Whether you are a tech enthusiast or a casual tech fan, one thing is certain: you have heard about the Internet of things on at least one occasion. If anything, it would be more surprising if you have not considered that the Internet of things is now making waves.
In simple terms, the idea behind the Internet of things is connecting any device that can be turned on and off to the Internet or a certain network. This means that related gadgets, devices, and appliances can be connected and programmed in such a way that will improve efficiency. For the individual, this could mean a better-kept household, a more efficient way of doing chores, and better communication among members of the same household. For cities, the Internet of things spells accessibility and efficiency, giving way to the rise of smart cities.
How the Internet of things can Help in Creating Smarter Cities
To put it simply, a smart city is a city wherein information, and communication technologies are incorporated into various aspects of life, particularly public services, to improve the city’s functions and the quality of life of people in it. The ultimate goal in creating smart cities is increasing efficiency and livability to maximize resources and minimize waste and operating costs.
There are various ways in which the Internet of things can be used to create smarter cities. Since the Internet of things can be used in programming and remotely control any device connected to the internet or a network, the possibilities are virtually limitless. The Internet of things can be used to improve various aspects of city life, ranging from enhanced public services to accelerated emergency response.
The internet of things can be used to enhance public services in various ways. For example, it can be used to create parking availability apps which can aid in alleviating traffic problems, especially in busy areas. It can also create push notifications for city-wide announcements, detect water leaks, and even determine health or transport eligibility.
Effective public transport management is also one good application of the internet of things. The usual pitfall of transportation systems is the lack of coordination between different modes of public transportation. The internet of things attempts to solve this problem by providing means by which different modes of public transportation may compensate for delays and shortcomings of one another. This presents commuters with several travel alternatives. In addition, the internet of things can also be used in the predictive maintenance of transport systems, thereby further reducing the likelihood of mishaps and delays.
Finally, the internet of things is also useful in terms of accelerated emergency response. Through real-time data collection, information across various devices can be analyzed instantly, allowing quicker responses to emergencies. This is especially helpful in the case of medical emergencies wherein doctors at the destination hospital could give instructions and receive patient data to allow for quicker treatment upon the patient’s arrival at the destination hospital.
Of course, using the internet of things to create smarter cities also comes with its own disadvantages, albeit the disadvantages are typically related to logistics and resources. To effectively convert a city into a smart city, the internet network throughout the city must be well-established. The city’s infrastructure must also undergo a couple of changes and modifications to accommodate internet connectivity and other network programming functions.
Despite the upfront costs associated with creating smarter cities, the final result is certainly well worth the investment. After all, not only do smart cities provide a safer, more efficient, and more livable community for residents, but they also help in addressing environmental concerns.
Smarter Cities for Healthier Environment
In addition to being highly efficient, smart cities are also environment-friendly. In the same way that sensors can be used in operating streetlights and managing transportation systems, the internet of things can also create more environment-friendly cities. Here are some of how using the internet of things can be smarter for the environment:
It lays the groundwork for fewer emissions.
One of the greatest advantages of employing the internet of things in creating smarter cities is that it greatly improves transportation. With several public modes of transportation available and more efficient ride-sharing options, individuals are less incentivized to drive their own cars, thereby lowering emissions. In addition, a more efficient transport system also lessens the number of vehicles on the streets, making major thoroughfares more bike-friendly.
It is more energy- and resource-efficient.
Employing the internet of things in creating smarter cities means automating routine processes. This significantly lowers processing time and allows for optimizing processes to conserve energy. Connecting related services to one network allows for proper scheduling of maintenance, check-ups, and operation times, thereby allowing operators to determine when certain services or devices can be turned off without affecting the delivery of public services.
In addition, the importance of using sensors in creating smarter cities greatly contributes to maximizing energy use. By using automated doors in major establishments, for example, indoor climate can better be maintained, thereby preventing centralized cooling systems from overworking and consuming too much energy. Using sensors to ensure that resources are only turned on when needed is another advantage of the internet of things. For example, using touchless faucets in public bathrooms will allow the city to save on water consumption. The same also goes for detecting leaks in water pipes that would otherwise go unnoticed. Sensors are also especially useful in the case of streetlights since instead of keeping streetlights on, they can remain off until movement is detected in the immediate vicinity.
It allows for real-time monitoring of living conditions.
Finally, sensors and cameras installed in smart cities allow for regular monitoring of environmental conditions, ranging from pollution levels, air quality, noise levels, temperature, and even traffic. By collecting such data, the city council can easily identify areas that need more attention and enact policies that will help in addressing environmental problems early on. Regular monitoring of living conditions also allows the city council to see how efficient environment-related processes, such as garbage collection and waste disposal.
The internet of things has certainly changed how we do things. On a larger scale, as in the case of cities, using the internet of things to optimize processes can help improve efficiency and take care of the environment. By allowing for regular monitoring of living conditions and real-time data analysis, the internet of things can give the city council the information they need to nip environmental problems in the bud and come up with solutions that can be implemented effectively even with limited resources. Thus, the internet of things is essential in making smart cities more efficient and helping alleviate environmental problems that inevitably arise in metropolitan areas.