IBM and AT&T are combining forces to bring a connected network to cities in order to integrate the Internet of Things within municipalities.
This alliance has initiated with the task of with integrating digital solutions for infrastructure of cities to “improve urban planning” and reduce costs to residents.
The AT&T facility at the M2M Foundry in Texas and IBM Global Solution Centers (GSC) around the world will join forces to showcase new inventive smart technologies to enhance customer experience, improve safety measures and enhance protocol in currently used facilities.
Retail corporations see this venture as way to implement “intelligent retail cabinets, enable targeted digital advertising and reduce energy cost and consumption.”
The plan involves technology being shared across the two corporations in order to assist cities and utilities corporations in processing large amounts of data siphoned from databases and sensors that control the inner workings of our national infrastructure.
Key directives of this alliance include:
• Better allocate and distribute resources based on information reported from incidents and service disruptions.
• Analyze the movement of people to improve traffic management, parking capacity, location and number of first unit responders.
• City officials can better prepare and react to potential bottlenecks and other issues in case of an emergency.
• Identify inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed; better allocate public safety resources in places where majority of people congregate.
• Monitor social media updates from citizens reporting bad weather or major traffic so the city can take best course of action.
Rick Qualman, vice president of strategy and business development at IBM explained: “Smarter cities, cars, homes, machines and consumer devices will drive the growth of the Internet of Things along with the infrastructure that goes with them, unleashing a wave of new possibilities for gathering data, predictive, analytics and automation. The new collaboration with AT&T will offer insights from crowdsourcing, mobile applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud, enabling all organizations to better listen, respond and predict.”
Chris Hill, vice president at AT&T said: “This collaboration of two world-class companies will help deliver a more connected planet. We share a vision that the ‘Internet of Things’ will help companies in a variety of industries rely on their remote assets and connected devices to take their business to the next level.”
The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) are behind the current push for making our American cities “smarter”.
Under the SmartAmerica Challenge (SAC) “organizations with cyber-physical systems (CPS) technology, programs, and test beds [will] demonstrate the potential to improve safety, sustainability, efficiency, mobility, and overall quality of life” by integrating smart technology.
AT&T and IBM are part of the SAC initiative.
According to experts at IDC Government Insights “smart cities are at an inflection point and will need to focus on mission-driven technology solutions.”
The IDC say that in 2014 “15% of smart cities will move up the implementation framework to the opportunistic stage, exhibiting characteristics such as stakeholder buy-in for projects and a move toward more consequential projects overall.”
Predictions from IDC for smart cities in 2014 are:
• 15% of cities in the world will be in the Opportunistic Stage of Smart City maturity.
• Shadow IT will be a major source of departmental level innovation but will threaten Smart City roadmaps.
• The key enabler of omni-channel citizen experience will be mobile.
• The business case for NextGen311 investment will be based on operational performance transformation value and not just customer service.
• Open data sets and open APIs will start to affect policy decision-making.
• Leading edge cities experiment with gamification as first step to nudge citizen behavior change.
• Worldwide Smart City spending on the Internet of Things will be $265 billion in 2014.
• In 2014, Smart Cities will redirect 15-20% of traditional IT spending to the cloud. 45% of all big data use cases will be in financial performance, public safety, and transportation.
• Competition heats up and there is significant M&A and partnership activity as vendors better define their offerings.
IBM envisions a tri-fold mission based on “planning and management, humans and infrastructure.”
This includes services such as:
• Smart building and urban planning
• Environmental concerns
• Efficient use of energy and water
• Smart transportation
• Integrated education, healthcare and social programs
• Smart monitoring of public safety
Other predictions for smart cities revolve around the use of technology to influence the daily life of residents.
Investments in municipal smart technology include fiber optic networks that will be facilitated by 3rd party providers to deliver the needed broadband to residents.
Allan McHale, director of Memoori , explains that 2014 is the year innovators expect governments will invest financially to build smart buildings to reduce energy and place stringent controls of specified areas.
McHale said : “Further support is coming from Smart Cities. As cities across the world face aging infrastructures and dwindling financial resources, city governments will increasingly undertake initiatives to manage these challenges such as Smart Grid technologies for grid modernization; outage management; and integration of a variety of power generation sources, including on-premises generation, and consumer energy management solutions.”