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The significant increase in the world cities’ population in the urban areas will soon pose a great challenge, as the same resources need to be managed to meet the rising demand of more and more inhabitants. Combining cities’ physical infrastructure with advanced technology solutions could help in addressing the problem intelligently.
According to the United Nations Population Fund, by 2030, roughly 66%, or 5 billion people will live in urban areas.
It’s because mobile is a ubiquitous device that’s found in every home, even one could say in every pocket. The worldwide availability and astronomical usage of the mobile is the main driving force that’s shaping the vision of the development of smart cities into reality. The new opportunities will be tapped which promises to not solely accommodate the primary needs of the rapid urbanization while guaranteeing the innovation that improves the quality of life and everything with which citizens deal.
The engineers put a great reliance on the underlying information and communication technology to connect the people, processes, and industries to meet the diverse needs of the people from the moment they wake up to the moment they go sleep. Consider the case of daily routine:
Before the people step out of the house, they will get the news of city’s environment and climate conditions ahead of the time; while driving they can check if there are any traffic jams on the next signal or know the shortest route to the destination; even, they can pay highway toll tax on mobile; after reaching the office, they can order the food for delivery at the fingertips or book movie show ticket for the coming weekends; before a couple of minutes of leaving the office, the taxi cab can be booked to reach the home on time.
In the event of moving to a new city, people can book the train tickets and hotels in advance, and get to know about every attraction of the tourist place while on the move.
The businesses are also not left behind. The brick-and-mortar stores are brilliantly taking the advantage of the location-based mobile technology wherein the relevant push notifications are sent to the customers passing by the store or enter in the defined proximity. This way mobile app has a positive influence on both the businesses and the citizens of the smart city.
With the increasing footprint of the wireless network, high-speed internet connectivity, digital devices embedded with sensors, and communication infrastructure, every object in the city can be connected and made to communicate with people and digital devices. Yes, the communication over the network can be private or public based on the data they are transferring.
For instance, the sensors attached in the roadways, power grids, buildings, or physical infrastructure measure, monitor and notify about the quality of roads, building strength, stress in the structures or the energy usage on the mobile device over the wireless network. Moreover, the citizens can monitor real-time traffic conditions, measure the air quality or level of noise pollution just at the tip of fingers. The IoT revolution provides valuable information that helps in improving the services of the smart city.
By harnessing the power of IoT technology, the intelligent sensing and actuation improves the control over the surrounding and enable proactive actions that minimize the consequences of future mishappening. In the complete process, enormous data is generated, which can cause disruptions in the market if exploited.
But, storing, managing and analyzing the sheer volume of heterogeneous data by the mobile applications is a daunting task. This is where cloud computing and big data services are the panaceas.
Yes, the cloud computing services has a great significance on the smart city development when it comes to handling the high data volume, and that’s where intelligent transportation system (ITS) is a leading use case. Taiwan has realized the potential of cloud computing for handling ITS due to performance reasons and in building management system for the efficient energy utilization.
To better organize and get the value out of the data, big data analytics technology continues to hold its stack in the development of the smart city as well. The technology offers rich insights and economic value that city stakeholders use to enhance the subsystems efficiency and innovate the services, which in turn improve the citizen lives.
For instance, Boston, in the USA, leveraging the big data analytics to track the city performance against an array of indicators that even includes identification of potholes in city streets. In New York, the forecast system is built that analyzes the buildings with high fire risks of six different cities.
This way, the amalgamation of technologies with mobile has turned the city infrastructure liabilities into the value-driven assets in the smart city complemented with improved citizen engagement.
Mobile technology is a cardinal aspect of the smart city development that creates value for the entire ecosystem which includes- improving quality of life, financial goals, health, education, governance and much more. The amalgamation of cloud computing with the internet of things, and big data analytics technologies are icing on the cake, which plays a critical role in the rollout of the smart cities and enriching the lives of the citizen.
But, beware the smart city vision that’s in the flux, is quite more than a trend where striking a fine balance of security, environmental sustainability, privacy, and social cohesion is all-imperative to shape the future of smart cities. So, weigh every aspect against humankind, then kick off their deployment.
On a concluding note, mobile serves as a base for the smart city landscape and other technologies to create the plethora of the use cases that need to be explored and engineered intelligently to bring digitization in the air.