14-11-2017 Vikram Kumar, Founder & MD Of Letstrack
Currently, India is at a population boon where urban areas contribute more than 60 percent of the GDP. As per “World Cities Report- 2016” by UN Habitats, India is projecting to add an extra 300 million urban residents by 2050.
The exponential growth of urban population is placing a huge strain on available infrastructural and environmental resources. This gave the Indian government a call to build better cities in order to accommodate the extending urban agglomeration in India.
Managing the strain on available resources in urban cities with this increasing population is fairly difficult. The best expectation in this scenario could be combining the cities with technology solutions. Smart use of technology and information will enable cities to use infrastructure and other resources much better. PM Modi’s ‘Smart Cities Mission’ is one such example of comprehensive development in selected 100 cities of India. The mission very well objects topromote the selected cities for sustainable development through Smart Internet solutions.
Aiming to instrument the planning of ‘Smart Cities Mission’, Internet of things (IoT) plays a crucial role in he overall development of the selected cities. There is an interesting relationship between the concept of smart cities and the Internet of things.
Combining the physical infrastructure of a city with the latest offerings of technology has become more prominent leading to the growth of smart cities. By 2021, as per the “Ericsson Mobility Report – 2016”, over 16 billion connected devices will be enabled by Internet of things technology. Even global technology giants have already started asserting that the latest technological advancements are leading towards IoT.
It is well believed that IoT is the key to developing smart cities. It makes every possible device internet connected and enables exchange of data between the networks of connected devices. This can be any device from headphones, mobile phones, washing machines, alarm clock to anything else that has an on and off switch to the Internet. It is a huge network of things or even people connected to each other. The relationship in IoT may go as – things to things, things to people and people to people. IoT is believed to impact consumers’ life around the world. Its uses are infinite whether it is in smart parking or waste management.
Apart from everyday uses for personal comfort, concept of IoT will be highly beneficial in building smart cities in India. In a broader context, IoT is something which will not only be applied in communication networks but also in improving efficiency of resources in sectors like energy, transportation, sanitation, healthcare and many more leading to comprehensive development of the city. It will help us improve the way we work and live which will have a long term impact on sustainable development. Hence, it will automatically lead to the growth of smart cities.
Several researches and attempts are being made to link intelligence with technology. This will aim to impact one of the biggest erratic sectors such as Infrastructure. IoT will be having the tendency to tackle basic societal problems which are growing at pace such as traffic congestion in the city. It will be working on the key challenges of cities and transform the way they operate. The IoT will reshape the basic infrastructure for bringing out results in reducing traffic and road congestion. This will also result in saving energy at par. Moreover, smart parking will also be an added advantage to the improved infrastructure. It will alert the drivers in advance about free parking spaces for optimized driving. Smart sensors in street lights will also be one kind of a help to the cities in saving energy. The smart street lights will only be turned on when it will sense someone is approaching near the light.
Besides the infrastructure, there is no doubt that India is having an intensifying battle against waste management. To improve public utilities in the city, Internet networks require balance of traditional information and communication technologies and new technologies to improve efficiency. The IoT can have a huge role to play in the city’s current waste management system. Smart garbage bins enabled by IoT work with wireless networks in managing waste effectively. Apart from the residents of the locality, a smart garbage bin can itself inform the city administration when attention is needed. The sensor enabled garbage bins can efficiently work in reducing garbage overflow which would also contribute in ‘Clean India Mission’ together with ‘Smart Cities Mission’.
The ability of IoT to work without human interaction makes it unique and even more efficient in logistics industry in India. Tracking of vehicles with IoT powered devices makes it more economical and easier than earlier traditional tracking systems. The other advantages of IoT in this industry can be better communication with driver due to vehicle streaming cameras, mobile apps, driver and vehicle tracking, speed check and many more. As technology is still evolving, IoT will turn out to be one of the most crucial necessities for logistic and cab industry. It can help taking prompt decisions of improvements related to work and driving staff.
Apart from societal and environmental developments, IoT will also be driving Indian Healthcare sector. Patients will be connected to health monitoring devices, apps and other tools through IoT enabled technology to keep a regular check on their health conditions. The broader use of IoT in healthcare also includes basic awareness alerts about vaccination programs, pre and post pregnancy care and many more. The characteristic of IoT in connecting devices with each other will also help in better care of patients by connecting their medical machines, equipments and wearables networks with each other.
It is also believed that IoT is going to change the entire landscape of Indian telecom industry. As telecom industry functions on connectivity, it will become necessary for telecom operators to provide uninterrupted networks at really affordable cost. IoT will require a strong connection in order to showcase its impact on smart cities. There will better customer value and enhanced services for better IoT systems.
Globally, many countries have joined the race of developing smart cities with an initial focus on sustainability and infrastructural development. There will be integrated smart solutions to all personal and societal problems spanning various sectors of business. The continuous promotion of ‘Digital India Campaign’ is steadily opening the world of opportunities for developers contributing in building smart cities.
Currently, there are more than 4 million app developers in India working on IoT related projects. The opportunities for IoT in India are immense as it is a developing nation which is readily accepting various technological advancements since past few years. India can be an innovator as well as consumer of IoT enabled devices. From every day micro use to macro level use, IoT can reshape the structure of current cities to smart cities.