Source: Huffington Post
by: Zia Yusuf. President and CEO, Streetline, Inc.
Cities are epicenters of creativity, innovation, adventures, energy, and life. They’re moving, breathing, and living. Cities have a heart, personality, and looks. But a city lacks one thing: a voice.
Every inch of a city has a story to tell. It hosts a park, a sidewalk, a café, a dark alley, a parking meter. It hosts a baby to be born, a streetlight to burn out, a traffic jam, a farmer’s market, a crime about to happen.
The city has been speechless since it’s existence, begging for others to speak on its behalf. Sometimes it’s misinterpreted. Sometimes it takes days or weeks to be heard. And sometimes, it never is.
Thanks to the Internet of Things–which refers to technology that connect and shares data from actual physical “things,” such as buses, light bulbs, a refrigerator, or a parking space–this is quickly changing. Most of it lies within sensors or other “sensing” devices, such as cameras, which collect data. The Internet then passes on the data, and web and mobile applications to then turn the data into easy-to-understand and actionable information.
The Internet of Things creates a connected city that can talk. The connected city is proactive and efficient, able to take immediate action automatically or by alerting city officials and/or residents and visitors. It’s intelligent, has common sense, learns from previous experiences, modifies and creates infrastructure and policy, and makes decisions via advanced analytics that monitor elements 24×7x365. It innovates, tries new things, and measures results to see if goals are met.