#DataSmart News: Internet of Things

By Data-Smart City Solutions • June 15, 2016

Our #DataSmart News series curates relevant news from our #ThisWeekInData posts for updates on different policy areas and civic data topics.

April 22, 2016: Kansas City's Smart City Corridor

Here on Data-Smart, Laura Adler wrote about Kansas City’s new streetcar line, a central part of its digitally-enabled urban corridor. Kansas City partnered with Cisco to create a 2.2 mile high-tech corridor in the city, which will feature free WiFi, kiosks displaying transportation and service information, and sensors to monitor traffic flow and automatically adjust lighting. To support the project, the city had to look beyond traditional partnerships to create new models for how the city would work with tech partners, along with creating IoT-focused startup incubators.

April 8, 2016: IoT in the Federal Tech Community

NextGov hosted a Twitter chat with the federal tech community on the Internet of Things. The chat covers the meaning of IoT, pioneers and leaders, potential usages, and major privacy and security concerns.

March 18, 2016: Measuring Real-Time Air Quality with Pigeons

CityLab wrote about Pigeon Air Patrol, a London-based project putting sensors on pigeons to measure real-time air quality throughout the city. The lightweight sensors are attached to mesh vests, which are then slipped onto the pigeons. As the pigeons fly through the city, the sensor measures air quality, geo-tags the measurement, and reports the measurement back to the project team. Londoners can log onto the Pigeon Air Patrol website to view recent measurements or tweet their location to @PigeonAir for a direct response. The project creators say that the pigeons are not only helping gather data about air quality, but also increasing public attention and engagement surrounding pollution in general.

March 18, 2016: Array of Things Expansion

GovTech wrote about the planned Array of Things expansion. The Array of Things, a large series of multi-function sensors, is currently deployed in Chicago and will soon be launched in Seattle. The project leaders are intentionally expanding to cities with large research institutions in order to ensure there is sufficient local tech expertise and to encourage the Array of Things as a collaboration between cities and universities or research centers. Seattle’s Array of Things sensors will be customized by University of Washington researchers, particularly to add rain tracking capabilities. The project leaders are hopeful that the Seattle deployment will help them to get a better sense of the best way to replicate the Array of Things in other cities and will help make future replications faster and more successful.

March 4, 2016: Congress's IoT Bill

Senators Kelly Ayotte, Cory Booker, Deb Fischer, and Brian Schatz introduced the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act into Congress this week. The bill would create a working group to advise Congress and the federal government on how to best prepare for and encourage the adoption and growth of the Internet of Things. Establishing a working group would hopefully lead to a cohesive national strategy, allowing for easy implementation and effective usage of IoT technology in both public and private sectors.

February 19, 2016: LinkNYC Rollout

New York City announced the second phase of its LinkNYC rollout, which will debut android-based tablets for public use. The first “links” launched last month and began providing free WiFi throughout the city. Now, passersby will be able to use the integrated tablets to make phone calls, find directions, or surf the web.

February 19, 2016: Barcelona's IoT Integration

We wrote about Barcelona’s growing Internet of Things integration. Smart City Barcelona, a team created in 2011 by the incoming mayor, was tasked with integrating the existing fiber optic cable network and finding new opportunities to enhance city life through technology. In the past five years, the city has debuted new projects in lighting, transportation, WiFi, and park management, all of which are connected to make a “network of networks.” The improvements have saved Barcelona money, made the city more energy efficient, and improved the quality of life for residents.

February 19, 2016: Real-Time Travel Map in New York

CityLab profiled Placemeter, a New York based startup using data to create a real-time map of pedestrians and cyclists in Union Square. Placemeter gathers movement data through sensors and a video feed, and then uses algorithms to process the data and display it on a map. They suggest their real-time data could be useful to a number of city agencies, such as transportation departments who could use the traffic fluctuation patterns to better optimize transit schedules.

February 12, 2016: LinkNYC's Self-Sustaining Model

We discussed LinkNYC, New York City’s new superfast public WiFi and its self-sustaining model, which is funded by revenue from ads on each “Link.” The ad space is particularly valuable because ad companies have access to user information through the “Links,” allowing them to target ads more directly. Privacy concerns have been raised, but LinkNYC’s transparent, customer-first privacy policy could dissuade many of the fears if implemented correctly.

January 22, 2016: LinkNYC's Debut

LinkNYC debuted the first of its free public WiFi kiosks in New York City. According to Engadget’s tests, the network speeds from the LinkNYC kiosks clocked in at nearly 10 times faster than the average American’s home network. Only a few kiosks have been installed so far, but LinkNYC aims to have 500 running by July and over 4,450 by 2020.

January 22, 2016: Denver's Smart City Partnership with Panasonic

CivSource reported on Denver’s partnership with Panasonic on a new smart city project, aiming to make Denver more sustainable and efficient. The project includes programmable street lights to optimize energy usage and new transportation sensors to adjust traffic flows and provide real-time data to residents.

January 22, 2016: How IoT Can Help Government Efficiency

Drawing on UPS’s efficient fleet management, Steve Goldsmith discussed how good usage of data analytics and the Internet of Things could save governments enormous amounts of time and money. Engineers at UPS developed a sophisticated algorithm to ensure delivery vehicles take the most consistent time- and energy- efficient routes, and he suggests that perhaps a similar system could be used for waste collection and management. He notes that, in the future, the Internet of Things could be used to incorporate even more data and informatics to make these practices even better and more efficient.

October 2, 2015: Pollution Sensors on Google Street View Cars

Environmental sensor company Aclima and Google Maps announced a new partnership that will use sensors on Google Street View cars to map pollution in cities in California. This dynamic, granular data will be open to the public and will enable policy interventions to improve air quality.

September 18, 2015: New Salesforce IoT Cloud Service

Salesforce.com Inc. is introducing IoT Cloud, a service designed to help monitor billions of events relayed daily by smart devices, WSJ reports. The aim is to control interactions between devices equipped with sensors according to customers’ specifications that trigger actions to suit their purposes. This is a step toward using the connectivity of the internet to understand and act on changes in the environment, in real time.

September 18, 2015: Smarter Water Usage through IoT

Here at Data-Smart, Harvard PhD student Laura Adler explains how the Internet of Things is enabling smarter use of water at home, in the fields, and across American cities. And Lisa Nelson, a senior policy analyst with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Community Development team, profiles a regional housing data system that is enabling organizations in Cleveland and in surrounding suburban cities to make strategic decisions about problem properties plaguing their neighborhoods.

September 4, 2015: How the Public Sector is Leveraging IoT

Deloitte University Press looks at how the public sector is aiming to apply Internet of Things technology to find new value for citizens, enhance capabilities, streamline processes, and engage partners--all to improve service delivery in an increasingly complex world.

August 21, 2015: Amsterdam's Citizen-Built IoT Network

A bottom-up network of Amsterdam residents have built an open “Internet of Things” wireless network, Martin Bryant reports for The Next Web. “Unlike other ‘smart city projects’,” he notes, “this one is entirely crowdsourced by citizens and was put together in just six weeks.” Ten $1000 LoRaWAN gateway devices were all it took to cover the entire city. See this summary and more on self-organizing at Civicist.

August 14, 2015: Who Benefits from IoT?

IoT is helping make privacy and autonomy the preserve of the powerful, writes Maria Farrell for the Guardian. As IoT technology proliferates, it’s imperative we question who benefits from it. IoT is about power: who has it, who doesn’t, how it is used. The internet of things is a set of heavily invested capabilities in search of long and deep profit, and we face a struggle to exert any control over who knows what about us.

July 24, 2015: Digital Rights Implications from IoT

A panel of experts on the Guardian’s Tech Weekly Podcast explores the implications of the Internet of Things for our digital rights by asking what does it mean to live in a world where our possessions can track our every move? Gary Atkinson, director of emerging technologies at chip designer Arm, talks about the latest developments in the industry, and professor Philip Howard considers the political potential of IoT.

July 17, 2015: IoT's Ethical Concerns

Data-science expert Mike Weston writes for the Wall Street Journal that comprehensive, easily accessible, and centralized data gathered from Internet of Things (IoT) technologies used in smart city applications will require municipalities to keep pace with digital innovations in order to ethically judge what kinds of citizen behaviors are ok to track and how to properly protect and apply that data for the public good, says Citiscope.

July 17, 2015: How Edge Computing Could Help IoT

GovTech reports edge computing--a strategy that pushes computing power to the edges of a network and allows devices to do analytics themselves and communicate with each other--may become the brains behind IoT, enabling a new way of collecting and applying rich data from sensor networks around the city to improve services.

July 10, 2015: Cisco's IoT Investment

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cisco will invest $1 billion in the U.K. tech industry over five years, as part of its push to connect everything to the internet. This means a big financial nudge to IoT and the algorithmic governance of smart cities aimed at using tech to improve city services.

July 2, 2015: Indiana's New IoT Initiative

The Indiana Office of Technology hopes to be a gateway to IoT benefits. Working with the private sector to evaluate potential economic gains from investing in IoT tech, the state aims to use its data analytics infrastructure to manage and learn from massive IoT generated data, StateScoop reports.

June 26, 2015: Economic Potential from IoT

Summarizing a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the New York Times reports that we’ve barely tapped the economic opportunity to be created by the Internet of Things, predicted to yield $4 trillion to $11 trillion in global economic gains by 2025. Public sector leaders can apply their advice for companies: businesses that adapt to the new technology by organizing properly and exploiting its rich information will gain the most.

June 26, 2015: Potential Congressional IoT Bill

A bipartisan group of senators that has been urging lawmakers to watch the Internet of Things is pushing the Government Accountability Office to study it, Nextgov reports. Among other questions, the senators want to know how the government can benefit from greater connectivity and its associated challenges.

June 26, 2015: IoT Contextualized

Amid the grand aspirations for the Internet of Things, there is healthy doubt about its potential. Writing for the The Atlantic, Ian Bogost puts IoT development in context.

June 19, 2015: Google Launched Sidewalk Labs

Google launched Sidewalk Labs, a new company that hopes to develop cutting-edge IoT tech to improve cities by increasing transportation efficiency, reducing living costs, lowering energy consumption, and streamlining municipal operations, Citiscope reports.

June 12, 2015: The Importance of IoT Policies

Brookings sizes up the growing Internet of Things, and reminds us that now is the time to craft policy on the openness and interoperability of IoT as it becomes a more important part of government, and our lives.

June 12, 2015: How IoT Necessitates Cybersecurity Changes

Writing for Nextgov, Cisco’s Steve Martino explains why, as government agencies bring more devices from disparate suppliers into their network, getting the promised operational efficiency from IoT requires radically changing current cybersecurity models.

June 12, 2015: Chicago's Array of Things

Does your city do the waggle dance? Here on Data Smart, Research Fellow Sean Thornton tells you why Chicago does, and explores how collaborative application of new IoT technologies like Argonne National Laboratory’s Waggle Platform is a formative step in “Smart City” development.

June 5, 2015: Global City Teams Challenge Expo

To promote the Internet of Things, the National Institute of Standards and Technology on Monday hosted the Global City Teams Challenge Expo, where innovators from across the U.S. and Europe presented more than 60 projects showing how IoT could help cities improve fields such as business, emergency response, health care, and transportation, StateScoop reports. And a new group of partners, including eight initial launch cities across the United States, Europe, and Asia, came together to form the Global Smart City and Community Coalition to collaborate in developing innovative solutions to urban problems with IoT technology.

June 5, 2015: Advances in Remote Sensor Powering

The Global City Teams Challenge Expo is part of a growing push to get the IoT in action. Though there’s plenty of work ahead, big developments are happening--in both tech and governance. MIT’s Technology Review reports that engineers are on their way to lifting one of the greatest barriers to IoT development--how to power the numerous tiny machines that make it work--by powering remote sensors and devices using Wi-Fi signals.

May 29, 2015: Shadow IT

With the rise of public cloud infrastructure and the growing Internet of Things, IT officials are channeling “shadow IT”--the unsanctioned use of public cloud infrastructure for collaboration or file sharing--to experiment and test new technology across departments in ways previously unimagined, GovTech reports.

May 29, 2015: Mobile IoT Networks

Not only devices, but also the network supporting the Internet of Things will be mobile, says GCN. That’s the idea driving Veniam, a company that links stationary or mobile sensors in range of vehicles with wifi connectivity, creating an urban scanner with connected vehicles as mobile sensors to collect data about the city.

April 24, 2015: Nudging Drivers with IoT

While optimal traffic automation may be ahead, in the mean time, technologists are developing ways to nudge drivers into better routes with real time information using Internet of Things technology, the Guardian reports.

February 27, 2015: How IoT Impacts Urban Design

A Mashable column presented by Toyota takes a look at the impact that the sensor technologies known as the Internet of Things are having on urban design.

February 27, 2015: The Future of Chicago's Array of Things

In other IoT news, Chicago sees future opportunities to use its Array of Things project and other technologies to support innovative sustainability efforts, the Chicago Tribune reports.

February 20, 2015: Growing Predictions for IoT Expenditures

State Technology magazine reports on a recent report released by the research firm IDC that predicts that by 2018, cities and urban areas will account for at least a quarter of government expenditures on the Internet of Things. The report also predicts that mid-sized cities will increasingly embrace the technology.

February 20, 2015: Using IoT to Improve Snow Removal

In other IoT news, snow-pounded cities are turning to the Internet of Things to communicate with citizens about snow-removal efforts amid a seemingly relentless winter, Fortune magazine reports.

January 30, 2015: Common Challenges for IoT Water Initiatives

Writing in his “Better Faster Cheaper” column for Governing magazine, Stephen Goldsmith identifies some of the most common challenges that cities face in launching smart water meter systems — as well as the strategies they’re employing to overcome these obstacles.