Let me walk you to your home in a wi-fi-enabled city. You have a smart card which can identify you, giving you free access to your smart home. This home is equipped with advanced security systems and sensors, which can also manage your mobility needs with an intelligent transport system.
This is how all of will function if smart city projects get executed in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently announced his plans to develop 100 smart cities in India. The hottest topic for emerging research and business themes of the 21st century, smart cities can positively impact a billions lives.
Services in a smart city are essentially IoT-driven. They generate big amounts of real-time data, aiming at improving the quality of your life through measures that, at the same time, promote eco-friendly, sustainable environments.
Prabhu Ramachandran, director, WebNMS, a company that provides IoT solutions and has been a consultant in smart city projects, sheds some more light on what all a smart city can do, if it actually comes into being.
Smart electricity grids can regulate and optimize energy-use based on supply and demand. “Smart grids can manage power shedding which is based on time and load factor. For example, use of washing machines can be planned during non-peak hours so that the load is balanced,” says Ramachandran.
In a smart city, the areas to get transformed first will be transportation, sanitation, and water—things that affect everyday lives. “If we take the issue of water, the focus is on avoiding wastage by providing meters. You can have water-level sensors in every house to track how many liters of water is being used,” he adds.
If implemented effectively, the project can solve a number of problems including transportation. Buses will soon be tracked, and passengers can get all the information they need virtually on their fingertips. According to Ramachandran, both passengers and service operators will be able to track buses—their route, timings, and other details on their computers or mobile handsets.
Ramachandran says, “Mobility-based applications will play key role in smart cities. In an M2M mobility platform, smartphones come in handy. A dozen inbuilt sensors can sense acceleration, certain fall in magnetic fields, location, and barometers, and upload these to a monitoring software.” This will enable smartphones to trigger IoT adoption because its sensors will act as an internet connectivity hub.
With the help of IoT, one can use the data trove available today efficiently. Shopping will be a delightful experience in smart cities, with small chips embedded on shelves, and your phone telling you the comparative alternatives available. “Smartphones will be able to talk to many devices,” concludes Ramachandran.
Life in a smart city would sure be easy!