IoT, the Foundation for Smart Cities
Technology has now become the missing link that connects humans to the world around them. Be it a simple smartphone that facilitates digital payments or check weather forecasts, technological sophistication has eased the collective lifestyle of the society. Smart devices form the Internet of Things (IoT) and similar smart networks that make way for smart cities and infrastructures. Although its full-fledged adoption may not be seen at the moment, concepts relating to smart cities powered by IoT are definitely expected to be a part of the near future.
Consider the example of Amazon GO, a store where visitors can walk in, pick up the item they want, and walk out without having to stand at the billing counter. The ‘Just Walk Out’ Shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. The technology detects products that are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. Similarly, RFID technologies are used with parking meters and toll booths where vehicles are automatically tagged when entering into an area or a region. By leveraging cost-effective hardware such as smart tags, electrical sensors, and internet connectivity, packets of data are exchanged amongst various devices, which in turn, trigger corresponding actions that would have otherwise been performed by human interaction. Such equipment is being deployed across the globe for real-time data collection, enabling smarter way of communication and reducing redundancy of tasks. Owing to these advancements, smart city applications such as smart metering, traffic control and utility management are turning out to be a necessity in some urban areas, thereby contributing to the evident growth of technology.