From people thinking and coming up with breakthrough ideas and innovations to machines thinking and making informed decisions, we have indeed come a long way. Data is the new language today and any decision or transaction is based on data that we generate. With the number of connected devices to surge more by 2020, we can only wonder in awe of how the world would look and function a few years from now. Today, most of us have access to a smartphone and high-speed internet, making us already smarter than how we were. With the onset of IoT or the Internet of Things, we are about to witness our surroundings become smart as well.

Yes, sensors, data, artificially intelligent systems and Machine Learning are all taking over the world gradually and filling up our streets to offer us a more convenient lifestyle. Today, if we are able to get to a destination without having to fear of getting lost or stuck in traffic, the credit definitely goes to technology. With real-time traffic updates and instant maps services to get you out of a place, you didn’t know, internet and technology are already making our lives better. With the IoT, this is just going to get better as their applications are being focused on solving infrastructure problems.

Traffic

One of the major consequences or results of urbanization is increased traffic. If you need to get to work on time, you need to start at least 2 hours before your in-time for a seamless day. And this is regardless of which mode of transport you use for your commute. With the IoT, traffic management is sure to get an overhaul. Instead of policemen or timed signals taking charge of the roads, cameras, sensors, Big Data and Machine Learning can pull off the task of managing traffic quite seamlessly. The application of IoT on traffic can pave way for a smoother flow of vehicles, avoid congestions and pile-ups in arterial highways and ring roads, divert traffic in case of a closed road or work in progress and do more. When people could make informed decisions on the go on which route to take or which mode of transportation to take, life on the roads would be a lot easier.

Smart Streets

In the urban and semi-urban spaces, one of the other major concerns is street lighting. Either the street lights do not get switched on in the evenings or do not get turned off in the mornings. What appears insignificant on a daily basis actually consumes tons of electricity in the longer run. To eliminate both the consequences, street lights can replace with smart street lights that do not expect the human intervention to illuminate the streets and roads. With the sensors, natural lighting can be automatically detected and illumination can be controlled from remote or automatically with backend systems. These don’t just conserve electricity but allow for safer streets as well.

Energy Management


Smart homes are already in the market and a lot of people have turned their homes into smart homes with sensors and devices. One of the major advantages of smart homes is that they help a lot in managing energy consumption. Smart lights and illumination systems can detect the presence of people in a room and turn off lights in their absence automatically. The devices can also be linked with water systems, allowing users to get real-time information on everyday water usage. There are devices that give you an average of water consumption in your settlement to give you an idea of your individual water consumption metrics and encourage you to consume water more judicially. The information provided by such devices are real-time. 

Apart from these, IoT is also being applied and tested in sectors like hospitals, power grids, agriculture and more to bring out more resourceful usage. Smart cities aren’t those that simply offer unlimited internet connectivity to people but empower them with the information to make better and informed decisions about their surroundings, neighbourhood and ultimately the environment. For more insights, we recommend watching this interesting video.

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