The Internet of Things; from hype to reality

The world is changing around us!

The internet of things or IOT is one of the topics that have drawn significant attention in many technology conversations. With many countries realising it’s potential, it’s deployment rate has been noted to rise exponentially. In reality, this is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. According to Gartner Inc, a well-known corporation for technological research, there will be more than 26 billion gadgets wirelessly connected on the Internet of Things by the time we reach 2020. The potential of these gadgets in altering economic activity has seen many governments seizing the opportunity while the iron is hot. Many government agencies have now begun applying the IOT to improve their business environment and reduce business burdens while simultaneously encouraging conformity. We set out to look for real evidence of this in some of the major towns in the world and what we found out was inspiring. Below are some of the top cities that have already put data into real use and are already making a major impact on their collective future.

Songdo, South Korea
This new city in South Korea has marveled many with it’s modern architectural design and landmarks. One of the things that make it smart is it’s innovative garbage tactics. Here, you will never spot a trash truck. All wastes from households are sucked directly from the apartment kitchens through an underground network of tunnels that transport the waste to processing centres. Other highlights in the city include sensors for monitoring temperature, energy use, and traffic flow, and charging stations for electric cars.
New York City
Although the city has been quite slow in employing the IOT, it has still made some notable smart advances. All street lights in the New York City have been replaced with LED lights. The city also boast of the largest Wi-Fi network in the whole U.S. To achieve the status of the largest city Wi-Fi coverage, the city has had to transformed even the old phone booths into useful Wi-Fi hotspots.
PlanIT Valley, Portugal
While its designed to be a testing ground for new technological innovations, this small valley has already made it into the history books. This smart city features more than 100 million real-time sensors that are designed to send real time data to PlanIT-Urban Operating System, an out of the world platform designed to keep the whole place as efficient as it can be. The sensors also provide new digital services for the residents including air conditioners that shut off automatically when you leave a room, automatic apartment alert emergency systems, and cars that gravitate towards vacant parking spots.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Being a very crowded city in Brazil, the government has embarked on getting the residents to help in reducing common problems like traffic and crime. This is what fired up the development of a data crowd sourcing project in the city. The project encourages teenagers to attach a digital camera through a glass bottle to their kites which are common toys for teenagers there. This enables them to take aerial photos of the streets. Residents with smart phones are not left behind as the project encourages them to use them in taking pictures of potential danger points. All these data is then uploaded onto a specific website and then added to an online map. The project has already start sowing seeds by revealing some very interesting facts like the majority of motorbike accidents happen between 5 p.m and 7 p.m. on Fridays.
Austin, Texas
The city of Austin in Texas is one of the first U.S cities to introduce the all new smart meter technology. It is just a matter of time before residents here will be able to get updates and information about their energy usage straight on their Smartphone. To fight traffic which is one of the major problems in the city, the city has embarked on the use of Car-2-Go. There are already several apartment and business complexes offering specific smart car preferred parking to encourage more residents to participate.
These are just only but a few of the most amazing initiatives that are already taking place worldwide. Considering their massive energy and time savings, it is only imaginable how efficient the world will be if such programs are implemented in every city around the world.

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