Making Sense of Location Based Services

Smart City – A Dream Turning into Reality in the UK

There have been various futuristic authors that have highlighted the advent of the Internet of Things in a world where computers and sensors would be embedded in every thing, be able to “talk” to each other in self-adapting networks and do useful tasks without human intervention. But it seems now that this dream is becoming reality.

To facilitate this massive task there have been a number of initiatives in place. An example of such an initiative has been driven by The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), working on creating open standards for M2M communications in advance of the European Smart Metering Mandate M/441. This mandate requires the installation of millions of communicating meters for electricity, gas, water, and heat over the coming years, followed by the development of Smart Grid applications.

 In October 2012, ETSI’s M2M Technical Committee will be releasing an M2M software standard that can support multiple vertical M2M applications. And in the UK, the Technology Strategy Board announced a £5m Internet of Things initiative beginning with a series of workshops and the launch of a Special Interest Group this summer.

 This will be followed by investments in feasibility studies, research and development projects and pilots, coinciding with the release of the ETSI M2M standard. However these ongoing initiatives would be of little benefit if the practical applications are not secure, be power super efficient and not overwhelm the existing networks by constantly reporting their status.

But it seems that Neul, a Cambridge based company has ticked all the requirements for a practical rollout of M2M implementation using “White Space” digital TV spectrum. With Cambridge as its “Test City” it seems that Neul is well ahead of its competitors which in turn has prompted the UK government to urge local authorities to submit blueprints for turning their cities into “smart cities” by integrating transport, communications and other city infrastructure, for the chance to win £24 million of government investment.

.The Future Cities Demonstrator programme, run by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), aims to kickstart the market for integrated city systems, which is estimated to be worth £200 billion a year by 2030. The government has already lent its support to smart city schemes driven by Intel and Living PlanIT, but this is the first time it will offer financial support for such a project.

Local governments and local authorities are being invited to bid for one of twenty £50,000 grants to carry out a feasibility study to develop their demonstrator project proposal. The cities that complete the feasibility study will then be invited to submit a proposal for the large scale demonstrator, and one successful city will be awarded £24 million funding to implement their proposal

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