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What is a smart city, and why should I care?

October 18th, 2018
Each new day often brings a new buzzword, so it’s important we fully understand new terms as they quickly become part of our language and used on a daily basis.

One such term that has joined some of the big buzzwords like IoT and Big Data is ‘smart city’. But what does a smart city actually look like?

Well, smart cities go beyond smart homes, Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, and the luxury of Wi-Fi in the park. Experts are predicting that more than $41 trillion will be invested in IoT tools, platforms, and technology in cities around the world over the next 20 years.

A smart city, as defined by the Smart Cities Council, "uses information and communications technology to enhance its liveability, workability, and sustainability. It collects information about itself using sensors, devices or other systems, and sends the data to an analytics system to understand what's happening now, and what's likely to happen next."

The beauty of the smart city is that all the data to move forward with implementation already exists.

From servers to routers and networking to cloud computing software to digital signage for outdoor kiosks, smart cities have the potential to demand many different verticals and technologies take part in constructing one.

Finding opportunities

At BlueStar, we recommend that our partners familiarise themselves with the infrastructure necessary to create smart cities. The ability to sell technology that can be refashioned to cater to smart cities can create huge opportunities.

If you’re already selling digital signage and kiosk services, determine how these can be implemented or even bundled with other solutions like routers and wayfinding tools.

But don’t forget that building and refashioning cities is, at its core, a human issue. Every city is different and will be looking to cater its smart city initiatives to solve human problems specific to its own population. Take the time to research accordingly to learn what each city is looking to focus on, and how you can tailor your offering.

Adding Value

A smart city is more than just a few pieces of technology linked together - it's a living, moving, changing ecosystem. City planning committees will be eager to have all the help they can get during the implementation phases. Be sure you're able to offer additional support, installation services, roll-out tech support, and troubleshooting.    

Smart cities are coming. They may be coming at different paces, and with different priorities in mind, but they're coming - and for many cities, the initial steps have already been taken.




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