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SMART Future Cities

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution must empower people to succeed.

We are BRILLIANT at making you SMART!

Smart technology is already here, we use it every day on our phones and tablets however, now it’s creeping into our daily lives in a bigger way than ever before. The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained a following and now our homes, schools, workplaces and leisure spaces are all gearing up to be inter-connected in an attempt to make our lives more interactive and personalised to our day to day requirements. Love it or hate it the world of technology is changing and smart devices will be used in pretty much everything we encounter.

Here at it does Lighting Ltd we are on hand to ensure you understand the technology, how best to use it and more importantly how best to capture the data and its many uses. Making a SMART Future city user friendly and a pleasant experience for all involved is key to its success however, it’s new and developing field so how it’s structured is as important as what goes into it.

Our experience meant that The European Commission in Brussels engaged our services as a SMART Expert which as part of the Enigma Project guided 5 European cities through their journey to become SMART. Each had different challenges and outcomes to integrate into one system and their challenge was to develop a system which was beyond-state-of-the-art. As an Expert it was my job to ensure they were being truly innovative to guide them through the process to a successful outcome.

For your own project don’t forget your neighbours who are crucial too, as they will need to work with you, so that all of your SMART services don’t break down at the boundaries to your town or city.   Some of the important things to ask when thinking of becoming a SMART Future city are as follows however, as it grows in popularity this list will change to suit the larger uptake and greater user bank.

As yet no one has really defined the true meaning of what SMART means to a town or city. This is because it has so many human factors to include and consider which makes the scope very broad and somewhat indefinable.

So your teams first job when embarking on a SMART project is to clearly outline what you actually want the inter-connectivity to look like and achieve. Keep in mind your target market for the functionality and think more about enabling people to be SMART rather than the services. How will your residents or visitors work with the technology, who will benefit and in what way?

We are specialist in this area and can support you through the process or lead your team if required. Get in touch and let us help you become SMART.

Big data and the use of it has become a very hot topic as the ownership of personal data brings up lots of red flags for many organisations and individuals. How will you overcome this issue? Who will be responsible for collecting data and who might you want to share it with? Will your residents or visitors be able to access it or, will it be held securely with no one using this valuable asset?

The infrastructure to support the collection of data can be very complex from a legal and ethical standpoint. It’s essential to involve your IT people at an early stage and tie in with existing data collection tools to ensure a seamless interface.

This is very hard to define because in theory anything in the public realm can be incorporated into the SMART Future city. Bins, traffic management, parking, lighting, crowd control, retail, schools/universities, social services, tourism, landmarks, foot traffic, homeless population, crime, weather, bus routes, business to name but a few.

Even small amounts of inter-activity can be beneficial to your town or city however, remember it’s about quality and not quantity. Ensure you speak with all departments within your region and see what ideas can be brought to life with SMART Future city technology.

Your new SMART technology needs to be future proof and grow and develop over time. How will you enable an infrastructure that works right now but also fits with future requirements? What changes in public behaviour do you expect as a result of SMART implementation and how will you manage the resource to adapt as it evolves?

At it does Lighting Ltd we can help you through this process. We will make sure you use the right technology to support your SMART infrastructure from the beginning into the future. Talk to us NOW to see how we can help.

Who do you want to benefit from the SMART technology implementation and how will you monitor progress and success? Are your residents and visitors your target market or do you want a system that generates revenue or simply makes your services more efficient and reliable?

How will you know when you achieve success? What are the key immediate outcomes and how might you go about delivering them?

Need help? Give us a call and we can help you be smart about SMART.

No one system can function alone so you will need specialist partners, manufacturers and technology providers to help you develop and maintain your new system. Technology should enable, not drive the process and be appropriate for your particular city.

We can help you by guiding you through the process, forming links with the partners that are leading in this field and becoming the interface between you and the SMART system you want and need.

Some of the greatest cities in the world have begun their journey to being SMART. Collaborative learning will bring you closer to your goal more quickly and more effectively. Learn from others mistakes and share your experiences so that delivering SMART technology can be better for all.

Some of those already experiencing the benefit of this technology are Bristol; Glasgow; Peterborough and Milton Keynes but this only highlights a few. Your city is like no other so speak to those who are already seeing the benefits but make your own path for effective and efficient use of this innovative technology.

Don’t be afraid to break the rules (all innovation starts this way) and to lead the way with your cities technology integration. After all, with anything new and developing, not everything will work as you designed it. However, it is likely to still bring the benefits you foresaw or perhaps something altogether better.

You may be a small town or a sprawling city but with SMART technology you can see benefit from implementation immediately from the most minor of changes. So once you have researched, designed, implemented and started to generate information how will you see a value? Who might measure that value or find ways to bring additional gains from it?

From the outset engagement with the community and encouragement of their participation should be a prerequisite and with them involved you can see many new ways to use your system to positively affect everyone. The SMART technology should be seen as having a contribution to society that brings measureable benefits so that communities can easily visualise what it means to them.

It should empower them, not monitor and needs to be people centred for it to truly be effective. The data collected has many values, how can you get something meaningful from yours?

SMART Future cities are nothing without their communities backing and support. Your community truly is your SMART citizens and continuous engagement and consultation is the key to success. Work backwards from their needs to develop how your system will perform making sure you really do have the communities’ best interests at heart.

Change is hard for most people therefore slow step changes to behaviour can ease the transition and create less resistance. Be transparent about the costs and benefits and encourage a circular economy ideal.

Maintain social ties and nurture local skills and business. Explanations to how the changes will enhance business opportunities, perhaps create new jobs and allow communities to flourish should be encouraged as concerns may be high. Remember, it’s not just new initiatives which work try redesign, repair, share, recycle and recover before you replace.

Finally, ensure that the drive toward a SMART Future is done for the right reasons and makes sense for you.

If you are looking to be SMART about the future of your city you need to speak to it does Lighting Ltd today; we are experts in this field. We excel at delivering projects as the forefront of technology and innovation, your project will be in safe hands from start to finish. Let us take the risk out of building your digital Internet of Things (IoT) and creating a platform that really works for your citizens and services.

There are several BSi PAS documents referring to SMART Future cities and how best to implement them.
Please click here to see the link to PAS181 which will get you started.

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