Raincoats designed for buildings. Hexagonal, heated pavement. Object-classifying cameras. That’s just a sampling of the prototypes Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs today detailed at an event in Toronto — ideas it says it’s been exploring for the Toronto urban redevelopment project announced last year. “The weather plays a big role in determining how much time we spend outdoors,” Sidewalk Labs wrote in a blog post. “While the seasons drive the character of how we live in Toronto – trips to the island during the summer or pumpkin parades in the fall – it is no secret that outdoor activity is concentrated in the six-month period from April through October when the weather is pleasant. [These are] some of ideas … [to] make outdoor public space the social default year-round.” So what’s a “building raincoat,” exactly? Sidewalk Labs describes it as an adjustable awning made from a lightweight, transparent material … [Read more...] about Sidewalk Labs shows off light-up pavement, building raincoats, and more for its Toronto smart city project
Smart city smart grid
Britain's smartest city might be about to get a surprising new champion following a deal signed between Huawei and Milton Keynes.The Buckinghamshire city, famed for its roundabouts and cow sculptures, has teamed up with the Chinese technology titan to partner on smart city concepts in several main areas of everyday life.Going forward, this could include items such as street lights, parking places, waste bins, buildings, energy grids, traffic lights, as Milton Keynes looks to build on its reputation as a location to embrace and test new connected technologies.“Cities may have different priorities, but the ultimate goal is the same: to improve local quality of life," said Gordon Luo, CEO of Huawei UK. "We are pleased to have signed this MOU with Milton Keynes Council, which will see both parties collaboratively develop smart city solutions that leverage Huawei’s global expertise in smart city deployments.”Milton Keynes has a strong history of technological development, … [Read more...] about Milton Keynes signs Huawei deal in bid to become UK’s smartest city
It is touted as a unique opportunity to build a smart city within a major city, literally from the ground up. Environmental remediation, new infrastructure, digital electrification plans, new-age mobility options — the whole shebang. If only people would stop complaining about privacy issues. Up in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, there’s been much ado about what will happen to all the data that the future Sidewalk Toronto project will generate. The focus of the debate has been, predictably, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) whose Sidewalk Labs is the primary partner in the project. And yet, for all the sturm und drang about personal information, not a single spade-full of dirt has been spilled yet. For Toronto, the city would gain a new and smart neighborhood. For Alphabet, it would have access to data. So what’s the Sidewalk Toronto project all about, and why are consumer advocates sounding the alarms? Here’s a primer. What exactly is the plan? On … [Read more...] about Where Toronto sees smart sidewalks, residents see ‘1984.’ So what now?
Tech & Science Hacking Cybersecurity Smart City In Hollywood movies, it’s common to see a stereotypical hacker infiltrate a city’s infrastructure and wreak havoc by tinkering with traffic lights or alarm systems. In reality, experts warn that “supervillain-level” cyberattacks are no longer far-fetched—they are a real threat. Research unveiled today shows how vulnerabilities in “smart city” technology could be compromised by hackers. Bugs were found in major cities in the U.S. and Europe, with teams from IBM and Threatcare disclosing a series of “disturbing” scenarios that could soon play out for real. These included the abuse of flood warnings, radiation alarms and, yes, traffic networks. “If someone, supervillain or not, were to abuse vulnerabilities like the ones we documented in smart city systems, the effects could range from inconvenient to catastrophic,” a report said. The experts were inspired by the … [Read more...] about ‘Supervillain-Level’ Cyberattack Test on Cities Uncovers Shocking Flaws
While the delivery of smart cities solutions requires an overarching plan, they often end up being deployed one project at a time, while focusing on the bigger picture had actually slowed down Cisco in its smart cities push previously, CEO Chuck Robbins has told ZDNet."I think it's like any other complex technology architecture; I think you should have some idea of what the end state looks like, but the reality is if you're going to start from there, you'll never do anything," Robbins told ZDNet during Cisco Live 2018 in Orlando."I think this is one of the problems we had for many years -- we got caught up trying to do a lot."Smart cities deployments therefore end up being rolled out one project at a time depending on what the most required use cases for a given city are, he said, such as smart parking, traffic management, smart lighting, and waste management.According to Robbins, this reality is often at odds with what people have come to expect when a smart city is announced. … [Read more...] about Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins on smart cities architecture