Throughout the world, cities are increasingly looking to digitize services or become more technology-forward. In so doing, the Intersection of AI and IoT is an obligatory passage resulting in the author wondering How Smart Cities are Transforming Urban Living?
The combination of AI and IoT technologies is revolutionizing the way we live and work in smart cities, making them more efficient, sustainable, and livable. Real-time data analysis from multiple devices is simplifying decision-making and administrative tasks, optimizing resource utilization, and improving public safety. The smart city concept uses technology to improve the quality of life, including transportation, solid waste management, pollution reduction, sustainable communities, irrigation, public safety, traffic management, and healthcare, among others. Cities like Singapore, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Dubai are leveraging the benefits of AI and IoT technologies to transform urban living.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are being used together to leverage each other’s advantages. The interconnection of various data-generating devices, such as sensors, computers, vehicles, smartphones, buildings, and software through the Internet, has revolutionized how we live today.
The interplay of AI and IoT technologies has completely transformed the way we interpret and analyze the massive amount of data that is continuously generated by IoT devices with the help of AI techniques.
As a result, decision-making, optimizing industrial processes, making predictions, and identifying anomalies in industrial settings becomes easier than ever. Similarly, AI and IoT technologies are being used together in smart city applications to improve urban infrastructure and the quality of life.
Understanding smart cities
The idea of smart cities is described below, and various constituent components and examples of smart cities are also provided.
Defining smart cities
Before delving into how AI and IoT are transforming smart cities, it is important to understand what a smart city is and how it functions. The concept of smart cities emerged after the term “pervasive computing” started gaining popularity in the first decade of this century. Pervasive computing simply refers to “computing everywhere”. Therefore, pervasive computing and smart cities are closely related in several ways.
We can define smart cities as urban areas that utilize technology strategically and efficiently to perform day-to-day operations and improve their inhabitants’ quality of life. This includes incorporating technology in every aspect of life to offer better civic services, such as transportation, solid waste management and collection, pollution-free and sustainable communities, irrigation, healthcare, public safety and policing, traffic management, and many others. In a nutshell, “a smart city is an interconnected and technology-enabled sustainable environment designed to improve the standard of living of its residents.”
Components of smart cities
Smart cities comprise a variety of components, each of which is crucial for their functioning. The components include:
IoT devices: these include various data-collecting devices, such as sensors, traffic, air quality, energy usage monitoring devices, and so on.
Data analytics component: the component is responsible for processing and analyzing the data collected through the IoT devices
Communication Networks: are used for data transmission among IoT devices, data analytics systems, and other infrastructure components.
Metropolitan infrastructure and public services: are essential for the functioning of smart cities. Infrastructure includes buildings, roads, and other public areas, which can be transformed through data analytics and IoT. On the other hand, public services can be transportation, healthcare, education, and public safety, which may be improved through AI and data analytics.
Examples of smart cities
Recently, many cities worldwide have started implementing smart technologies to uplift the living standard of their citizens. Some of the cities include Singapore, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Dubai. Singapore’s smart city initiative utilizes IoT data and performs analytics to improve mobility and healthcare services, support businesses, and optimize traffic flows and energy usage. Likewise, Amsterdam, in addition to the ones discussed above, emphasizes sustainable solutions to mobility by providing smart traffic systems and electric charging stations.
Barcelona is not behind the others and also relies on IoT devices and data analytics methods. In particular, smart lighting systems based on motion sensors, green spaces, energy-efficient buildings, smart bike sharing, and waste reduction are among the few initiatives that make Barcelona a smart city. Similarly, automated buses and the urban metro system, smart grids, smart and energy-efficient buildings, smart healthcare, and policing have made Dubai emerge as one of the rapidly developing smart cities. The initiatives, such as Dubai Blockchain Strategy, the Dubai Future Accelerators program, and the Smart Dubai Platform, are pivotal in making Dubai one of the top living choices.
How AI and IoT are transforming urban living?
The intersection of AI and IoT technologies is transforming living and work in smart cities, and their impacts are becoming significant daily. By combining these two technologies, a new era of innovation, efficiency, and sustainability is emerging, which once could have only been dreamt of by humans. Real-time analysis of continuously generated data by multiple devices simultaneously has made decision-making and administrative tasks easier without much human involvement. For example, traffic signals equipped with IoT sensors can monitor traffic flow which can further be analyzed using AI algorithms and consequently can help traffic lights adapt to the traffic situation at a particular intersection in the city.
Likewise, another exciting usage scenario is in the solid waste collection and management domain, where the smart waste bins equipped with IoT ultrasonic sensors can notify about the levels of waste in the bins. AI techniques can schedule pickups, reducing unnecessary trips of waste collection vehicles and the environmental impact. Similarly, in smart buildings equipped with IoT devices, such as sensors, HVAC, lighting, etc., the data analytics techniques, with the help of the current sensor readings and historical data, may direct the control modules to optimize energy usage or predict any failures of the equipment. Moreover, the HVAC systems in smart buildings can be automatically adjusted based on occupancy and outside environmental conditions.
There are numerous advantages to using the two diverse spheres of technology together. Primarily, they result in increased efficiency, optimal resource utilization, reduced human involvement, savings of time and finances, etc. Moreover, sustainability is also vital in smart cities and can be improved through several environment-friendly initiatives. With the help of the sensors installed city-wide, the data about air quality and water usage is collected and analyzed by AI techniques. The data is subsequently used to issue alerts to the authorities of the areas where attention is required, for example, where high pollution levels are in the air or where water is being wasted.
AI and IoT technologies also help improve public safety through real-time monitoring. AI-powered security cameras are used to detect suspicious behavior through continuous surveillance. Similarly, monitoring the infrastructure for possible safety hazards through sensing devices enables timely alerts and quicker responses from the concerned authorities. In addition, greater civic engagement is promoted by providing citizens access to real-time data through various platforms and enabling them to provide decision-making feedback, leading to more impartial outcomes.
Challenges and Limitations of AI and IoT in Smart Cities
Though there are several benefits of integrating AI and IoT technologies in smart cities provides. However, numerous challenges and limitations must be addressed.
A lack of standardization across heterogeneous IoT devices and their communication protocols often results in compatibility issues, thus demanding the standardization of IoT protocols and interfaces for effective device integration and efficient data communication.
The large volumes of data generated by IoT devices demand powerful computing resources and storage capabilities, hence elevating the need for data centers and cloud computing infrastructure.
Data security and privacy
Data security is crucial in smart cities due to the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches, necessitating robust security measures. Moreover, continuous surveillance could also lead to privacy issues.
Addressing ethical concerns, such as bias introduced by the computational algorithms, may lead to discriminatory outcomes (for example, unfair treatment of certain groups), which is undesirable for equity and diversity in societies.
Job displacement and economic inequality
Integrating AI and IoT in smart cities could lead to job displacement, especially for those who have little technical skills in sectors such as transport manufacturing, or logistics. This may further increase inequality of income and lead to a large number of workers not being adequately supported. Strategies to mitigate negative impacts should be developed in view of the possible impact on workers.
Finally, significant investments are needed to realize smart city initiatives which can be challenging to manage initially.
In conclusion, the intersection of AI and IoT has paved the way for developing smarter and more sustainable cities. From optimizing energy consumption and transportation to enhancing public safety and citizen engagement, these technologies are revolutionizing how we live and interact in urban environments. While some challenges and limitations need to be addressed, the potential benefits of AI and IoT in smart cities are immense and should be exploited for better communities.
Robert Parrish, Head of Quantum Chemistry, and Matt Johnson, CEO of Quantum Chemistry, review computations on large metalloproteins, as Quantum software startup QC Ware launches a quantum-inspired software platform called Promethium to speed up the simulation of large molecules on conventional computers, in Palo Alto, California, U.S., March 29, 2023. QC Ware/Handout via REUTERS
OAKLAND, Calif., April 17 (Reuters) – Quantum computers promise to be millions of times faster than today’s fastest supercomputers, potentially revolutionizing everything from medical research to the way people solve problems of climate change. The wait for these machines, though, has been long, despite the billions poured into them.
But the uncertainty and the dismal stock performance of publicly-listed quantum computer companies including Rigetti Computing Inc (RGTI.O) have not scared investors away. Some are turning to startups who are pivoting to using powerful chips to run quantum-inspired software on regular computers as they bide their time.
Lacking quantum computers that customers can use today to get an advantage over classical computers, these startups are developing a new breed of software inspired by algorithms used in quantum physics, a branch of science that studies the fundamental building blocks of nature.
Once too big for conventional computers, these algorithms are finally being put to work thanks to today’s powerful artificial intelligence chips, industry executives told Reuters.
QC Ware, a software startup that has raised more than $33 million and initially focused only on software that could run on quantum computers, said it needed to change tack and find a solution for clients today until the future quantum machines arrive.
So QC Ware CEO Matt Johnson said it turned to Nvidia Corp’s (NVDA.O) graphic processing units (GPU) to “figure out how can we get them something that is a big step change in performance … and build a bridge to quantum processing in the future.”
GPUs are microchips that were made to process video for gaming and became so powerful that they do the bulk of AI computing today. They are now being used in quantum development, as well.
This week, QC Ware is unveiling a quantum-inspired software platform called Promethium that will simulate chemical molecules – to see how they interact with things like protein – on a traditional computer using GPUs.
The software can cut simulation time from hours to minutes for molecules of 100 atoms, and months to hours for molecules of up to 2000 atoms, compared with existing software solutions, said QC Ware’s head of quantum chemistry Robert Parrish.
$1 BILLION RAISED
Big-name investors and funds are backing the future, such as Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) former chairman Eric Schmidt, asset manager T. Rowe Price (TROW.O), Samsung Ventures, and the venture arm of U.S. intelligence agencies In-Q-Tel.
The startups receiving the largesse say they are able to generate revenue as customers are lining up to be ready for when quantum computing’s “iPhone” moment arrives. That, in turn, is luring investors.
In the past 18 months, quantum software startups including SandBoxAQ – an Alphabet spinoff – raised about $1 billion, according to data firm PitchBook. To be sure, development of this technology is nascent and these startups must work hard to convince some prospective clients.
SandBoxAQ CEO Jack Hidary said it was only 24 months ago that AI chips became powerful enough to simulate hundreds of thousands of chemical interactions simultaneously.
It developed a quantum-inspired algorithm for biopharma simulation on Google’s AI chip called a Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) that generates revenue today. SandBoxAQ told Reuters in February it raised $500 million.
Jason Turner, who founded Entanglement Inc in 2017 to be a “quantum only lab,” became impatient with the slow pace of quantum hardware development.
“It’s been ten years away for what, 40 years now, right?” he said. He finally relented, turning to Silicon Valley AI chip startup Groq to help him run a cybersecurity quantum-inspired algorithm.
Ultimately, the software inspired by quantum physics won’t perform well on quantum computers without some changes, said William Hurley, boss of Austin-based quantum software startup Strangeworks.
Still, he said companies that start using them will have engineers “learning about quantum and the phenomenon and the process, which will better prepare them to use quantum computers at the point that they do so.” That moment could arrive suddenly, he said.
Strangeworks, which also operates a cloud with over 60 quantum computers on it, raised $24 million last month from investors including IBM (IBM.N).
Reporting by Jane Lanahee Lee in Oakland, California; Editing by Peter Henderson, Sayantani Ghosh and Nick Zieminski
Whether it is about analytics as focused on extracting insights or chasing accurate Business intelligence, today’s data appears more and more as if it is the modern lifeblood of the heavy industries in the Middle East and North African countries. It is about diversifying their economy and setting out some knowledge economy as elaborated on ITP.net today.
Data – The modern lifeblood of heavy industries in the Middle East
by Geir Engdahl
The secret recipe for many successful companies is to maintain a laser focus on their users and on improving their operational efficiency and their ability to make rapid and higher confidence decisions.
Inside nearly any type of business is a treasure trove of data. It’s the companies that understand how to maximise the value of that data and use it to improve decision making, accelerate innovation, enhance the customer experience and drive operational efficiency that will have the competitive advantage. However, it’s easier said than done and companies may find extracting this data value to be challenging.
Siloed data, outdated tools and shadow IT are the most common hurdles faced by industrial businesses. These are the barriers that companies need to overcome if they aim to democratise data and analytics, streamline collaboration and accelerate time-to-insight. The global skills shortage represents another barrier and it’s clearly one that must be addressed if companies are to have access to the right talent pool to tap into that data.
Tackling proprietary data protocols
When looking at process-heavy industries, focusing on core operational technologies is key. Systems from multiple vendors, each paired with proprietary protocols, can lock down data, and these systems have an average lifespan of around 20 years. The impact of this mix of legacy kit, disparate control systems, non-compatible data models and communication interfaces can limit a company’s ability to collect and contextualise its data.
Cognite experienced this challenge first hand when it supported an oil and gas company that had 30 oil platforms with more than 300 wells. The operator lacked a unified overview of maintenance activities within and between all assets – ultimately a costly and ineffective way of working. As the data team coming in to fix this challenge, the Cognite focus was on ensuring that this business didn’t have too many disparate control systems using proprietary data models and communication. By bringing these systems together into a shared platform, this oil and gas operator could consequently optimise scheduling, improve communication across organisational silos and make data-driven decisions.
Concentrating on user needs
The secret recipe for many successful companies is to maintain a laser focus on their users and on improving their operational efficiency and their ability to make rapid and higher confidence decisions. Data plays a role here, and the work to structure an organisation’s data can bring value to multiple users. The key is understanding how people interact with data across the operation and be aware of how the data needs to be presented to the various roles in the company. By maintaining a user-centric focus and having a solid foundation of scalable data, companies can accelerate time to value.
Across industrial operations there is also a major focus on data analytics to support optimised decision making and to enhance operational efficiencies. In the future, this could lead to the adoption of AI and machine learning to intercede in the operation of industrial facilities in complex use cases, such as where Distributed Energy Resources (localised energy generation) is deployed.
Environmental impact is also something increasingly important for users. One example of this is from another Cognite customer, Aker BP. This oil and gas company used machine learning smart monitoring systems to visualise all data relevant for troubleshooting water contamination and identify factors related to high oil-in-water concentrations. This helped the company decrease its time spent on mitigating actions, a savings equivalent to an annual revenue potential of $6 million. So, concentrating on user needs not only helps to unlock the power of data, it also to drive operational resilience.
Using trusted data sources
Industrial data empowers everyone who engages with it but the analytics and applications that leverage this data will come from the end users, software providers and equipment manufacturers. When you have a trusted data source with common assets you have a very strong basis for using low code to develop in-house applications, as well as AI to enhance decision accuracy. Given the current industrial landscape, as well as greater market requirements, such as data-intensive carbon reporting and business model disruption from digital technology adoption, companies that do not focus on data as a key asset will face a significant competitive disadvantage.
In the last few years, we’ve seen digital technology adoption increase across the Middle East as businesses in the region look to industry 4.0 tools to enhance their operations and formulate better data driven strategies. A latest study by IDC forecasts enterprise IT spending in the Middle East, Turkey & Africa to grow by 2.7percent in 2022. The same report also estimates regional spending on AI to grow by 24.7percent and big data analytics to grow by 8.1percent this year. Regional businesses that can adjust their people and processes will have a first-mover advantage in this new data-driven era. Those that remain wedded to past investments will eventually have to shoulder twice the technology debt.
Unlocking the power of data will be key to ensuring companies can maintain business continuity, drive operational resilience and grab on to all the benefits they can from emerging technologies.
Why the Luster on Once-Vaunted ‘Smart Cities’ Is Fading by Jim Robbins and published in Yale Environment 360 cannot be overlooked or worse ignored. It’s a matter of literally vital if not existentialist presence in the built environment. Especially in those countries of the MENA region.
“Smart cities” built from scratch have so far failed to live up to their much-hyped promise. Some critics argue that rather than grafting a new city onto the landscape, it is better to integrate high-tech for clean, efficient energy and transportation into existing cities.
1st December 2021
Last February, the Toyota Motor Company broke ground on what it calls Woven City, a built-from-scratch futuristic urban center on 175 acres in the shadow of Mount Fuji. Woven City is a reference to the way the project plans to weave together cars, robots, data, and computers to create a city that the builders say, is highly efficient, pollution-free, and sustainable.
The new city will be carbon neutral, Toyota says. Autonomous cars will run on non-polluting green hydrogen, while solar and wind provide other energy needs. And sensors embedded throughout Woven City will gather a range of metrics and process them with artificial intelligence to help the city constantly become cleaner and run more smoothly.
Woven City is one of a burgeoning number of “smart cities” that have been recently built or are now being planned or constructed. NEOM is a $500 billion sprawling futuristic city for a million people under construction in Saudi Arabia. Egypt is building a new smart capital near Cairo that planners say could eventually be home to 6.5 million people. Telosa, proposed by a former Walmart executive, would be a city of 50,000 in the western United States “in a place yet to be determined.” Numerous smart cities have been or are being built in China.
There’s no single concept of a smart city. But the basic definition is a city filled with sensors that monitor myriad aspects of life, from traffic to pollution to energy and water use. In the case of the Woven City, “smart homes” will feature sensors that will monitor the occupants’ health. All the monitors in these cities are connected to the backbone of these prototype communities, the Internet of Things (IoT), meaning the interconnection of tiny computers placed in everyday objects. The massive trove of collected data will be interpreted with artificial intelligence to make cities greener and more livable.
Some prominent smart cities have faced serious obstacles to realizing their utopian visions.
While proponents say these communities represent the future of a healthier planet, some prominent smart cities have faced serious obstacles to realizing their utopian visions. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi abandoned its smart city master plan because of financial problems that began in 2008 and continued because the cost of some aspects of the city was far more than forecast. Songdo is a completed smart city with a population of 170,000 in South Korea that has not been able to fill its buildings. It’s sometimes described as a ghost town, or, variously, as cold, impersonal, homogenous, and dully predictable.
One recent paper on smart cites grappled with ways these cities can introduce serendipity into daily life to combat their monotonous nature.
“There are a lot of good things that can come of” smart city concepts, “especially for the environmental applications,” said Shannon Mattern, a professor of anthropology at The New School for Social Research and the author of A City is Not a Computer. “But it really limits your [ways] of intervention to the types of things that lend themselves to quantitative measurement,” she said. “When you take messy ambiguous dimensions of human nature and try to find ways to algorithmicize them, there is always a failure there, something that slips through the cracks.” History, culture, and the spiritual aspects of life are among those aspects that critics cite as missing from — or are diminished — in smart cities.
There has been criticism, as well, of smart cities being alien to the landscape on which they are built. In her book Spaceship in the Desert, about Masdar City, Göckcę Günel, an anthropologist at Rice University, said both Masdar City and Neom “share the vision that the desert is an empty zone on which any kind of ideal can be projected,” she said. “That’s why I compared Masdar City to a spaceship insulated from the rest of the world.”
Despite the fact that trillions of dollars are being spent to create these spectacular, Oz-like, all-encompassing cities of the future, some leading analysts believe in a very different concept of smarter cities.
“I hate almost every effort at building a greenfield smart city,” said Boyd Cohen, a professor at EADA, a business school in Barcelona, who is one of the pioneers of the smart city concept and a longtime climate strategist. “A smart city without people is a dumb city. You are building a smart city in the absence of people, in the absence of history, in the absence of culture. The developers say, ‘We are going to build this great, amazing city and people will come,’ and they don’t. People want to live in communities and have culture around them.”
An alternative to a spanking new city rising on virgin land is to incorporate smart technologies into existing cities, Cohen said. Singapore, London, and Barcelona, are among the cities that lead the world in adopting smart technologies to more efficiently operate their infrastructure and become greener. In London, for example, sensors on light poles monitor air pollution and show particularly polluted spots that can be avoided. Because collecting trash is the most expensive part of the waste disposal process, Barcelona adopted “smart bins” that signal when they are full and ready for pick up. But technology is not always a be-all and end-all.
Cohen believes cities are on the front line of climate change and need to become smarter to survive it. “In 2009 [at the UN climateconference in Copenhagen] everyone thought Obama and the United Nations were going to save the world” with agreements to restrict CO2 emissions, he said. “It didn’t happen and still isn’t happening. So I turned my attention to cities. That’s the place where we will get faster action on climate change.”
Smart cities have run into trouble over the issue of who owns the data collected and how it will be used.
Urban planning, says Cohen, may be the single most important way to reduce fossil fuel pollution and consumption. Effective urban design — density, walkability, mixed use so people don’t have to drive long distances, and efficient, clean electric or hydrogen public transportation — is the foundation. “Then you layer in tech,” he said. “Technology around renewable and distributed energy. And to make our buildings more energy efficient. If you tackle energy consumption and transportation and urban planning, you have gone a long way toward solving the climate problem.”
Smart grids are a key component of smart cities. These power grids optimize the delivery of electricity by receiving information from users over the IoT. This data provides experts with information about how, where, and when energy is used. In some models, it interprets that data with artificial intelligence. But as energy sources are diversified — solar and wind from large and small sources, even individual homes, as well as traditional sources — it makes it harder for electrical systems to efficiently sense where power is needed and to allocate it. Because it can better manage available power, a smart grid avoids waste and can make the most of renewables.
A host of other smart applications are being used in cities. Parking is the bane of urban dwellers, so smart parking has gotten a lot of attention. Santander, Spain, for example, is considered one of the world’s smartest cities because it has 20,000 parking sensors connected to the IoT. Sensors under parking spaces can tell when they are empty and send that information to antennas that beam it to a control center. Signs guide drivers to the empty spots, limiting time spent driving around looking for a space and reducing fuel use, carbon dioxide and automobile pollution, and traffic congestion.
In Utrecht in the Netherlands, people ride “sniffer bikes” that measure three types of particulate air pollution, as well recording their location, speed, battery voltage, temperature and humidity, road conditions, and organic gases, which are sent to a central data hub. People can choose the cleanest route and are themselves de facto sensors, providing information to city managers.
Water use is another prime target of smart applications. A smartphone app, for example, can alert residents to an undetected leak in their plumbing and allows them to monitor consumption and quality.
Barcelona has pioneered a smart water irrigation system in its public spaces. Officials inventoried the species of plants in each park and determined precisely how much water they need. Water and humidity sensors, coupled with data from weather stations and rain gauges, provide information on how moist the soil and air are, and allow delivery of the right amount of water. The city says it saves 25 percent on its water bill — more than 400,000 euros a year.
But smart cities have run into trouble over the issue of who owns the data that is collected and how it will be used. A Google affiliate called Sidewalk Labs had plans for a 12-acre smart city development, called Quayside, on Toronto’s lakefront. The project ran into a buzz saw of opposition, largely over whether it could be trusted to manage the data. Roger McNamee, a venture capitalist, wrote a letter to the city council and said the information technology behemoth could not be trusted. “The smart city project on the Toronto waterfront is the most highly evolved version to date … of surveillance capitalism,” he wrote. The company will use “algorithms to nudge human behavior” in the direction “that favors its business.”
Sidewalk Labs CEO Daniel L. Doctoroff said the 2020 cancellation of the project was largely a result of the pandemicand economic uncertainty in the Toronto real estate market. “It has become too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan,” Doctoroff wrote last year.
It’s clear that the vision of what works as a smart city is still in the early stages, especially as technology and concepts continue to evolve. “It will take time to scale up the most sustainable models across a city, let alone the world,” said Cohen.
Zara Raza elaborates on How IoT and Ultra-Wideband Go Hand in Hand in this article on IoT for all. It is the most obvious trend in these days of renewed lockdown.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping how we interact with the world every day. This connected future is powered by sensors and actuators connected via the cloud to applications that serve us in ways that we never could have imagined just a few years ago. Standards such as IEEE 802.15.4 and ultra-wideband (UWB) enable devices to communicate with each other without the need for line of sight, which means IoT can finally become a reality in places other than our homes and offices.
Why Has Ultra-Wideband Been a Buzzword Lately?
Ultra-wideband was first seen in mobile technology with the premiere of Apple’s iPhone 11 launched back in September 2019. Since then, the state of the art sensing technology has gained traction and presence in the tech world, especially in the past year or so. In response to the rave reviews Apple’s latest model was getting, Android and Google phones quickly followed suit, and proceeded to incorporate the same UWB technology you can now find in the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra and in the upcoming Google Pixel 6 phone.
You might be asking yourself what makes this latest development so remarkable that it is in such high demand now, especially if UWB is not the first communication protocol to offer spatial awareness. It seems that tech geeks and the general audience are particularly interested in UWB because of how it enhances preceding technologies, such as wifi and Bluetooth, with an additional layer of accuracy. UWB has a high advantage in this field, as it can provide accuracy levels of 5-10 cm between two devices, while Bluetooth and wifi can only reach up to 5m.
How Ultra-Wideband Will Transform The IoT Industry
We cannot talk about UWB without acknowledging IoT. The concept of interconnected devices known as the Internet of Things continues to show promising advances, and now, with the reemergence of UWB technology, IoT devices requiring location and movement data will boast a stronger performance than ever before.
Thanks to UWB’s interoperability, this communication protocol can be harnessed to build upon smart technologies such as BlueTooth, wifi, and yes, the Internet of Things. UWB can play a significant role in revamping IoT devices already available while introducing even more sophisticated networks of interconnected devices to the public in the future.
UWB is quickly serving the needs of the numerous IoT applications in the market requiring precision location tracking and spatial awareness. According to Adarsh Krishnan, principal analyst at ABI Research, the incorporation of UWB in IoT applications improves accuracy even up to the millimeter level. ABI Research expects UWB to be present in over one-third of smartphones shipping out by 2025. UWB’s inherently strong security will significantly boost IoT protections as well, offering more protections for transactions that involve sensitive or private information.
There are a number of ways UWB can be employed in tandem with IoT to provide the most important functionalities for both business and personal use, including:
UWB endows businesses with the capacity to track their employees’ location on the premises of the workplace (whether they are indoors, outdoors, etc.), and grant contactless access accordingly. Homeowners can also leverage this technology using digital keys to protect their homes and prevent unauthorized access. Imagine how wonderful it would be to no longer worry whether you’ve locked the doors or not when you go to bed or leave the house!
Ever find yourself struggling to locate items, stores, or even people inside large grocery stores or shopping centers? Indoor navigation solves this problem by allowing you to know where everything you need is ahead of time. This way you can plan the order you’ll buy things when you want to save time during your shopping trip. Marketers can also utilize indoor navigation for location-triggered marketing campaigns.
Smart Home Solutions
It is possible to make your smart home even smarter with UWB-powered applications. These solutions will more efficiently monitor what devices are on and how much energy they’re using according to your needs. A smarter home empowered by UWB effectively prevents wasted resources and extra effort by making sure the TV is turned off when you’re not using it, automatically adjusting the thermostat, changing the light color on a smart bulb, or controlling the temperature of your fridge and freezer.
People don’t have to worry about lost essentials, such as AirPods, wallets, and keys with tracking tags. Both Apple AirTags and Samsung Galaxy SmartTags have UWB capabilities to allow easy device tracking. Tile has also announced its first tracking tag incorporating UWB, the Tile Ultra, expected for release in 2022.
A Smarter World
IoT and UWB have one major component in common: they both offer more connectivity. Both location-precise technologies make homes, cities, and businesses smarter, allowing daily operations to become less of a hassle. We are seeing increased usage of such technologies in practically every sector today. Here are some industries that have made a great deal of progress in recent years to become ‘smarter.
There has been an increased presence of wearable technology in the healthcare industry. This grants accurate patient monitoring from the comfort of patients’ homes. There are three main groups of healthcare IoT (HIoT) applications in healthcare: identification technology, location technology, and communication technology.
Identification technology allows healthcare providers to exchange patient data remotely, using different types of identifiers. Communication technology ensures an established connection between two or more healthcare staff and also connects doctors to patients. Some examples of these are Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), Near-Field Communication, wifi, BlueTooth, and Zigbee. Location technology can be used to track medical devices, or even humans, such as medical staff and patients.
Some of the biggest nuisances consumers experience while shopping in person are the long wait lines and the difficulty with locating items within a store. Additionally, when the pandemic emerged, people were scared to touch surfaces, making self-service options became more popular than before. Luckily, this opened up an entire range of opportunities for the retail sector. Amazon is leading the way with its self-service model, by omitting checkout lines to make payments in the store. Consumers only need to activate their ‘Amazon Go’ card, pick up what they need, and they are automatically charged. Ultra-wideband is ready to further transform retail with precise location tracking to aid in finding cars in parking lots, people in stores, and items that are hard to locate.
One of ultra-wideband’s most impactful capabilities in real estate is to unlock and lock doors automatically. The technology will also aid in improving access control, therefore, making homes safer. Most people have heard of the phrase smart home. These IoT-heavy homes are the future of the real estate world. Since there is a heavy demand for contactless technologies during the COVID pandemic, realtors are able to conduct property showings to potential buyers while keeping the entire process touchless. Smart homes are allowing realtors to continue their work without disruptions by implementing IoT and UWB technology.
UWB is likely to be around for a long time because it is a highly secure technology. Due to its precise tracking abilities and its use of Time of Flight measurements, a relay attack attempt to divert or redirect the UWB signal will most likely fail. This is because the UWB-lock or ignition uses distance to determine the proper device to send the signal. As UWB and IoT technology continues to grow, organizations can use these technologies for large-scale security applications.
Earth has been used as a building material for at least the last 12,000 years. Ethnographic research into earth being used as an element of Aboriginal architecture in Australia suggests its use probably goes back much further.
Traditional construction methods were no match for the earthquake that rocked Morocco on Friday night, an engineering expert says, and the area will continue to see such devastation unless updated building techniques are adopted.
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