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pandemic (4)

Gold Level Contributor

The pandemic is accelerating smart city tech

Retrieved from PXHere

It's incredibly difficult to look for a silver lining in the midst of a pandemic when all you can see is the carnage it's caused in its wake. Millions of people have lost their lives. Millions have lost their jobs. We've all lost any semblance of normalcy, and it looks like this will be our reality for the foreseeable future.

But believe it or not, there is a silver lining in all of this.

Disease outbreaks are a grim reminder of how one incident can snowball into a global nightmare, but they also have a long history of changing things for the better. London got its Victorian sewer system after the cholera epidemic claimed the lives of 30,000 people. The Spanish flu, one of the worst pandemics in history, brought about better ventilation standards for buildings.

COVID-19 is poised to bring about the same widespread change as other pandemics have by accelerating the adoption of smart city technology across the world. Klaus R. Kunzmann, the former head of the Institute of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Germany, describes the coronavirus outbreak as being "a lubricant for the smart city."

Let's unpack this.

Familiarity incites higher levels of trust

Technology is so enmeshed in our world that it's hard to imagine life without it. Yet, many people are only comfortable with technology as far as smartphones and computers go; anything else feels too dystopian or invasive. 

Smart cities have been around since the 1990s and gained traction following the financial collapse of 2008, but their adoption has been slow-going since then. Consolidating smart technology into a city's existing infrastructure comes with a hefty price tag, but it's also met with skepticism and unease by many people across the world. 

The pandemic has now exposed people to conditions that make smart city tech easier to swallow. Its impact on the economy, the community and the healthcare sector have local governments and citizens clamoring for change. Citizens are now more open to smart city solutions than ever before, which has opened the door to rapid expansion. 

While modern technology will eventually influence everything about a city's infrastructure, there are a few areas where digital transformation has become the most urgent.

Intelligent traffic management

Smart traffic management systems are replacing the outdated, manual processes that cities have used for so long. For the first time, technology allows cities to respond to changing environments in real-time.

Even a simple shift to smart traffic lights could reduce street congestion by upwards of 25%. Waiting for a red light to change if there's no traffic coming from the other direction will eventually become a thing of the past. Instead of following a predetermined time setting, smart traffic lights will respond to what's happening in the moment. 

Digital grids not only make it possible for traffic lights to communicate with one another to enhance traffic flow and decrease congestion, but they also give city managers the ability to implement better traffic policies, like prioritizing pedestrians in school zones during the most active times of the day. 

Originally written by
Ronald Chagoury Jr., Vice Chairman Eko Atlantic | October 21, 2020
for Smart Cities Dive

Read more…
Gold Level Contributor

Image: Chuttersnap - Unsplash

A new report from Vodafone Business suggests that IoT adoption will accelerate due to COVID-19.

Vodafone’s report, 2020 IoT Spotlight, features responses from 1,639 businesses around the world.

Erik Brenneis, IoT Director at Vodafone Business, said:

“IoT has grown up. It’s no longer just about increasing return on investment or providing cost savings to businesses: it’s changing the way they think and operate. And it’s giving them an opportunity to redesign their operations and future-proof their business model.”

73 percent of businesses (76% in the Americas) that were considering adopting IoT technologies say that COVID-19 has accelerated their plans.

Of the businesses which are already using the IoT to some extent, 77 percent (84% in the Americas) report increasing the pace of their projects amid the pandemic.

While the pandemic brought much to a halt, the research suggests businesses are looking for increased automation to help deal with such unforeseeable circumstances in the future.

87 percent of businesses now say that the IoT is vital to their success (92% in the Americas). 73 percent believe that organisations who fail to embrace the IoT will fall behind within five years. 

Businesses have had to rapidly adapt to support things like working from home during the pandemic. With winter approaching, when respiratory illnesses thrive, all businesses should ensure they remain prepared for further lockdowns and/or restrictions.

84 percent of IoT-adopting firms said that the technology was key to keeping business flowing during the pandemic. 84 percent now regard the integration of IoT devices with workers as a higher priority.

Almost all (95%) of the companies surveyed that are already utilising the IoT are reporting that they’ve achieved a return on their investment. 55 percent claim their operating costs have decreased by an average of 21 percent.

Businesses also report being able to do more thanks to the IoT. 84 percent claim they’re now able to do things they couldn’t before—while 59 percent say IoT data is becoming essential to support their company’s decision-making.

“This research proves IoT is an essential technology for businesses that want to be resilient, more flexible, and quicker to adapt and react to change,” concludes Brenneis.

Originally published by
Ryan Daws - TechForge Media | October 2, 2020

Read more…
Gold Level Contributor

How Drones Are Keeping the Lights On

The image of the all-seeing dystopian drone is back in the public imagination. In the wake of COVID-19, reports of drones policing public spaces, enforcing social distancing guidelines, spraying disinfectant, and monitoring temperatures in a crowd have ignited imaginations and created concerns of the surveillance state.

However, these dystopian images are unlikely to come to fruition. The use of drones for functions such as public health monitoring or policing is at the concept stage, as public agencies look for new ideas in fighting the pandemic. Already we see many of these drone-use cases disregarded as impractical. 

On the other hand, outside of the public eye, the industrial adoption of drones has been on the rise. Drones and drone software are currently reshaping how many well-established businesses run their operations in a post-pandemic world. From keeping agricultural fields intact to allowing utilities to “keep the lights on” for those sheltering at home, drone technology’s impact is undeniable. 

Drones are already here, and not as public health hall monitors, but as the perfect socially-distanced worker for our essential industries. 

The WFH Challenge for Field Workers

As a result of the pandemic, we’re seeing increased drone usage in primary and secondary industries, such as construction, agriculture, and utilities. Drone technology has become instrumental in helping companies return to work, all without putting employees at risk and enabling remote collaboration. 

Industrial businesses have long faced challenges measuring progress in the field or on their job sites. For example, while farmers can track how many seeds they’ve planted, and what inputs they’ve applied, understanding the health and variability of crops across their 100-acre fields can be challenging. Similarly, for construction workers and project managers, understanding the progress, safety, and quality of more substantial commercial projects with hundreds of workers can be taxing. According to a 2016 report by McKinsey, agriculture and construction remain the least digitized of all industries.

These issues have now been compounded by shelter-at-home directives, as teams and contractors face reduced access to physical job sites. And despite the gradual lifting of these restrictions, companies and personnel still face risks and are devising new sets of best practices that prioritize worker health and safety amidst the ongoing pandemic. 

Read more

Originally published by
Mike Winn - CEO and Co-founder, DroneDeploy | June 26, 2020
IoT For All


Read more…
Gold Level Contributor

Image courtesy of SAS

As the countries around the world use social distancing or shelter-in-place strategies to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s clear that businesses are hurting. Online retailers and a few others are the exceptions given the current situation, but by and large, it’s a tough time to run a company. 

There is a bright spot, however, and it’s precisely because of these strategic efforts against the virus: The IoT market is expanding as people look for health monitoring systems, less expensive machine vision solutions, and other remotely accessible products.

Stacey and I caught a glimpse of this in a recent IoT Podcast, as we saw reports of 640,000 Raspberry Pi sales in the month of March. That sales figure is second only to the first month of sales when the small, inexpensive computer arrived on the market in 2012. 

What do Raspberry Pi computer sales say about the IoT market? More than you’d think considering they’re great for prototyping small-compute wireless products for under $50. And they’re coming into their own during this time of crisis. 

For example, a team in Colombia built a Pi-powered ventilator that can be used with readily available parts in order to supplant that country’s inventory of the highly demanded medical device. And projects don’t need a top-of-the-line Raspberry Pi for such a product: The $5 Pi Zero board can handle all of the code and computations needed to keep a DIY ventilator properly running.

But IoT during these times isn’t just about cheap computers. It’s also about how to best get small bits of information, particularly in the medical field, to the right place.

One of my Computer Science class projects exemplifies this. We hacked an older “dumb” glucometer for diabetes patience and applied a little IoT of own. The end result? Using a little code, some algorithms, and the addition of a wireless module, we created a digital pancreas of sorts. The final product sent blood sugar measurements every five seconds to the cloud, automatically adjusted insulin dosages in near-real-time, and remotely provided medical professionals with highly detailed reports. 

Our project was really about the learning experience, but now medical device makers are doing the same thing to improve patient’s health without requiring face-to-face doctor’s visits.

Earlier this year, for example, startup Bigfoot Biomedical raised $45 million in Series C funding to help deliver its first connected diabetes management products this year. These are fully-connected and integrated devices: The insulin injection pen and a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for automated insulin injection. 

Read more here

Originally published 
MAY 6, 2020 BY 

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