Smart City Enablers: Future-forwards Companies To Look Out For
Cities around the world are increasingly seeking to transform into “smart cities”, implementing technological infrastructure and services that benefit their local authorities and citizens alike. To do so, they are turning towards future-forward companies, technologically-savvy start-ups and organisations that are developing innovative tech designed to make their cities smarter, more efficient and seamlessly connected.
Let’s examine some of the most impressive smart city enablers, those companies that are taking municipalities across the globe to the next, digital, level.
While many people enjoy living in bustling cities for their accessibility to transportation, services, amenities and more, most would admit they do not enjoy the side-effects of city life: air and noise pollution. Seeking to tackle the air pollution obstacle and improve city dwellers’ general health head-on, Tzoa has designed the first air quality system that generates actionable results.
The company’s innovative wearable device uses internal sensors to measure the quality of air, temperature, humidity levels, UV index, atmospheric pressure, ambient light levels and more – in real-time. The enviro-tracker then turns the gathered data into actionable recommendations, presented in a neat smartphone app, that keep city residents healthy. For example, Person A may be advised to take an alternate route to work, to avoid construction-related air pollution, too much sun, etc.
Another environmentally-friendly initiative was designed by EverImpact and has already been successfully implemented in London’s Royal Greenwich Borough, improving the health prospects and quality of life for the borough’s citizens, while providing city administrators with vital information to implement new solutions for the measuring and monetizing of local CO2 emissions. Using an innovative combination of satellites and ground sensors, the company’s climate monitoring app enables cities to discover municipal origins of greenhouse gas emissions, in the form of a real-time emissions map – at street and building levels. This way, cities can tackle the air pollution and climate crisis from a more informed position.
An integral part of enabling smart city development, is reducing local criminal activity and making cities a generally safer place to live. A leader in gunshot detection, forensics and analysis, ShotSpotter proactively addresses gun violence issues, through its three-pronged, future-forward approach. First, the company installs acoustic sensors in strategic areas. When a gun is fired, audio triangulation pinpoints the gunfire’s location and machine-learning algorithms
analyze the sound, only passing along relevant sounds to the Incident Review Center (IRC) for immediate review.
Confirmed gunshots are published within seconds and relevant authorities, dispatch centers, MDTs and smartphones receive immediate notifications containing contextual information.Second, increased tactical awareness is provided to patrol officers as they approach shooting scenes, protecting them from harm. And third, investigators are directed to the location of shell casings and other forensic evidence, leading to swifter incidence resolution, while also providing a sense of security to the city and its residents.
Traditionally, maps help city goers find their way through streets and alleyways, so they can reach their intended destination with ease. Mapillary is taking city mapping to the next level, using street-level imagery to offer invaluable, real-time and robust information on common city elements – roads and locations, but also lighting, vegetation, signs, parked vehicles and more.
The technology not only helps citizens and visitors navigate cities smarter, but it also helps local authorities and their employees better understand city activities and needs, in unparalleled detail. This way, city resources can be more efficiently planned for and allocated, simply by looking at a map, a highly-visual representation of the smart city’s network.
Utilidata’s real-time analytics and control technology was designed to power the energy ecosystem by driving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, boosting resiliency, integrating DERs and more. The smart metering app relies on real-time information on distributed grids, enabling seamless, more efficient electric utility management, from the comfort and convenience of a mobile app. Base on Itron’s OpenWay Riva platform, Utilidata’s industry-leading AdaptiVolt technology is beneficial to all – energy companies, maintenance
employees and end-users, the citizens.
Already implemented in cities across the US and 50+ countries around the globe, Bigbelly is transforming public space waste management with its revolutionary cloud-connected system. Stations equipped with a solar-powered compacting waste bin communicate real-time status updates to an actionable web-based software. Namely, when the bin, capable of holding up to five times the amount of waste as a traditional trash can, reaches capacity, it alerts the appropriate city department, leading to speedy disposal. Communities benefit from optimized & streamlined operations, beautified (and less smelly) public spaces, a reduction in required trash bins (70-80%) & reduced carbon footprint.
The above innovative companies are just a few of the many future-forward organisations enabling smart city development and sustainability. With creative technology and noble goals, they are creating the infrastructure for smarter, more connected cities, and happier, more informed citizens.