Smart cities, sometimes referred to as connected cities, have merely been an intangible thought or dream in years past. However, with the megatrend of the Internet of Things becoming ever so prominent, that dream has become a reality.
For a city to truly be a smart city there needs to be numerous smart systems in place. A smart system is made up of multiple connected devices that all communicate with each other. A smart city is a very large compilation of smart systems.
A smart city will have copious amounts of devices and systems communicating with each other.
A simple street light can now have multiple purposes beyond lighting a path. It could have sensors to monitor traffic flow, pollution levels and open parking spots.
Garbage dumpsters could have sensors on them to alert waste management companies when they are nearing capacity.
Smart roadways can transmit data to smart vehicles alerting drivers of unexpected road conditions like ice or traffic jams.
A smart energy grid is a good example of how a connected city will positively impact our environment.
Let’s say that the connected city has a smart energy grid made up of smart wind turbines, smart solar panels and the local energy plant. The wind turbines will precisely adjust the pitch of their blades for optimum energy production. Solar panels can send notifications when they are producing large volumes of energy on a bright and sunny day. Your smart home can receive these notifications to determine when the most optimum time will be to use electricity, such as automatically turning on appliances that you have set to run that day or heating and cooling your home when energy is in abundance. This will greatly decrease the occurrence of energy blackouts and help each home make a smaller carbon footprint.
The implications of a connected city will continue to improve our daily lives in a variety of ways. From saving money on energy costs to knowing exactly where the closest parking spot is located, the positive impact of the Internet of Things is something that all cities will gladly adopt in the very near future.