According to the UN, the world’s population is likely to double by 2050 and 70% of this population is expected to be urban. This rapid growth in urban population is already putting a strain on the existing infrastructure, and if the population grows as expected by 2050, things could really get out of hand unless something is done to accommodate this new demand on cities. The good news is that something is already being done to counter the threat of the growing population and ‘excess’ demand created by it.
Today, municipalities all over the world are turning to the internet of things (IoT) to improve their services, better communication and interaction, and minimize costs. The rapid growth in the urban populace presents cities with both opportunities and challenges.
IoT has a real potential to help cities mitigate traffic congestion, avoid sanitation problems, thwart urban crime, prevent environmental deterioration, and minimize strain on existing infrastructure, propelling municipalities across the globe towards IoT. With IoT, municipalities not only stand a chance to tame the challenges of urbanization, but they also have an opportunity to create new experiences for residents and make city- life more comfortable and secure.
Understanding the Smart City Concept & How IoT is Helping to Unlock It
What is a smart city? it is an umbrella term used to describe a city that uses data and technology to improve things for its residents and businesses. So, what are the technologies enabling a smart city? It really boils down to one: the internet of things (IoT). IoT is the key to unlocking the potential of the smart city whether it is minimizing traffic congestion, improving pollution levels, or driving the success of smart city initiatives.
A network of physical connected devices, IoT enables the ‘things’ to connect and exchange data. What does this create? It creates never-before-seen opportunities to merge the physical and the digital to increase efficiency, improve livelihoods, and drive economic benefits.https://www.techrepublic.com/article/smart-cities-expected-to-invest-80b-in-technologies-in-2018/?ftag=TRE684d531&bhid=27062633158183487856283775351707
If they commit to unlocking the potential of IoT for their cities, municipalities across the globe will pave the way for a future of smart cities where everything from parking, seating, lighting to citizen engagement, waste management, and safety and security is ‘smart’ and efficient. Perhaps, this is the reason cities are expected to invest $80 billion in smart technologies this year, a number which may increase to $135 billion by 2021.
IoT Uses Cases for Smart Cities
One can never really understand the concept of smart cities and the role IoT plays in it without knowing the IoT enabled smart-city use cases. For this reason, we briefly discuss the popular IoT enabled smart-city use cases already implemented in smart cities across the globe:
One of the aims of a smart city is allow residents to get from one part of the city to another as safely and efficiently as possible. Municipalities are turning to IoT enabled smart traffic solutions to achieve this. These solutions determine the number, location, and speed of vehicles by using different types of sensors and by fetching GPS data from the smart phones of the drivers.
IoT enabled smart cities give residents more control over their home utilities, allowing them to save money. Following is how IoT enabled smart cities help residents to keep their utilities in check:
- Smart meters and billing
- Revealing consumer patterns
- Remote monitoring
IoT-enabled smart city solutions monitor waste levels and provide route optimization and operational analytics to help optimize waste management.
IoT-based smart city solutions enhance public safety by providing real-time monitoring, analytics, and decision-making tools.
It uses sensors embedded in the ground on parking sports or the GPS data from the smartphones of the drivers to determine the availability or unavailability of parking spots and create a real-time parking map.
Smart Solar Benches
Designed for public places, smart solar benches are equipped with solar panels that offer power for smart phones. The benches transmit power via USB or hotspots and they meet the consumer demand for low-voltage charging and Wi-Fi through a practical and cutting-edge design.
The above IoT-enabledsmart-city use cases give a glimpse of how IoT is helping enable the concept of smart cities. While IoT alone has the potential to enable smart cities, combining it with blockchain can take the concept of smart city platforms to a whole new level. This is what Athero looks to do.
How Athero’s Smart City Concept Solutions are Helping Improve Urban Environments
At Athero, we leverage the blockchain technology to bring new potential to the internet of things, which is the key to enabling the concept of smart cities. So, what are the smart city concept solutions offered by Athero? They are:
- Data Sharing (IoT)—Making all data available to and at the disposal of users via THO Chain and blockchain technology
- IoT Enabled Wi-Fi-ready Solar Smart Bench Network
- IoT Enabled Smart Car Parking Technology
Athero manufactures and sells solar powered air and pollution sensors, wi-fi ready smart benches, and car parking systems. The wi-fi ready smart benches are solar powered and they transmit power via hotspots. Every bench is connected, and all benches create a network.Eco-friendly and decentralized, the smart benches network, which spans the globe, works free for Athero holders.
Athero’s blockchain network
The Athero benches contain air sensors which monitor surrounding environment and all data collected is analyzed and shared via Athero’s blockchain network.The smart bench network is filled with information such as level of air pollution, actual weather etc. and Athero makes sure that this data can be shared.
Energy-independent benches, these wi-fi ready benches create wi-fi hotspot around their area. First 20 minutes per person/day are free and wi-fi use that exceeds that is to be paid via SMS or card. Holders of THO have free internet. However, only who have some positive balance such as 3000 THO or USD 10 in value of Athero can surf for free.
Athero has already manufactured and sold several solar powered wi-fi ready benches. This includes selling around 30x pieces to private companies. Additionally, the company is in talk with several cities, especially in Central and Western Europe and it has received its first pre-order of 15x benches to install the benches in areas in Bavaria, Germany.
New urban furniture, Athero’s solar powered wi-fi ready benches will help cities, universities, retail or business centers to create better, safer, and more user-friendly environments.
In addition to the smart benches, Athero is keen to offer smart parking solutions. The company has already made great strides in this regard and it close to launching its first prototype of fully automated smart parking system. The system is an independent sensor network that can detect via magnetic fields where there is parking spot available or occupied. Just like the smart benches, the smart parking system will be solar powered and automated. ETA for first prototype is 2 months.
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