The World of Smart Cities – Internet of Things

The World of Smart Cities – Internet of Things

Smart cities are key to improving the quality of life of citizens and reducing carbon emissions. And monitoring energy, air and water quality, and transportation requires low-cost, reliable sensors in a robust, cost-effective network.

Utility operators were early adopters of Internet of Things (IoT) technology for cities that need to increase sustainability and improve quality of life for citizens and visitors. One of the biggest opportunities for IoT sensor networks is to improve efficiency and better manage natural resources.

Knowing how weather-related conditions, such as rainfall and water levels, change in real time can help you prepare for and react to potential hazards faster to better protect your infrastructure and community. Connected sensors enable this data capture, advanced analytics uncover key insights, and long-range connectivity is important as sensors are in outdoor and harsh environments.

Low power sensors and networks

Low-power wireless sensors powered by batteries or solar cells can provide key data for such IoT networks, whether for water supply, electricity, smart buildings, or logistics. Battery-backed sensors can be placed in many locations to provide as much data as possible, and LPWANs provide a long-range link with a battery life of decades, minimizing the cost of deploying a monitoring network by avoid the need for regular battery replacement cycles.

All of this data can be ingested into machine learning databases that can identify patterns, highlight equipment that may be about to fail, and allow resources to be provisioned more accurately. This is an essential element to optimize the use of increasingly scarce resources and improve the quality of life of the citizens of a city.

In fact, 84 percent of IoT deployments are currently addressing the targets of the United Nations-defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) according to a joint World Economic Forum and IoT Analytics. report.

These sensor networks provide this actionable data in many parts of the smart city in several different ways. Early deployments have seen sub-GHz networks used for smart street lighting, air quality sensors, and traffic monitoring.

All of this data can be ingested into machine learning databases that can identify patterns, highlight equipment that may be about to fail, and allow resources to be provisioned more accurately.

The long range and low power of the LPWAN network allows sensors to be placed where they make the most sense to provide the data needed, rather than based on available power or connectivity. These sensors link to gateways that feed data back to enterprise software systems for real-time monitoring.

The reach and robust design of the network means that only a few gateways are needed to cover a city, and city governments, LPWAN network operators, or even citizens with a broadband connection and their own can deploy them quickly and easily in convenient locations. door.

As cities strive to become more sustainable, street lighting infrastructure provides an opportunity to improve energy efficiency through cloud-based monitoring and management, as well as integration with other urban IoT capabilities. such as smart metering.

smart buildings

Sensors in smart buildings can provide more data on where resources are needed. Cities must optimize the use of resources, since they tend to consume the most energy and generate the most waste. Distribution networks struggle to balance production versus consumption. Providing highly accurate, real-time data from LPWAN networks enables providers to adopt a more flexible and agile management approach, basing critical decisions on actionable data.

Using a sub-GHz LPWAN network provides greater building penetration, allowing sensors to monitor room occupancy and building systems to manage temperature, humidity, and lighting for the most efficient use of the resources.

Providing highly accurate, real-time data from LPWAN networks enables providers to adopt a more flexible and agile management approach, basing critical decisions on actionable data.

With low-power links running at 868 MHz in Europe or 912 MHz in the US, these sensors can even be self-powered, harvesting light or heat energy from the building.

There is also a tendency to use the 2.4GHz band, which is also occupied by other protocols such as Wi-Fi and Zigbee (or now called Matter). Using resilient LPWAN network protocols with the economies of scale that result from having a single 2.4 GHz design that works anywhere in the world can provide a lower cost, more reliable monitoring network for the smart building you use. battery-backed sensors.

smart home networks

LPWAN technology for smart buildings is also making its way into the home. While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the dominant technologies for the smart home, LPWAN technology is also used to provide reliable monitoring and configuration for a wide range of smart devices. With LPWAN technology in smart speakers, for example, smart devices can be easily added to home networks.

This capability is being further expanded in a number of ways. Using the smart speaker as a long-range LPWAN gateway allows data to be collected from neighboring sensors, providing further analysis of a local area.

While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the dominant smart home technologies, LPWAN technology is also used to provide reliable monitoring

Amazon’s Sidewalk program, for example, is doing just that, providing a network of smart speakers around the city that act as gateways to collect data from the sidewalk and beyond.

Peer-to-peer networks that perform the same function are also emerging. With the right network architecture and incentives, a gateway installed in a home to collect sensors and security data can also be offered to neighbors and local authorities to provide a secure data collection service.

Logistics and supply chain management

Smart sensor networks can also be used throughout the logistics chain, tracking products from the factory through the smart city and all the way to retail. With standardized LPWAN technology, the same low-cost sensor used to track equipment as it moves through the manufacturing line can be used to securely track the unit as it is shipped to a warehouse or retail store. online distribution and to a customer.

The sensor data can even be used to configure smart home equipment and set up any warranties or warranty arrangements.

The combination of IoT analytics and connectivity technology will accelerate smart decisions and improve overall response time to optimize resources and respond to natural disasters.

Should the unit be stolen, whether in transit or in the warehouse, store or home, the LPWAN sensor can provide location and even disable operation, deterring theft and reducing waste. With low power operation, a small coin cell provides this capability for many years.

While these tracking sensors may make use of national LPWANs, they are increasingly turning to smart home networks to provide that location data. Tracking data from a unit can be collected by neighborhood networks throughout the smart city to provide real-time updates during delivery and at other times if needed, with minimal costs.

Realize the value of LPWAN

The value of a low-power, long-range wireless network is only just being realized in the smart city. Low-power, battery-backed or battery-free sensors can provide real-time monitoring of infrastructure, providing the data needed for optimization of scarce resources across the city, reducing waste and saving costs.

The combination of IoT analytics and connectivity technology will accelerate smart decisions and improve overall response time to optimize resources and respond to natural disasters.

While the infrastructure for these networks is already being rolled out nationally, there is also a trend towards local deployment in smart homes, through emerging commercial and peer-to-peer services.

These are enabled by the long-range capabilities of sub-GHz networks, providing connectivity for local sensors and monitoring for supply chain management throughout the smart city, while 2.4GHz versions help monitor and optimize the use of smart buildings.

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