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Tech

Building a smart city is possible by adding connectivity and enhancing it as a modern layer upon the emerging layer that is already in place. But it is also possible to strategize, build and repair having the smart concept in mind right from the start.

The first version mostly characterizes the visionaries, which could barely wait for modern tech to come around. It also reflects a reality where synchronizing public authorities with the private sector is difficult. Concepts, meetings, funding, establishing an agenda, explaining the projects and implementing them usually take a few years at least.

Apparently the second way allows for late entries into the smart city team to catch up, perhaps even in a more decisive way.

Once the technology is here and the purpose and the numbers align – every city-related action can embed smart devices, sensors, and systems. Later on, connecting activating them may be just a matter of software.

But do the right premises exist for this step-based strategy, where smart comes first? Or do we have to learn to set such premises as a premiere? Thinking smart first can save time and money. Besides, there are so many urban centers that fit the profile, as they have not yet made any steps towards the smart concept.

We found a few highlights on this topic in a ReadWrite post – see below.

 

A human centric approachfor the smart city

 

All those who think ahead in industry (and society in general) keep reinforcing this mantra. Advanced technology is here to better the lives of humans. It’s not about profitability only, nor should it be about hidden faults and traps that would trigger further maintenance cycles. It shouldn’t be about “deploying technologies to improve “tech” or devices per se”, either.

Connecting devices and spaces that weren’t in the digital loop so far is just one step. Done right – and with the right ethics – it should clear the way towards other advancements in society and technology. The whole idea is to make our lives better. Perhaps we could use what we’ve learned from our past and make technology materialize what we know better now.

So, smart city concepts should be all about planners serving people via technology. No nonsense, no lack of logic, no product placement or push architecture that counteracts the organic needs of a city’s inhabitants.

 

A governance model that listens to the local businesses

Since organizations (companies) that activate in the cities are in fact conglomerates of people having a shared purpose, their needs come next in line. Plus, due to the current infusion of digital technology in all things business, companies do use connectivity in an intensive way.

A network that enables data streaming to and from businesses is part of a smart city. Real-time data goes in (respecting GDPR, of course), smart decisions move forward the internal activities, and a better output makes customers happier. Connectivity also powers partnerships, R&D, educating the smart(er) humans of tomorrow and so on. Coming to work knowing that utilities, food, healthcare and entertainment are more accessible may generate better ideas, stamina and creativity.

 

Examples of smart city focal points

Just by running the scenario of a usual day in our head we can find quite a few examples. Smart trash collection could see that proper sized cars come on the streets whenever the bins need collecting. Smart public illumination could mean the lights are on when it’s dark and off in line with the sunset. How about smart traffic – for real?  Food delivery at lunch that keeps its promise of freshness. Maybe even allows and guarantees you the trajectory of the ingredients – from the farm to your plate. Better recycling of the food packages… A smart ambient system indoors. Smart parks and green areas, watered and tended as needed. A sensor network powered parking system. A better system of informing people about the shows, exhibitions and events taking place in the city.

Los Angeles loses an insane $19.2 billion per year to time wasted from traffic congestion on its roadways, while New York City loses $33.7 billion annually — or $2,982 per driver

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By simply programming a smart thermostat, homeowners can save an average of $180 a year

For such things to become the usual, visionaries need to step forward. Planners and public authorities need to shift their mindset. Not the least, cities need smart software engineers, developer, coders, QA testers, digital problem solvers.

Does your company have a smart city concept that needs developing? Do you need a reliable software solutions partnership? Contact us and let’s start shaping the future together.

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Tech

We dived into i-scoop’s guide to Industry 4.0, a massive and comprehensive material which prompted out the following highlights.

What is Industry 4.0?

Although you may find the definition everywhere on the net, the guide signals that some misunderstandings in relation to this concept are still common.

The term is often shortened to I4.0 or simply I4, and it originates “from a project in the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing” (Wikipedia).

However, currently the concept (revived in 2011 at the Hannover Fair), went beyond the manufacturing field. We are now taking about “various forms of manufacturing, the end-to-end digital supply chain and the final destination of all manufacturing, regardless of the number of intermediary steps and players”.

Industry 4.0 to its full extent is a continuously updated concept. Its core consists of transferring industrial “autonomy and autonomous decisions to cyber-physical systems and machines, leveraging information systems”. It involves embedding digital technology into the industrial assets involved in any part of the merchandise cycle. From raw materials to the end customer, services included, Industry 4.0 counts on “a connected environment of data, people, processes, services, systems and IoT-enabled industrial assets”.

Such a connected medium means dynamism, real time, increased responsiveness and an instant propagation of demand across all levels. No more overproduction, no more lack of supply, and the real time demand should get an immediate response in the global system. This sistem also solves other requirements and/or incidents with maximum efficiency.

With Industry 4.0, production would align itself with demand, distribution/sales and customer feedback, in a seamless system. Machines would “dialogue” trough data streams, while humans would intervene to OK decisions pointed out by the most accurate insights. And the universal language is data, while the communication means is digital.

 

Industry 4.0 Keywords

When speaking of Industry 4.0, a few essential keywords are:

Integration/Convergence

Real-time

Connectivity

IoT (Internet of Things)

Embedded

Sensors

Analytics

Big Data

Networks

Digital Infrastructure

HMI (Human Machine Interface)

Autonomous

Smart systems

Cyber Security

 

Step by step, towards a major structural change that will reshape society

Due to the major societal implications and to the novelty of the hyper connected, responsive production system, the specialists expect that full implementation of Industry 4.0 would reshape society.

There is quite a lot to be done until having a fully functional globally connected environment. Integrating divergent needs, geographical and economic considerations, accomplishing the infrastructure that would support such a construction – here are just a few examples of what needs to be done.

You can further explore i-scoop’s guide to see what vertical and horizontal integration mean. Also, check out various definitions of the concept. You may see what international consulting bodies put their minds together to establish the best solutions in this directions, relevant findings in this field and many other interesting details.

Just save some (considerable) time, and start reading!

And remember the key role played by software solution companies (just like we are), in helping companies join this movement, which incidentally is… our common future.

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