Singapore has already advanced to the concept of Smart Cities 2.0 while other countries around the world are just starting to get a grip over its first stage. One critical aspect of the smart city vision is the Internet of Things. It is a new development that seeks a future where digital devices, equipped with micro-controllers, digital communication transceivers and protocol stacks are able to communicate with similarly-equipped devices and users, the entire system being connected to the internet. IoT will make the internet even more pervasive and engaging.
How can IoT help cities?
An IoT-enabled smart city will seamlessly and transparently cover a large number of digital services. However, developing such a system is not easy. Building IoT architecture is a complex task, mainly because of the large number of devices, technologies and services connected to the system. Urban IOT systems should be designed in such a way that they support the Smart City vision that seeks to use the latest communication technologies, to provide value-added services to the city administration and its citizens.
An IoT-enabled smart city will enable easy interaction with home appliances, monitoring sensors, surveillance cameras, displays, actuators, vehicles and others. It will demand a variety of applications that can analyse the vast amount of data generated by these devices, to deliver services to companies, citizens and the government. It is applicable to different domains such as industrial automation, home automation, mobile healthcare, medical aids, elderly assistance, smart grids, traffic management, energy management, automotive and more. However, city managers and CIOs have to be careful with it. Here is why.
Problems that smart cities can face while adopting IoT
There are a variety of applications in the market so it is quite a challenge to identify the ones that will deliver the needed services. As a result, we are witnessing a proliferation of different and at times, incompatible proposals. So if you look at it from a system perspective, urban IoT systems are lacking best practices. It is further compounded by a lack of a clear business model, which brings investments to encourage the deployment of such technologies.
There is no doubt that adoption of urban IoT has many benefits. For instance, it can promote transparency as well as local government action for citizens, stimulate citizen participation in public administration and lead to the creation of new services, based on IoT.
Singapore has realised the benefits to be gained from IoT. It is clear from the fact that the city-state is adopting the 'Smart Cities 2.0' model, which is expected to lead to further integration of the concept with the city's strategic goals and objectives.