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Smart Cities Technologies

Source: Waymo

A Smart City can be defined to as an urban area that uses different types of technology to provide services, solve city problems and improves the living experience of residents.

It deploys IoT sensors to collect data. Insights gained from that data are used to manage assets, resources and services efficiently; in return, that data is used improve the operations across the city thing operations such as traffic congestion, energy usage, and air quality.

Source: Singapore

Six Technologies Crucial for Smart Cities:

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 analyse 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 (IoT) - 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 right and so to build right a right plan is the need which is sustainable and this requires accurate, concise and detail data and 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 solution around smart infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence Smart city is a digital revolution 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 brings the role of Artificial intelligence that 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 Technology This technology secures data flow. Its integration into smart cities could better connect all city services while boosting security and transparency.
In someways, 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.

Smart energy management, smart healthcare, smart citizen services, smart communication, smart governance – all these define a smart city.

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