Cities all over the world are getting smarter. And this smart city technology has everything to do with the ever-burgeoning Internet-of-Things — the vast network on which numerous linked devices share data that’s analyzed and then acted upon to optimize conditions in a variety of sectors.
IoT in Smart City Technology
From traffic lights and parking to environmental sensors and waste management, IoT helps urban areas operate more smoothly, sustainably and efficiently, which enhances the quality of life for residents and saves money in the process. As is the case any time large amounts of personal and public data fly back and forth, there are security concerns, but they seem to have had little impact on growth. According to one report, cities are expected to invest about $41 trillion through 2035 “to upgrade their infrastructure to benefit from the IoT.” The cost savings of doing so could be huge, as well.
Companies Using IoT for Smart City Technology
As the capabilities of IoT continue to grow, there are sure to be organizations innovating how our cities function. Here are 12 smart city solution companies using IoT.
Location: San Jose, California
Cisco’s location monitoring technology lets users view live feeds of any surveillance camera to assess security conditions. They’re also able to collect data on crime type and location to help predict patterns, and even social media is monitored for possible threats. The company’s Infrastructure Financing Program makes it easier for cities to adopt the IoT technology.
Location: San Francisco, California
StreetLight Data analyzes “mobility behavior” using data provided by smartphones, GPS devices, connected cars and commercial trucks, fitness trackers and other devices — all of which create location records when they ping cell towers and satellites. The company’s “proprietary algorithmic processing engine,” Route Science, extracts actionable information that’s used to improve travel conditions. Through its InSight platform, the company can provide cities with on-demand daily traffic metrics.
Location: Santa Clara, California
Enlighted uses its sensor and analytics platform to help commercial buildings reduce energy costs and enhance occupant comfort. The platform offers data on employee movement, which buildings can use to implement smart lighting, demand-driven heating and cooling.
Location: New York, New York
Optibus's SaaS platform is used for sprawling public transit systems and much smaller operations. The platform employs proprietary algorithms and advanced data analysis to plan and schedule vehicle and driver movements “with detailed insight into how this affects operations, on-time performance and costs.” The company’s goals are to improve “service quality and efficiency, reduce costs, streamline operations and reduce congestion and emissions.”
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Enevo bills itself as “a technology-driven progressive waste management company.” Through the use of pre-installed IoT sensors and a dynamic analytics platform, it helps commercial organizations in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe “measure, analyze and manage their waste” to reduce waste-related operational costs and increase recycling.
Location: Berkeley, California
Using IoT hardware, machine learning algorithms and cloud-based data analytics, Clarity provides “actionable air quality data aimed at transforming how cities understand and tackle air pollution.” Clarity’s nodes contain sensors encased on a weatherproof shell, and data from those sensors is uploaded to the company’s centralized cloud-based software platform for analysis.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Telensa provides lighting control systems for cities, including smart sensors for optimal deployment of street lights. Its system of connected smart street lighting features “wireless control nodes, an Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) wireless network and a Central Management System.”
Location: Morrisville, North California
Sensus’s smart water system — comprised of smart water meters, advanced sensors and software analytics and services — works in concert with its FlexNet communication network. Advanced measurement and monitoring technologies measure pressure, temperature, level, flow, status and more.
Location: San Jose, California
SmartRetail provides “video-based products, solutions and analytics for the retail environment” — including convenience, department and grocery stores — to make better and more efficient use of collected data on age, gender, shopping patterns, product preferences and customer service as well as optimize decisions stemming from that data.
Location: Fully Remote
Citymapper uses IoT connectivity for its car-sharing service, which reduces traffic and promotes sustainability by optimizing suggested routes to use fewer emissions. Citymapper offers a host of solutions centered around mobility and transportation, such as apps that integrate with transit cards and routing algorithms. The company operates in cities throughout Europe, the United States and Asia.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Through its app, ParkWhiz helps people find and price off-street parking for immediate or future use. A mobile parking pass gives users access to garages and lots in nearly 200 cities around the United States. According to its website, the company’s apps have been used by 40 million people across the globe.
Location: Worecester, Massachusetts
Embue uses IoT to create smart apartment buildings, as the company’s cloud-based dashboard, Embue Super, gives residents and owners insights on equipment and environment as well as providing smart home capabilities like digital thermostats and humidity readers. For example, Embue Super, the company’s dashboard, allows building managers to view portfolios of entire buildings or communities and alerts users when a unit needs maintenance. The company’s IoT-collected data is used for predictive monitoring and real-time energy savings.