Making And Saving Money Critical To Smart City Solutions
Any smart city has to deal with billions or even trillions of interconnected devices, managing it as though it is an organism with intelligence at the centre and within each of its devices
The 'analytics of things' can infuse life into smart city solutions. But there is one big requirement for companies, and cities, to be able to do this with any success --- creating sustainable options.
Whether it is making monies by finding revenue generating options or saving monies by tackling issues that are attracting investments or expenditures, a smart city solution will work only when it is thought out for the long term.
Reports suggest that smart cities are essentially looking for eight core areas of solutions - Smart Healthcare, Smart Building, Smart Mobility, Smart Infrastructure, Smart Technology, Smart Energy and Smart Citizen. Any of these can be a trigger in a city, based on what is critical to it at that point in time and then spread to the other areas, explains Cheryl Wiebe, Practice Lead, Analytics of Things, Teradata.
System of Systems
Wiebe draws attention to a larger picture here, where a smart city is the creation of a system of systems. Any smart city has to deal with billions or even trillions of interconnected devices, managing it as though it is an organism with intelligence at the centre and within each of its devices.
"In a system of systems, business models are very important," said Manu Namboodiri, Senior Director, Smart Cities and Industrial IoT at Qualcomm. Citing an example where a city found a revenue making solution, he explained how Smart Infrastructure solutions has many learnings for India as well.
The LinkNYC was taken on by the New York City's Mayor to bridge the digital divide in NYC. Given that New York is also the largest media market in the world, the city replaced pay phones with kiosks that has the ability to provide gigabyte wifi. "The business model is driven by ads. The kiosks are expected to generate a billion dollar in revenue in a year, and half of that will go to NYC," Namboodiri explained.
The other fallout from the project was that it was able to create a fibre dense city that has prepared it for future business models, laying the foundation for 'sensorification' across the city.
Another example he shared was of a device used to save money by saving energy. This used devices on street lighting not only for WiFi connectivity but also smart parking, lighting management, urban intelligence sensors and video feeds.
While Namboodiri could not divulge details, he informed that companies such as Qualcomm were in conversation with authorities in India to execute solutions with similar thought process.
No One Analytics
Similar examples in connected mobility analytics of taking data to compute slowdowns, vehicle speed where companies were taking cellular data and turning it to sensor data is opening up many opportunities for smart cities.
Wiebe advised here that creating smart city solutions was akin to creating a structure with various building blocks. "Governments want to work companies that have done projects that are trans-disciplinary. No one analytics that can do it. It has to be a work of collaboration at various levels."
With analytics at the centre and at the Edge, companies had to understand the power of crunching data locally instead of attempting to analyse all in the cloud. "About 70 per cent of the new data we see today is in video and you cannot keep sending that to the cloud. The value of data sent to the cloud makes the cloud more valuable. Only about 10 per cent of all data is actually analysed at the cloud, and this is good because then we see much better data quality," said Namboodiri.
The final advice, from the speakers who were at the ongoing Teradata Partners Conference in Atlanta, was for operation technology to work together with information technology, and that it was analytics that was bringing the two together.