What does it mean if you live in a ‘Smart City’?

Smart technology is now a feature of most homes thanks to the rapid rise of smart speakers, video doorbells and interactive central heating, but what is the future of smart technology? The idea of a ‘smart city’ is now being talked about, and it seems that the reality of it may not be too far away. So, what is a ‘smart city’ and what will it mean for us?

Here, Luke Timmins from PSU Designs shares his insight on the future of smart technology and modern living.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things means that we already have a wide range of innovative technology that features in our daily lives. It refers to the billions of devices around the world that are all connected to the internet in one form or another.

That does not just mean your phone or your laptop, but possibly even your television, your fridge and your baby monitor. They allow data to be exchanged and to connect with other devices and systems using the internet.

As the Internet of Things has grown so rapidly, it makes sense that even governments are now making use of it to improve infrastructure and efficiency. This has given rise to the concept of the smart city, and we are well on the way to achieving this.

What is a smart city?

Essentially, a smart city is a framework which uses information technologies to address the challenges of the growing urban life. It uses connected objects and machines which transmit data through the Internet of Things and allows others to analyse and manage that information in real time to improve services.

We already use much of this technology in our daily lives through or phones, our homes and even our cars, so this is now being put to use in an attempt to make life better for the citizens of an area. This is thought to be able to decrease the congestion of traffic, improve air quality and energy distribution and streamline rubbish collections to name just a few of the proposed benefits.

This is done by receiving data from sensors in traffic lights that show a build up of cars and changing the timing of the lights, or using smart rubbish bins that tell the authorities when they need to be emptied.

With more cars using this kind of technology, they will have the ability to communicate with parking meters and electric vehicle charging docks. They may even be able to direct you to the nearest parking spot.

To conserve energy, streetlights can be dimmed when the roads are empty, whilst other sensors can act as early warning systems for floods, landslides and hurricanes.

This innovative technology can also be worked into buildings to help manage available workspace or to determine when repairs are needed, long before they become big and expensive.

Are smart cities new?

A smart city might sound like a thing of the future but the concept began as early as the 1960s when databases and aerial photography started to be used to direct resources and mitigate disasters. This idea has developed along with technology, and now this second generation of smart cities have created a more joined up approach. These days, the public is involved in the way the cities work and not just the governments, with cities such as Vienna giving citizens the chance to invest in solar plants, resolve gender inequality and address affordable housing issues.

Smart cities are already in existence all over the world, and most of us have not even noticed the change. This data collection and analysis allows for systems to be improved in order to benefit the public purse, the environment and our own day to day lives.

Previous post It’s Lolly launches carbon food scoring app
Next post West Ham United Scores Big with Mapp