An exciting area for growth for the IoT industry is the emergence of Smart Cities. The city of Santander in Spain currently has more than 20,000 sensors built into the city. These sensors gather data on things such as bus location, humidity, pollution, streetlights, and traffic congestion.
To detect available parking, almost 400 parking sensors (based on ferromagnetic technology) have been installed at the main parking areas of the city center by burying them under the asphalt. A mobile app allows citizens to find parking without a need to circle the block countless times.
The smart city project is expected to fuel use of the Experimentation Facility among the scientific community and service providers and reduce technical and societal barriers that prevent the IoT concept to become an everyday reality.
Testing IoT concepts
To attract interest and demonstrate the usefulness of the SmartSantander platform, the inclusion of a wide set of applications will be addressed. Application areas will be selected based on the potential impact on citizens as well as to exhibit the diversity, dynamics and scale that are essential to advanced protocol solutions.
Going beyond smart cities
Another extension of the smart city is the smart environment. A smart environment can use an IoT system to detect natural disasters such as earthquake, landslide and avalanche. With such a system in place, there can be early warnings and a better way of contacting people living in an affected zone.
Often times, with disasters such as these, even a few minutes of early warning can be the difference between life and death. In addition to natural disaster relief, advances are being made to use IoT to detect forest fires and air pollution. As with natural disasters, detecting forest fires as early as possible is an obvious benefit.
The smart city and smart environment concepts are being tested around the world and will change our daily lives, help us do our jobs more efficiently and keep us more aware of natural disasters.