Smart city San José
As the internet of things hype heats up, we’re seeing an array of deals signed between governments and big tech providers that purport to create some type of smart city. But in looking at these deals there’s very little consistency, so its worth taking time to figure out what actually makes a city smart as opposed to just making it connected.
Intel is part of a pilot project with the Silicon Valley city of San José, California, to add a network of connected sensors in various places as part of an effort to communicate information about air quality and encourage citizens and the government to act sustainably.
The city is starting out with three projects: one related to how downtown events affect air quality, a sustainable traffic planning effort and a plan to use air quality data in making decisions about where to put housing in urban areas.
San José has installed a sensor demonstration platform using an Intel gateway server (it has an Intel-based Quark chip inside) to take in existing sensor data that might be in older formats and convert it to a more modern format before sending it to Intel’s Hadoop cluster in the cloud. The sensors are from third-party vendors and talk to the Intel-powered hub.
Intel’s rationale here is not only to help its neighbor San José meet its goals of saving energy, it’s also about the anticipated $41 trillion cities around the world are expected to spend in the next 20 years upgrading their infrastructure. In Miami-Dade County, IBM has managed to sign a “smart cities contract” where IBM helps manage information coming in from 35 different agencies via a dashboard. Cisco, too, has a smart cities initiative that it has been investing in, most recently in Kansas City, Missouri. Earlier this year Cisco signed a partnership with Switzerland’s AGT to advance the Cisco smart cities platform.