The world is experiencing unprecedented urbanization. Last year marked the first time in history that the majority of the world’s population was residing in cities. This trend is not stopping and will have huge implications for our large urban environments we call home. So what can be done to make our cities economically, socially and technologically healthy–and keep them that way?
IBM recently unveiled a list of 5 innovations that will have the potential to change how people live, work and play in cities around the globe over the next five years. The following text provides a summary and there is a 3 minute video embedded below…
IBM’s Next 5 in 5…
1) Cities will have healthier immune systems: Because of population densities, cities will remain hotbeds of communicable diseases. By standardizing methods for sharing health information and analyzing disease outbreaks, public health officials will know precisely when, where and how diseases are spreading.
2) City buildings will sense and respond like living organisms: The technology that manages building facilities "will operate like a living organism that can sense and respond quickly." Thousands of sensors inside buildings will monitor everything from motion and temperature to humidity, occupancy and light. These smart buildings will enable repairs to be made before something breaks, will help emergency units respond quickly, and will let people and companies monitor their energy consumption and carbon emission in real-time.
3) Cars and city buses will run on empty: IBM predicts that improved battery technology will power the next generation of eco-friendly vehicles. It says the new batteries won’t need to be recharged for days or months at a time (depending on how often the vehicles are driven) and will allow trips of 300 to 500 miles on a single charge. Also smart grids in cities will allow vehicles to be charged in public places using renewable energy, such as wind power, for charging so they no longer rely on coal-powered plants.
4) Smarter systems will quench cities' thirst for water and save energy: To deal with the estimate that demand for water is expected to increase sixfold in the next 50 years cities will install smarter water systems to reduce water waste by up to 50 percent. Smart sewer systems will also be installed that not only prevent run-off pollution in rivers and lakes, but purify water to make it drinkable. Plus, interactive meters and sensors will provide people with real time, accurate information about their water consumption.
5) Cities will respond to a crisis: Even before receiving an emergency phone call. In support of the news: IBM is helping law enforcement agencies analyze information so they can anticipate crime and be ready to respond when it happens. Also the New York Fire Department has selected IBM to build a state-of-the-art system for collecting and sharing data in real-time and the company is also designing smart levee systems to prevent cities from devastating floods.
A common denominator in all five of these innovations is a sophisticated data analytics capability that can take volumes of data, perform modeling and simulation on that data, and turn it into actionable insights for decision makers. Five years could be an optimistic time frame for a few of these, but in this case, I think a little optimism helps to push the envelope on research and development of the innovations.
Watch the 3 minute video….
Read up more on IBM’s Next 5 in 5
- Via the press release http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/29049.wss
- Visit ibm.com/smartercities