Beyond question, smart city technology and ubiquity via the Internet of Things (IoT) have become top-of-mind priorities—from the C-suite to IT, from innovation departments to finance operations. A recent Forbes Insights/Intel survey puts the revolution in context: More than one in three respondents report IoT solutions that address public safety, healthcare and transportation in place or underway in their cities.
Behind the numbers is a compelling idea of what life in a smart city will look like and feel like. You may recognize some of these IoT technologies that are already in use in your community. Others may be in the planning or construction phase even as you read this sentence. Here’s a quick rundown of a day in the life of a smart city citizen – probably at some point – taking full advantage of the IoT.
Traffic Checking Self Checking: Nothing scares urban drivers more than rush hour. And hours. And hours. In Los Angeles, drivers wasted 102 hours of traffic in 2017, according to The Economist. It might make you want to live in Singapore, which hasn’t even made the top 25 in the world for most congested traffic, despite being a city of 5.8 million people. The Intelligent Transport System (ITS) notifies motorists when the roads are crowded and increases the toll accordingly, while the traffic lights are reset and alternative routes are determined for motorists to follow. This gives Singapore residents around 60 hours a year back, according to a study by Juniper Research and Intel
24/7 Health Care Anywhere, Anywhere: When an alarming pain or excruciating cough occurs, it’s often at the wrong time and place – while your doctor’s office may be miles away or closed for the day. Enter telemedicine services, also known as telemedicine. With a telemedicine call, your vital signs such as blood pressure are monitored in real time. The data is transmitted to a surveillance center or healthcare professional by phone or broadband. In London, telehealth has skyrocketed in popularity since it was first introduced last year. The city’s GPS-enabled platform drew more than 26,000 members in the spring of 2018. 4,000 new members register every month. Telehealth has also made advances in the treatment of chronic diseases and geriatric populations, according to SmartCitiesCouncil Compassionate Cities.
The keys to the city through kiosks: Finding something to do after work can often lead to aimless wandering and fruitless head scratching. Likewise, exploring a new city can be a maze-like experience for tourists. Smart city kiosks are taking the tired formula for paper maps and information cards and turning them into a dynamic center for digital information and communication. These kiosks that use touchscreen technology can do everything from planning the best walking routes down to the minute to creating a built-in calendar of events with ticket purchase options built into mobile wallet technology.
Win the Big Game: Say the kiosk directs you towards the local stadium for a baseball game or concert. There you will experience some IoT benefits firsthand while others enhance your quality of life in unexpected ways. On the environmental side, the Seattle Mariners have reduced water usage by 10%, or 2 million gallons, over a three-year period through IoT technology, reports The Guardian. And on the fansite, well, who wants to gamble to find the parking lot or get stuck in a traffic jam waiting to buy a hot dog and a soft drink? With intelligent apps, fans can find the best parking spaces in advance and order concessions. This will give you more valuable time back. The data collected will help stadium operators better prepare for the upcoming games.
All of this and more is not only possible: it happens. And that’s the excitement of living in a smart city. Once you’ve had a revolutionary day in life and said goodnight, you never know what you’ll wake up with next.