A smart city is an efficient city, a livable city, as well as an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable city. We have begun on the road of realizing this vision, using innovative operational and information technology, and leveraging meaningful and reliable real-time data generated by citizens and city infrastructure. From an Indian context, an unprecedented scale of change is needed for cities to become more efficient, attractive, inclusive and competitive. Modern technology lets us track and observe almost anything in a major urban environment - noise, light, traffic, weather and so on - and use this data to improve people's living and working conditions.
Mobility will be the key driver of the digital universe. Faster mobile networks are at the core of smart cities and are allowing people to do more on the move. As networks offer more cloud-based services and storage, this in turn leads to more personalized content and apps being accessible to users, which both updates and is updated by ever-smarter mobile devices. Smarter devices, faster networks and the cloud becoming pervasive all combine to power greater intake of digital content - in short, users want more data all the time and want it now.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will also play a crucial role in smart city development. The pure weight of Big Data created by the IoT will have a bearing everywhere, particularly on things like traffic flow - town architects will be able to gather the data, analyse it and use it to adapt future policy and projects.
For example, in our country traffic and parking availability is one area of smart city challenges that is leveraging new technology to initiate real change. New technology is emerging all the time that lets us manipulate networks more finely, taking advantage of more sensors, more cameras and more real-time data to improve road traffic. Let's say, if traffic signal can transmit data about congestion of traffic to central server and the same can be conveyed to the device fitted in the car which is most probably going to take the same route in next 30 minutes. Similarly, if you have to get a patient in emergency situation from point of accident to the hospital, you may transfer signals to the route of ambulance to turn all lights green and save lives. There are hundreds of uses cases where Mobility can transform our lives.
Wearable devices are changing the way things happen in healthcare, travel and transport, sports etc. Using IOT, data is used real-time from sensors and enables automated messages based on pre-defined actions - this influences cities - traffic management, municipal departments, buildings, MMT etc.
Let us imagine a person visiting a city for the first time. She has no idea of what the city has to offer, but she is interested in finding out about museums. With a mobile device on her (phone or tablet) and an Internet connection, she can use this application to retrieve in a few seconds all the surrounding museums. For each of them, she can than request additional details like the entrance cost, opening hours and so on. But the application is not limited to touristic information. Instead, it can display a large variety of objects, to best satisfy the user's needs in every context. For instance, a collection of pharmacies, hospitals and medical centres is useful even for citizens in their own city.
High uptake/traction for mobility will be seen in financial/banking, telecom, retail and healthcare segments. In banking, most common used cases is in the area of retail banking, customer self-service app from B2C perspective and relationship management, wealth management, account opening from B2E perspective. In Telecom, there are three areas in which mobility can be adopted- first around self-service app for clients to manage their account, bill plan, add new number, buy additional services etc, second around internal self-care HR processes, IT operations etc and third around building cloud infrastructure around offering applications and MAM & MDM solution as SASS based offerings to their enterprise clients along with their existing data / voice plans.
The ecommerce in retail Industry has been transformed with the proliferation of devices, globally people who uses devices to shop online are 40 per cent higher probable to buy then those who buy via computers, Even In store retail experience can be personalized by recognising clients and deliver customised services and promotions, Clients can shop at their pace using mobile app and browse product details , prices etc by scanning the SKU's using Mobile App and directly reaching out to payment counter for payment and retailers can integrate loyalty management along with the same app to ensure higher adoption and ease of use.
Health industry can completely transform and using mobility, we can help improve living standards and save life that gets compromised due to mistakes by support staff in hospitals. The app to capture patient complete records and examinations while patients remains in hospital, send alerts to doctors if key parameters like BP, heart beats exceed normal range.
Governing bodies and municipal corporations could see a staggering change for the better by adopting mobility. All citizen facing functions can be extended as mobile apps. For examples: municipal departments can enable citizens to take pictures of road, electricity poles and submit online complain, similarly audit and inspection of the work done by contractors can be done department staff using mobile apps. One interesting example in this regard is My Scottsdale app of the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, MyScottsdale, is a mobile application the city deployed in the summer of 2013 that allows citizens to report cracked sidewalks, broken street lights and traffic lights, road and sewer issues, graffiti and other problems in the community.
Creating a smart city comes with daunting challenges, including the need to provide effective data security and privacy hence it would be essential to ensure that myriad departments and agencies involved, work in harmony towards the common goal of improvement of quality of life in cities of the future.