This year’s edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) has come to a close, and we can look back on a fantastic, informative, engaging, and above all, fruitful event. FIWARE Foundation headed to Barcelona in November with 16 exhibitors, the Smart World by FIWARE and a lot of motivation to show the world what we – the FIWARE Community, are doing to help cities throughout their transformation journey, by adopting common standard APIs and information models.
Smart Apartment Firm SmartRent Gains Momentum
“Alexa, my sink is leaking.” To date, the voice assistant wouldn’t be able to come up with a helpful response to such a query. That could change for some users, who could have such a sentence trigger a maintenance call.
This is where we see the next wave of Smart Home technology. When it’s no more a debate about technology, and not a DIY market anymore. When it’s just there and it just works, like electricity and water. The debate on what AC to use, or how to find a way to connect your house to running water is long gone.
Companies like SmartRent realizes this, that Smart Home is about convenience and premium offerings for their customer’s tenants, without the need for DIY. It’s like water or electricity, it’s a utility that just works, making the tenant’s life more convenient. For a landlord, Smart Home is about driving down operational costs, while adding premium offerings to increase profitability. Not technology and gadgets.
The Smart Home Market Continues to Lack a ‘Killer App’
Though the smart home market is far from mature, it is gaining momentum. Based on Strategy Analytics’ data presented at Smart Home Summit in Burlingame, California, some 46% of U.S. broadband households have at least one smart home device today. That works out to some 47 million households.
This is like asking for the killer app for smartphones before iPhone. The answer is that there isn’t ONE killer app, the killer is in that there are plenty of competing apps that solve a multitude of tasks seamlessly, in full co-operation with the installed systems and hardware in the homes.
The DIY smart home enthusiast market is very much a pioneer market. But the bulk of the homeowners or tenants aren’t home hackers. They just want things to work, seamlessly and without being in their way.
So, as with the smartphone explosion, it is about a standardized platform that works on any underlying technology (iOS or Android) with apps from 3rd parties, easily downloadable. No installation, no configuration, just new smart features to simplify their lives or entertain.
This is also the reason for landlords to add smart home technologies to the apartments they rent out. It’s about convenience and premium offerings for their tenants, without the need for DIY. It’s like water or electricity, it’s a utility that just works, making the tenant’s life more convenient. For them, the killer app is driving down operational costs, while adding premium offerings to increase profitability.
Being ‘hyperconnected’ boosts cities’ ROI – Smart Cities World
Hyperconnected leaders include Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Seoul, London, Melbourne, Copenhagen and Dublin.
It is about re-using sensors, systems, and data across domains and departments in a structured and smart way. It is about having a centralized capability overseeing everything.
That is, it’s about horizontally integrated Smart City and IoT.
Removing the roadblocks to smart city ROI
“We need to find ways to fuse data from different sensors into a common data platform that will enable multiple departments to leverage shared infrastructure to deliver integrated smart city services.
Increasingly, smart city solutions will incorporate multiple device types and communication networks, all seamlessly connected in a unified platform. This dynamic ecosystem will enable sensors to collaborate, so we could have an application deployed and paid for by different departments that would create value in new ways.
For instance, smart parking is a great example of what could be achieved when data is shared across multiple city departments and applications. Today, searching for parking accounts for approximately 30 per cent of traffic on certain city streets. A smart parking solution, when viewed in isolation, can improve quality of life by reducing congestion. But if the department of health also deploys air quality sensors in these areas, they can see the impact of these investments on local air quality, which increases the return on investment by improving public health and accelerating progress towards sustainability goals. If departments continue to work in isolation, however, they will not get the insights and understanding of how these benefits accrue.”
The solution is already available and deployed in live cases: Yggio – the operating system for Smart Cities.
Smart building trends: Predictions for what’s to come – Smart Cities World
Franco Castaldini, ThoughtWire, rounds up the smart building trends to look out for.
Harbor Research has noted four critical needs for IoT platforms as they evolve in 2019 and beyond, including:
- Enablement of real-time temporal, spatial and state-based contextual processing
- Providing tools for development of real-time, stateful applications
- Simultaneous and asynchronous action on any type of information from any device, storage or streaming source
- Configurable software platform architecture enabling both peer-to-peer and client-server distribution of service
If you want to see all these abilities in action, and more, take a look at Sensative’s Yggio platform.
Technology Is Turning Facilities Management From Boring to Bespoke
Technology and changing attitudes to the workplace are driving a transformation of commercial real estate. FM is coming of age, as it seeks to blend empathy, strategic thinking, commercial expertise and an eye for innovation. Tenant work-life harmony is becoming a key focus for building owners and space is being seen as an experience, rather than as a commodity. Passive and siloed data is being analyzed for actionable insights in real-time. Digital technology is emerging as a key tool to manage buildings. The stage is set for unified, enterprise-level management of buildings to emerge as the next big thing in commercial real estate.
Retrofitting old buildings for smart HVAC systems
Connected smart sensors play a significant role in establishing smart HVAC systems in old buildings. By having sensors in the existing system, components and back-end software providing data analytics, old buildings can also receive benefits from smart HVAC systems.
Upgrading HVAC to a smart system is a good start, as long as you don’t paint yourself into a corner. While investing in sensors and IoT gateways you should consider if the data could be re-used. For instance, a temperature sensor/thermostat is needed to control the heating/cooling. But, that temperature data could also be sent to a tenant app, used to signal if a window is open, used for statistics and optimizations, and so on. Also, if you have many properties you would be interested in collecting all data from all the properties to a remote common control center.
When you are in the process of investing and upgrading to save money, you should think about the whole picture. Or as we say at Sensative; “think big, start small and scale fast“.
IDC Smart Cities
Global spending on smart cities initiatives will reach US$189.5 billion in 2023, according to the latest report published by market research firm IDC.
“Although smart grid and smart meter investments still represent a large share of spending within smart cities, we see much stronger growth in other areas, related to intelligent transportation and data-driven public safety, as well as platform-related use cases and digital twin, which are increasingly implemented at the core of smart cities projects globally,”said Serena Da Rold, program manager in IDC’s Customer Insights & Analysis group, in the statement.
The research firm is expected to see five cases account for over half of all smart cities spending in 2019: smart grid, fixed visual surveillance, advanced public transportation, smart outdoor lighting, and intelligent traffic management. However, their share in investment will somehow decline by 2023, the firm said.
Strong vertical applications drive the investments in smart cities, but with horizontal platforms and digital twins picking up speed.