IoT apps coming to a city near you
- By Kathleen Hickey
- Feb 04, 2015
Project demonstrations and workshops from results of round two of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s SmartAmerica Challenge begin in February, with final demonstrations occurring in June.
The Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) opened late last September. Contestants develop technology that addresses local community issues, including air quality, traffic management and emergency services coordination using of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Currently there are more than 30 teams pursuing projects related to public safety, energy and transportation.
As part of these project demonstrations, NIST is hosting a Tech Jam February 12th and 13th at its Gaithersburg, Md. campus. The jam is geared toward providing existing teams an opportunity to present their projects, and to identify potential project partners.
In addition to current Challenge participants, anyone interested in joining the Challenge, government managers working on smart city projects, as well as individuals from the private, educational and non-profit sector are invited to attend.
GCTC is sponsored not only by NIST, but by US Ignite, a non-profit that fosters the creation of next-generation Internet applications for the public good. The Department of Transportation, National Science Foundation, International Trade Administration, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Energy are also sponsors.
For the purpose of the GCTC, IoT is defined as going “beyond current concepts of machine-to-machine communications” and offering “advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that span all industry sectors and communities. From heart monitoring implants, to smart energy grids, to automobiles with built-in sensors, and emergency response services that assist firefighters and police officers in search and rescue, the IoT has incredible potential,” noted GCTC’s FAQ page.
While one goal of GCTC is to develop public-private partnerships to accelerate IoT deployments within smart city/smart community environments, NIST has a second goal of developing “technology-neutral standards that will facilitate IoT R&D and catalyze IoT adoption in the U.S. and around the world,” according to the FAQ.
Among the CGTC projects are the following:
SCALE: The Safe Community Alert Network is a remote monitoring and automated emergency alert system for vulnerable populations through the use of sensors and cameras. This project could improve the quality and affordability of healthcare and reduce unnecessary costs of emergency medical attention.
Paradrop: A city-scale analytics platform to detect and understand population dynamics in urban environments. The Paradrop platform could provide insights for businesses and cities to understand the activities of the population, while also providing key quality of living metrics such as noise pollution and public safety.
ARIBO: The Applied Robotics for Installation and Base Operations program uses autonomous vehicle taxi deployments in enclosed environments like army bases, campuses or dedicated roadways. Developed by the Army, AIRBO is using federal installations and universities as test beds for developing guidelines for operating autonomous vehicles in public environments
AoT: The Array of Things is a network of interactive, modular sensor boxes around Chicago collecting data on the city’s environment, infrastructure, and activity for research and public use. It provides application developers with near-real time, spatial-temporal data about urban air quality, weather and other factors.
Integrating an Aerial Base Station with a City’s Emergency Communication Grid. The project proposes an Aerial Base Station that can be integrated with communications network used by emergency response agencies in Denton, Texas. It will enable citizen to citizen communication and citizen to first responder communication when there are power failures and cell towers are dysfunctional during disaster response.
Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.