Technology has been changing the way we work, play and interact with the world for many years. In the past several decades, most people would not have predicted how far we would come. And we expect many more exciting advancements as we race toward the future. New York City implemented the first red-light cameras in the 1990s, and mobile phones became available to the public around the same time. We are now moving toward the next leap in technological advancements using IoT to make cities smart.
IoT In Smart Cities
With the internet of things leading the way, the future has no limits. The internet of things allows people and devices to collect and share information within their cities and across the globe. When we enhance the speed at which we receive and share data, we make our daily lives much easier.
Crime and other threats are a real concern for residents of cities in all parts of the world. The good news, however, is that the internet of things can reduce the threat. We can use facial-recognition software to detect crimes in progress, but that’s only the start. Fresno, California, uses gunshot sensors placed around the city to detect when criminals fire guns.
The sensors then alert police and medical responders so that they can contain the situation before it progresses. In the future, these sensors will likely connect and share data with traffic cameras to identify shooting suspects. Private residents are also enjoying the benefits of security technology. Communities across the nation are taking advantage of IoT smart city technology and are using networked security cameras to protect their neighborhoods, and these cameras also deter crime before it starts.
Smart cities also manage their water supplies better than cities that don’t use the latest technology. In many cases, finding leaks in plumbing systems is hard work, and you might not even notice the leak right away. This problem causes us to waste a lot of water each month. This is where IoT smart water city solutions come in.
By implementing sensors throughout a city’s plumbing system, officials can identify and locate leaks as soon as they happen. In addition to spotting leaks, the internet of things can even prevent us from using more water than we need. For example, farmers can place sensors in their fields that detect the amount of moisture in the soil. The sensors will only activate sprinklers when crops need more water.
If you are like the many people concerned about energy consumption, you will be happy to discover that smart cities help save power. Some cities in Europe are experimenting with IoT technology that monitors energy use, temperature, and airflow inside buildings. The smart city infrastructure then finds the perfect balance between comfort and energy efficiency using IoT. Smart thermostats are already available on the market.
Smart thermostats turn the temperature down while you are away to save power, but they also connect to your smartphone and detect when you are on your way home. By the time you arrive, your home will be at the temperature you want. Smart technology also empowers us to get even more from renewable energy sources. Many solar panels track the sun’s position and rotate themselves to optimize their power source. With this tracking technology, we can use more solar energy and rely less on fossil fuels.
With the busy and stressful lives most people live, we could all use a little more convenience. Many shops and public buildings can switch to automated kiosks so that we can go about our day much faster.
Also, sensors in smart cars can monitor traffic patterns and send that information to traffic lights. If traffic lights use smart technology, they can adjust to optimize the flow of traffic. The same sensors can alert drivers of traffic jams and accidents so that they can use a different route.
Smart technology can even enhance the productivity of city projects. Sensors placed in vehicles can help garbage collectors find the best routes and optimize their fuel efficiency. Also, officials can place sensors in the roads that detect potholes before they get worse.
Catching them in the early stages means repairing them takes less work, saving the city time and money. Local officials can access a wide range of data when considering new regulations to implement, but they can also use a network of access points to review projects online from almost any location.
The ideas listed here are just a few examples of how smart cities improve the lives of residents and public officials. It allows us to save time, energy and money, but it also lets us stay more connected than we ever thought possible.
Smart roads will likely soon power networks of autonomous vehicles that keep us safe and comfortable on the road. The internet of things lets us spot and respond to dangerous situations before they get out of hand, and this insight saves lives.
At Davra, we believe the internet of things can enhance the quality of your life – be it in your home, car, or workplace the IoT is here to improve your day-to-day. Find out how the right IoT Platform can make a smart city even smarter by taking a demo of the Davra IoT Platform.
Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO