Six Technologies That Are Crucial For Smart Cities

May 23, 2018

Smart cities rely on everything being connected to each other. This, in turn, is highly dependent on technology. Technological literacy is key to turn a city into a smart city which is well connected, sustainable and resilient; where information is not just available, but also findable. The idea that a smart city is all about providing smart services to its citizens which can save their time and ease their lives is not new. It is also about connecting them to the governance where they can give their feedback to the government as of how they want their city to be. And this aim can’t be turned into reality without technology.

Let’s have a look at six technologies without which the smartness of a city can't be enhanced.

Information and Communication Technology

Creating a two-way communication channel is very important for a city to be smart. And here comes the role of Information and communication technology. ICT builds a bridge between the citizens and the government where the citizens can interact with the government and in return, the government can build a city which the choice of its citizens. ICT helps the government to analyze the demand pattern of the state and thus create a pool of resources to address the same online. The electronic medium of communication in a community helps in creating a collective intelligence which can be deployed for resource optimization with the help of analytics and deep learning

Internet of Things

Internet of things is like veins of the city spread all across and connecting each dot. Every device that is part of a smart city needs to be connected to each other so that they can talk amongst and can take decisions for themselves which in return allows managing resources of a megacity population. This is where the IoT comes in, providing the perfect template of a body of communicating devices that provides smart solutions to everyday problems. All smart solutions in smart cities are based on Internet of things where they are connected and smart enough to decide their action.

Sensors

Sensors are hidden but ubiquitous components of the urban landscape. Sensors are a crucial component of any intelligent control system. A process is improved based on its environment, and for a control system to be aware of its environment, it is typically fitted with an array of sensors, from which it collects the required data. It then uses the appropriate variables to characterize its environment and adjusts its operations accordingly. The availability of a multitude of different sensors and continuously evolving technology enables applications that were infeasible in the past due to high costs and limited availability. Sensors are like converters which convert parameters of a physical nature to an electronic signal, which can be interpreted by humans or can be fed into an autonomous system. These signals for conventional sensors, amongst others, include light, pressure, temperature, humidity, moisture and a variety of other parameters.

Geospatial Technology

Whatever is built in a smart city has to be built right. To build a plan which is sustainable requires accurate, concise and detail data. Here comes the role of Geospatial technologies, which provide the underlying foundation and ultimately the fabric upon which solution can be built. It provides location which allows pinpointing exactly on the need so that better solution can be applied to it. Geospatial technology provides a necessary framework for collecting data and transforming observation in these collections to facilitate software-based solutions around smart infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence

Smart cities power a digital revolution that is generating a huge amount of data. Those data are of no use until and unless they are processed, which generates information in return. This massive amount of data generation necesitates the role of artificial intelligence, which can make sense out of those data.

AI allows machine to machine interaction by processing the data and making senses out of that. To understand the interesting aspect of Artificial intelligence in the context of smart cities, let us take an example. In a system where energy spikes tend to happen, AI can learn where they usually occur and under which circumstances and this information can be used for better management of the power grid. Likewise, Artificial Intelligence also plays a role in intelligent traffic management and healthcare facilities.

Blockchain

Blockchain application is new to smart cities. Blockchain technology secures data flow. Its integration into smart cities could better connect all city services while boosting security and transparency. In some ways, blockchain is expected to influence cities through smart contracts, which help with billing, processing transactions and handling facilities management. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller directly written into lines of code. They permit trusted transactions and agreements to be carried out among disparate parties without the need for a mediating third party, making the process safer, cheaper and faster. Blockchain can also be used in smart grids to facilitate energy sharing, a concept which is trending these days.

Watch a video that expounds how technologies help to provide smart solutions to citizens in a smart city.

This story was originally published on Geospatial World.

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