After looking at the IoT landscape in our last blog, I thought it would be meaningful to speak with someone with real experience. In this blog we asked an expert in the Community IoT domain about use cases and emerging developments concerning smart cities.
Q1: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the environment you’re working in (A*STAR)?
My name is Mingding Han and I work at the Institute for Infocomm Research, under the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.
I'm a systems engineer in the Sense and Sense-abilities (S&S) R&D programme. Our vision is to develop enabling technologies for Smart Cities, specifically the architecture and systems for sustainable and large-scale sensing, communications and networked systems management.
Q2: What is the Smart Cities idea and what are the benefits of deploying sensors in an environment such as a city?
From our perspective, the essence of Smart Cities is to empower the population with the knowledge and tools to better understand the urban environment we live in, and to make better decisions. It is a realization of:
At the core of this ongoing revolution is the increasing technical feasibility and operational cost-effectiveness of deploying large numbers of sensors in a city, be it to (i) monitor the micro-climate for better quality of living, (ii) improve the safety and security of the population, (iii) realize the vision of future transportation systems, (iv) provide a city-scale store of real-time information to drive new innovation, or all of the above.
Q3: Are there any real-world examples of IoT deployments in major cities in general, and also particularly in your area?
Q4: What challenges do you see, currently, concerning IoT, especially in the context of Smart Cities?
Furthermore, a new challenge arises in the form of data veracity—how accurate or relevant or timely the data is—in addition to the challenges of big data: volume, velocity, and variety. The ability to do timely and contextual sense-making and make good decisions that translate into effective action based on real-time data streams could greatly increase the potential of Smart Cities, in terms of both societal and economic impact.
Stay tuned for my next installment in the IoT blog post series where we take a closer look at a sometimes underestimated IoT device: smart phones.
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