IT or Internet of Things is an evolution of mobile, home and embedded applications that are being connected to the internet integrating greater compute capabilities and using data analytics to extract meaning of information. As related devices connect with each other, they can become an intelligent system of systems. And when these intelligent devices or system of systems share data over the cloud and analyze it, they have the potential to transform our businesses and our lives in numerous ways: whether it’s improving medical outcomes, creating better products faster with lower development cost to even building smart cities. Many governments around the world are racing to infuse technology into just about every aspect of its city’s operations. These aspects include public transportation, IT connectivity, water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility, E- governance and even citizen participation. Smart city project in essence is an application of Internet of Things. Smart cities are using video monitoring technology that helps to tackle the safety concerns that show up in the daily life. In 2014, Singapore launched its own Smart Nation program that collects data on daily living. The government has deployed systems that can tell if someone is smoking in a prohibited area or littering from high rise housings. Using this technology, the government of Singapore can monitor crowd density, cleanliness of public spaces and even the precise movement of any registered local vehicle. Much of the collected data is fed into an online platform called Virtual Singapore that gives the government access to how the city is performing in real time. It could help the government detect how the crowd might react to an explosion in a shopping mall. In Dubai, the government has facilitated more than 50 smart services under the Smart Dubai initiative. Using the app called “Dubai Now”, we can do things like pay a speeding ticket, because you got captured driving on a public camera and then emailed you and the ticket was to you directly. Not only this, you can also use the same app to pay your electric bills, renew your vehicle registration, report a violation to the police and even track your visa

Another recent example is Barcelona, where one research firm estimates the city will save billions of dollars per year in energy consumptions by installing a variety of smart systems. For example, Smart Steer Lights that allows public lighting to adapt and dim in absence of any activity and brighten up when it senses any movement. Next is the parking sensor technology, which helps car drivers looking for a spot to park. Using this technology, drivers can get real time information on an app, which locates free parking spots. Sensors on the street curb use lighting and metal detectors to know if a parking spotor loading area is preoccupied. And lastly garbage sensors that are actually compact drop-off containers that have a vacuum network through pipes, which sucks up trash below ground. This automated waste collection not only lowers noise pollution from trucks but also lowers maintenance costs.

When it comes to making our cities smarter than they ever were, IoT has a lot to offer. It can help cities transform their ways to consume water effectively by the usage of smart meters that can improve leak detection, provide lost revenue because of inefficiency in even providing the citizens the real time access to information of water consumption.

If we talk about public transportation, IoT can provide the authorities with the real time data that ensures citizens have access to safe and efficient public transportation without having to worry about traffic jams, bad weather conditions and their vehicle breakdowns.

Pankaj Kumar Chaman, Team  AICRA Future TECH

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