The Internet of Things connects cities like never before
Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two technologies that are intertwined in the development of our future. Smart cities pose the solution to the trend of growing urbanization challenges that cities face currently, such as need for employment generation, economic growth, and environmental sustainability among others.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a key component in converting a city into a smart city. The IoT is a network of sensors with connectivity enabled in everyday objects, which facilitates them to send and receive data. It will allow mundane devices like our kitchen appliances to connect to the Internet and communicate with other appliances for more sustainable use of energy while enabling us to do our tasks quicker and more efficiently.
Benefits of IoT
IoT will be one of the core technologies responsible in making our cities smarter. It will be the next iteration in the information and communication technology revolution that will help enhance lifestyle in the city and help administrative authorities run the city in a cleaner and more efficient manner.
IoT will revolutionize the way we live in cities. Starting from smart buildings that will be connected within and across each other, to automation in various other utility spheres, integration will transform the basic day-to-day functioning.
Homes and commercial spaces will feature enhanced security through CCTV cameras connected to the police stations where these will be continuously monitored. Sensors in buildings will detect movement and automatically link it to functioning of energy devices. For example, decrease in staff on a particular day will trigger the air conditioning to operate only in areas required.
Healthcare will benefit immensely, with gadgets connected to patients and senior citizens that will be linked to healthcare providers. With such a system, doctors will be notified instantly in case of an emergency, and can provide the required timely medical attention, even if the patient happens to be alone at home. This facility can also be offered to health individuals.
Public transportation systems could be fitted with sensors and cloud-based technology that will enable drivers and control centers to identify the routes, track passenger frequency and volume en route, and monitor ticket sales. Large displays and smartphone applications would allow passengers to view the real-time location and status of trains, buses or metros and their routes.
For private vehicle owners, traffic maps could be displayed to obtain real-time status on roadblocks. With systems to detect the nearest parking slots, vehicles would use less fuel, create less chaos and save time.
Today, tons of resources are wasted in cities, even when we do not use them. Streetlights continue to be on even when there is no activity, irrigation systems in parks run even during the monsoons, leaky pipes go undetected wasting mega liters of water – these are just some of the examples of energy and resource wastage in cities.
With IoT adoption in cities, a combination of intelligent sensors and data networking will help reduce resource wastage. Streetlights can be dimmed when a decrease in traffic is detected, irrigation systems could automatically be switched off on rainy days, and auto-detection of leaks would enable quick repair. These would help us save our precious resources and in turn save money.
Internet sensors on dumpsters can alert waste management trucks when they reach their capacity, so that these can be cleared before they overflow, making the city cleaner and our lives healthier.
These are just some instances of what IoT would enable us to achieve for our cities. This technology is still in its infancy and as it develops, the possibilities it creates will revolutionize the way our cities operate. It will enrich our live, protect the environment and revitalize our city’s economy. IoT will enable smart cities to become smarter and change our way of life forever.
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