate infrastructure, smart cities would be unable to relay the data collected within them to the Internet of Things. High speed networks and powerful servers will be expensive — but completely necessary. Not to mention data storage and heavy-duty processing equipment. With so much expensive hardware spread throughout a smart city, security will need to be afforded physically and online to protect the privacy and personal data of citizens. These obstacles may be significant, but as smart technology gains widespread availability in the world’s major cities, their governments will need to figure out ways to gradually adapt to the new technology.

Consequently, a fleet of experienced developers, engineers, and IT specialists will find unique work as smart cities become a reality. As the Internet of Things becomes more robust, the idea of smarter cities is becoming fascinating tangentially. Software and innovative devices are being designed to document data about our daily lives. In several years time, cities will be able to optimize something as simple as a light switch or as complex as organizing an entire city’s auto traffic using real data collected from a massive sample. While it may not (yet) be as glamorous as what one would see in the movies, smart cities make life much better for the average citizen.

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