IoT and the Smart City Revolution – An Introduction

With almost half of the world’s population having gravitated towards urban spaces,a monumental strain has been placedon cities as well as the available resources necessary to cater to its inhabitants. It has become increasingly difficult to mitigate the deterioration, whileefficiently managing the existing resources with present systems; thus, increasing the need for the development of new systems that can address the challenge. This, in turn, has led to the integration of smart-tech solutions i.e. IoT (Internet of Things) and big data solutions with what is now known as the Smart City Revolution. A decade ago who could have thought that small sensors could impact the already big idea of smart cities and make it even bigger?This is precisely where IoT steps in and acts as a key enabler, being both versatile and reliable enough in supporting a wide range of municipal goals and objectives. The Indian Government has declared its plan to develop 100 smart cities in the country;the milieu in India, however, poses different challenges as opposed to the other smart cities around the world and will require a unique approach to Smart City innovations.
The future of IoT in India’s ‘Smart City Mission’ lies in the optimization of key areas like Traffic Management, Waste Management,Intelligent Transport System, Public Safety, Energy Utilization, Smarter Communication etc.Taking basic infrastructural changes, for example intelligent street lights, that can switch on or off based on the light conditions, garbage cans that can alert the sanitation department when full, traffic lights that can smoothen and adjust the flow of traffic or even parking lots which can be tracked using mobile applications in real-time etc.; the possibilities and applications are endless.
Another major requirement for the IoT ecosystem to be ready and thrive in India is the placement of proper legal framework and policy regulation for IoT networks in the country. The transmission of data on such an extensive scale will also need the implementation of security frameworks that can provide protection against cyber-crimes and identity thefts, making the smart cities, safer. By 2020, the IoT market in India is projected to grow over a CAGR of 28%, providing better coverage/connectivity along with real-time monitoring and tracking of services/systems across myriad industry verticals. Imagine a world where every human is connected to a device acting as a daily health monitoring system via the Internet. In case of any medical emergency/natural calamity, an alarm can be instantaneously raised at healthcare units for immediate aid. There are no phone calls required and no delay in medical attention due to efficient management of transport/traffic systems, hence saving lives.This is just one of the myriad examples of the kind of world IoT can create in a Smart City and with the Smart City revolution set in motion, we are looking at a future, where Indian cities can leverage technology and connectivity to harness its maximum potential.

Author: Sujit Patheja, Head – Business Development, Smart Infrastructure

Sujit Patheja heads Business Development for the Smart Infrastructure practice and is responsible for defining strategy, building brand and driving sales targets in the Smart City/Infrastructure space for ITL. In his stint at ITL, Sujit has led many strategic initiatives and delivered success across Industries and geographies. Before joining ITL, Sujit spent 6 years at Infosys spearheading sales across Manufacturing, Energy and Utilities and Government verticals. Sujit is a post graduate with a MBA degree in International Business.

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