Barcelona, Amsterdam, Nice, London and New York are arguably some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. However, they have more than glamorous fashions, exquisite cuisine and vibrant nightlife in common. All are connecting things, such as cars and trash cans, to the Internet, making their cities work more efficiently.
As the Internet of Things continues to grow and connect things, and the explosion of big data, cloud and mobile devices change our landscape, it’s important to emphasize that a connected life is more than just smart appliances. As more things, people, and data become connected, the power of the Internet (essentially a network of networks) grows exponentially.
This is what we call the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the network effect of bringing together people, process, data and things—to create better social, environmental and economic outcomes in businesses and communities.
Recently, I wrote about how innovative cities, like Copenhagen, and the surrounding districts of Albertslund and Frederikssund are taking decisive action to reinvent themselves with the latest network infrastructure linked to the Internet.
Here’s a closer look at a few examples of the Internet of Everything in action in cities all over the world:
- In Albertslund, work already has begun on the Danish Outdoor Light Lab (DOLL), which will become a showcase for smart lighting. Nearly 40 competing outdoor light solutions converged onto one open network will provide enormous potential to cut costs and consumption while improving public safety.
- In the Frederikssund district, just 25 miles from downtown Copenhagen, the greenfield City of Vinge has one of the greenest and most innovative master plans in Europe, setting the groundwork to be carbon neutral from the outset. Underpinning this goal are plans for an application-centric infrastructure that connects people, data, processes and things – the perfect example of the Internet of Everything.
- And in the Copenhagen municipality itself, smart lighting, parking, water management, smart grids and more all to be converged onto one network, and powered by sensors everywhere, will improve sustainability, resiliency and overall livability.
- Barcelona’s Born District, a bustling neighborhood of restaurants, shops and boutiques uses a customized network for reports on temperature, noise, humidity, particle-concentration and more, providing an overview of the city’s overall “livability.” The information is then relayed to city “situation” rooms, allowing officials to detect levels that are outside of set thresholds and improve on them.
- In London and other parts of the UK, the Internet of Everything is causing city and government administrators to begin thinking long-term about energy consumption and their manufacturing industry. Facing a looming energy shortfall and poised to take its place as an international manufacturing hub, the UK is taking full advantage of the reach of the Internet of Everything as it works to solve infrastructure and economic challenges.
These examples are just the beginning of how with the Internet of Everything can change our world.
Thirty years ago, there were just 1,000 connections to the Internet throughout the world. Today, with the help of app-centric infrastructure, sensors and mobile devices, there are about 13 billion connections, and this is still just 1 percent of what’s possible. The economic opportunity to connect the unconnected totals $19 trillion, comprising $4.6 trillion for the public sector, two-thirds of which can be realized by cities.
In 2020, we expect 50 billion things to be connected to the Internet, which will still be scratching the surface of what’s possible.
We know that data is doubling every two years, and according to IDC the digital universe will expand to 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, annually by 2020. That’s even more staggering when you consider that today 90 percent of data is dark – it is only viewed once or not at all.
However, this explosion of data and apps – when properly optimized – presents unprecedented opportunities to better manage resources and improve quality of life. By embracing the Internet of Everything, cities across the globe can are lead the way toward a more sustainable world. Will your city be next?
- View the interactive map, The Internet of Everything in the Public Sector
- Listen to the recent NPR interview: A Connected Life Means More Than Just Smart Appliances
- Read the recent blog: Copenhagen Gets Greener with the Internet of Everything