Image Gallery: Smart Cities Summit Comes to BostonImage Gallery: Smart Cities Summit Comes to Boston
Major players such as Verizon, and the cities of Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle came together to talk IoT at Smart Cities Summit in Boston.
Image Gallery: Smart Cities Summit Comes to Boston
Earlier this month, about 400 stakeholders in the public- and private-sector Smart Cities ecosystems came together in Boston’s theater district to explore using IoT to improve operations in urban areas.
Diamond sponsor Verizon showed off technology from its Sensity buy, and CIOs from Chicago, Seattle and Atlanta discussed opportunities and challenges — including the need to come up with innovative funding models, safeguard data and navigate an uncertain standards landscape.
In fact, Brenna Berman, commissioner and CIO at the city of Chicago’s department of innovation and technology, called on vendors in attendance to solidify around technology standards. Berman said the city is open to buying from multiple suppliers — but not spending time and money struggling to integrate disparate systems.
Click through our image gallery for images and a recap of the event.
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Smart Cities Summit: Entry Desk
The art-deco event venue, now operated by Marriott, has been in operation since 1925. The décor reflects the hotel’s location in the heart of Boston’s historic theater district.
Smart Cities Summit: Advice for Small Cities
Jon Mitchell, mayor of the City of New Bedford, Mass., spoke on the challenges of smaller metropolitan areas becoming smart cities.
New Bedford has a population of about 95,000, with a mixed economy. It’s a popular shipping port, and its coastal location makes it prime real estate for wind energy. Mitchell says the city is also first in the continental U.S. in solar energy production, with the most installed solar cells per capita, and is well on its way to electrifying its city vehicle fleet. Now, he’s looking for new IoT initiatives. Mitchell’s advice to other small-city governments: Be assertive. Don’t wait for the federal government to fund green and smart-city projects. Strive for nimbleness and adaptability by, for example, leasing — rather than getting into capital-intensive deals. Be inclusive — but not just within the city. Reach out to surrounding larger cities, businesses and educational assets but also suburban and rural areas. And finally, make government transparent and accessible.
“Americans have an innate distrust of government,” said Mitchell. “That’s been true since colonial times.”
Smart Cities Summit: ‘What’s Coming Next’ Panel
A panel titled “What’s Coming Next” featured, left to right, Brenna Berman, Commissioner & CIO, Department of Innovation & Technology, City of Chicago; Samir Saini, Commissioner and CIO, City Of Atlanta; Michael Mattmiller, chief technology officer, City of Seattle; and Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, associate director of Cyber-Physical Systems Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
While all have unique challenges, a few themes emerged: Local government IT is still seen as a cost center, so CIOs need to get creative about funding smart-city projects. Data privacy and ownership, security and monetization are thorny questions; and a lack of IoT standards could delay or derail wide ranging projects as governments lack the money and manpower to do custom integrations.
Smart Cities Summit: Solutions Showcase
Attendees network in the solutions showcase room.
Smart Cities Summit: Verizon Lights
One asset cities have is lighting, and the business case to replace old-style bulbs with efficient LEDs is clear.
Verizon is looking to piggyback on the power runs that are already installed on poles to add modular sensors. The offerings on display are part of Verizon’s recent acquisition of smart lighting and IoT platform provider Sensity Systems. The platform can support parking and traffic, video surveillance, analytics and more. In the case of the video security, some data analysis is done at the device. If an anomaly is detected, such as an individual loitering, data can be sent to the cloud for further analysis and authorities can be alerted on their mobile devices. They can tap into the feed direct from the device.
Smart Cities Summit: Verizon Sensity
The display may look like fun and games, but Verizon demonstrated how the Sensity platform can alert on a near-miss at an intersection and help load-balance and better monetize scarce parking with smart monitoring.
Smart Cities Summit: Harman
You might think of Harman as the maker of high-end audio gear, but the company is working across the IoT ecosystem, providing solutions for automakers; industrial and enterprise automation; smart cities and infrastructure and consumer verticals; and connected services. It has partnerships with the Allseen Alliance, AWS, AVNU, Broadcom, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and dozens more IoT players.
Smart Cities Summit: CloudCities
CloudCities offers smart urban planning on a grand scale. Company CEO Antje Kunze demonstrated a 3D, bird’s eye view of Manhattan. Planners can easily visualize parcel density, land uses or energy consumption. One cool feature: The software works with VR headsets, such as Google Cardboard, for an immersive view.
Smart Cities Summit: Ingenu
Ingenu provides a wireless IoT network that delivers LPWA (low-power, wide-area) connectivity for machines. The network operates on universal spectrum and can connect a wide variety of IoT and M2M devices. It has 38 private networks deployed globally. The company says it’s looking to meet municipal CIOs’ need for a standard way to connect a city’s worth of smart devices with investment protection.
Smart Cities Summit: OpenDataSoft
OpenDataSoft is looking to meet CIOs’ need for OpEx, versus CapEx, projects as well as make the best use of information. The company’s SaaS platform supports transformation of all types of data into services, such as APIs, data visualizations and real-time monitoring.
Image Gallery: Smart Cities Summit Comes to Boston
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