The Internet of Things (IoT) has entered almost every operation of several industries as well as applications. Some of the common areas of the application of the IoT include smart cities, e-health, smart homes, smart grids, logistics, asset management, physical security, and so more.
Amongst all of these, the concept of smart cities as the application of IoT is the most useful and widespread. The smart cities application of the IoT has been emerging in several continents. It includes the development of the overall cities with the applications of the IoT standards and technology. From enhanced street lighting controls to infrastructure monitoring, physical security, public safety and surveillance, meter reading, gunshot detection, transportation analysis, optimization systems, and so more are being deployed on a city-wide scale.
Some quick stats on smart cities around the world [source]:
Market size: US $1 trillion by 2019
Leading countries: USA, Germany, China
Market drivers: Rapid urbanization, resource conservation, energy efficiency
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind while implementing the applications of the IoT in smart city arena:
Budgeting: It is vital to consider enough time and budget for completing all the mega-structured plans and infrastructure for the smart cities under the IoT. This is especially important in the scenarios wherein multiple jurisdictions or multiple departments might be involved. The identification of the staff resources and corresponding budget might be an issue. However, these factors cannot be ignored until all the IoT responsibilities are formalized and consolidated.
Security: This could be the topmost concern while making use of the IoT applications in some mega smart city project. The city residents would be willing to provide personal information in exchange for some compelling value of the security consideration. They must feel comfortable in giving out the information that has to be used appropriately and should remain secure. If the residents would believe that their data would not be secure, they will simply not participate in the smart initiative.
Privacy: A larger portion of the total value of the IoT comes from the wave of raw data that is sourced from the various connected sensors and devices. When these are processed and aggregated, the vital data can provide help in offering deep insights into the experience of the residents of the particular city they usually work and live in. Unless the available data is scrubbed properly, along with its dedicated aggregation and processing, the personal information of the residents of the city is at high risk of getting exposed. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the privacy of the residents of the particular city while implementing the IoT applications.
Standards: There is a huge collection of IoT solutions that are coming in the market. In order for the IoT reaching its maximum potential, some common standards are needed to be developed and adhered to. This would enhance the overall process of the application of IoT in the smart city development.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has started making a positive difference in the development of smart cities around the world. A relative and cost-effective user-level IoT application is the main support of IoT-enabled smart cities and buildings.