Smart Cities United Kingdom

IoT and Smart Cities

There’s a lot of talk about the Internet of Things (IoT). And smart cities. But, increasingly, there’s a view that citizens are going to be denied anything that resembles a smart city until the city, itself, becomes a lot, well, smarter.

I took the opportunity to meet with Andy Mulholland, former Global CTO of Cap Gemini (and now a VP at Constellation Research focusing on IoT) and Bill Clee, CEO of Asset Mapping, in London last week. Asset Mapping, by the way, focuses on collecting IoT data from building management systems and other feeds. The firm was recently selected to provide its solution to the Manchester Verve smart cities project.

In the video Andy outlines how big data often doesn’t provide the answer in terms of improving citizen experience of so-called smart cities. In the same way a phone is smart (because it’s aware of what its user needs, and of its environment) cities need to react to citizen needs. Cities need to respond appropriately to information to provide better services.

Bill tries to provide examples of how this can happen. He also talks at length about Manchester Verve and what it’s trying to achieve.

One does sense that there’s the whiff of the future about all this. Cities will, inevitably, take cloud and IoT technology to new ‘service’ levels where things just appear to work better.