An intelligent network of wirelessly connected objects
Our cities need to become smarter and better connected.
We need more from them than ever before. As a population we are increasingly urban and aging, and many of our biggest societal challenges are acutely urban: including climate change, public safety and economic regeneration. Meanwhile councils are under the same financial pressures as the rest of us: they need to deliver more for less.
Smart City technologies can provide answers, and the fundamentals are there. Unfortunately progress in the UK has been disappointing: trials and proofs of concept have struggled to scale.
We need to radically reduce the cost and complexity of deploying Smart City technologies, and we can. Many of the game changing solutions are software applications: they can use generic hardware, but they need high bandwidth connectivity to deliver in real time. Until they get it: they will continue to deploy proprietary hardware to process data at the edge: which is a high cost, short term workaround that doesn’t scale and isn’t future-proof.
Ontix is delivering the right kind of infrastructure today: and we are keen to work with you, whether you are in the public or private sector: we can deliver the smart foundations that your Smart City needs.
A Smart City is a city which uses digital technologies to (i) manage the city’s assets and resources more efficiently (ii) provide public services more efficiently and / or more effectively (iii) make the city more sustainable and more resilient (iv) promote the city as an attractive destination: for business, investment and tourism (v) improve the lives of the residents.
There are different definitions out there, but the best definitions emphasise both the technology and the outcomes.
There are a wide range of applications / solutions, but they all generally use devices (like sensors and cameras) and software (whether it is deployed in the device, at the edge or in the cloud) to gather and process data. Many of them are focussed on key verticals:
- Transport: solutions gather data on road usage, flag parking and traffic offences, manage congestion zones and other policies to limit emissions, manage use of bus / cycling / scooter lanes
- Waste: solutions flag when bins need emptying, and where there may be fly tipping
- Energy: solutions enable the city to consume power more intelligently and responsibly
- Water: solutions flag when drains may be at risk of flooding, and why; and anticipate problems / breakages
- Lighting: solutions manage the level of street lighting required at any particular time of day, depending on the level of vehicle / pedestrian traffic
- Air Quality: solutions report local results, and apps alert / direct users to clean air routes
- Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour: solutions detect threats and alert the relevant authorities to act
- Adult Social Care: solutions monitor the elderly at home, alerting the relevant authorities if they have a fall or their behaviour indicates that they may be at risk.
Many cities can rightly claim credit for important initiatives, but Seoul and Singapore are often regarded as the leaders because they have deployed Smart City at a greater scale than their counterparts. However their leads may be difficult for UK cities to follow: they are structured and governed in very different ways. Cities like Copenhagen and Helsinki may provide more practical models.
Data privacy: Smart Cities are there to serve us but they need to gather and process data, including data about us, to do so. As citizens we will need to know that our data will not be safe and secure and not misused.