Technology is making daily life easier and more efficient – but who and what is connecting the wires? Ross Murphy, CEO of SixPorts, explores smart technology and the progressive solutions that will help to shape smart cities of the future.
Smart technology has been described as building a digital representation of reality, with platforms that create a digital index of how the world works. We’ve come to use products like Amazon Alexa, smart meters and apps that remotely control home appliances on a daily basis. But, what does technology like this really mean for the future and the progression of our towns and cities?
The concept of Smart Cities is all about embracing new technologies and the data on which they feed to provide 21st Century solutions to today’s economic, social and environmental challenges. Think this is something for the future? Wrong, this future is already with us.
You can already install sensors to check how much you’ve got in the fridge, log into Sat Nav and be routed to avoid traffic jams or find the next available parking spot. Local authorities already use data stored on servers somewhere in the cloud to remotely control traffic lights to keep busy roads moving. Smart street furniture, available now, provides direct connections to emergency services with in-built defibrillators that actively talk users through life-saving procedures.
The opportunities for smart tech are limitless and crucial in future-proofing our cities. It is estimated that by 2030 more than 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities. In Kent, we are not immune to the pressure for increased urban growth with local authorities planning whole new communities to meet high housing demand.
Technology should be front of mind for these strategic sites, building homes and facilities set up not only to be the most sustainable or energy efficient but for the way people want to live and work today. Tech-focused businesses should be playing as key a role in the vision for places like Otterpool Park or Ebbsfleet Garden City as architects or surveyors.
The future for developments within Kent is boundless. We’re not quite at the level of flying cars yet, but the technology that was the stuff of fiction in Back to The Future now exists and it will only get more exciting in the years to come as the potential of voice tech and artificial intelligence takes place and other, as yet untapped, innovations emerge.
SixPorts are currently working on the technology behind smart tech, embracing the Internet of Things to keep homes and people connected. There is so much potential and we can’t wait to play a leading role in showing what can be done.