Like veins that form the network transporting blood through our bodies, roads and electric lines transport energy and resources through cities. As people and companies share the desire to move from point A to point B as cheaply and quickly as possible, city systems evolve to become more efficient, thanks to continuous feedback mechanisms. However, communities still must utilize resources within the constraints of availability.
Last week, I shared thoughts about how, having lost the battle for the smart home, utilities can capture the opportunities provided by smart cities and own the signals that customers get about what should matter. I got a few emails asking what that looks like. While this is part of the strategy/futurecasting service we’ll be providing, it makes sense to peel back the curtain a little and give a peek into how we think about these things. This was also spurred by a conversation with a fellow ‘Future Utility’ slack channel buddy of mine, Ken-Ichi Hino.
We hear and feel the chorus from around the world that cities are where we can solve problems. Working at the City of Austin, we totally agree. But before we’re able to move forward as the champions of change, it’s time for some real talk.
The excitement around 5G is palpable at the Brooklyn 5G Summit this week, and for good reason. Once the province of academic engineers, there is increasingly a consensus emerging among technology leaders that millimeter-wave technology is ready for prime time.
Although U.S. companies are plowing forward to build up 5G infrastructure, the wireless industry has long acknowledged that it is trailing China (T-Mobile CEO John Legere told CNBC this spring “we are behind China,” while vowing that his company’s merger with Sprint would help the U.S. catch up). Carriers are competing to launch 5G in major and mid-market cities before the end of the year, but the infrastructure necessary to get the network online remains costly and time-consuming, as 5G relies on installation of small cells to expand the network and increase speeds and connectivity for customers.
Although 80 percent of Americans live in cities, urban issues are often put on the nation’s back burner. But residents still expect their city governments to deliver the day-to-day services that make or break their quality of life.
As director of marketing for a SaaS platform serving Multifamily and campus communities, I am constantly keeping my eye on big development deals. One area that caught my eye recently is Tampa Bay, Florida. I was somewhat surprised to read an article about the Water Street Tampa project by Strategic Property Partners (SPP), a real estate development joint venture between Cascade Investment, LLC and Jeff Vinik, the current owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Beyond much of the hype, there is an actual movement when it comes to digital transformation. It is enabling organizations to develop new sales channels, new markets and exponentially grow opportunities in ways never before experienced. According to CIO Magazine, “Digital leaders ... generate better gross margins as well as better earnings and net income than organizations in the bottom digital quarter. Leaders post a three-year average gross margin of 55%, compared to just 37% for the laggards.”
Summer is officially here. Farmers’ markets abound with bins filled with vegetables grown outside in wide open fields and in sunny gardens. But in the future, your food will be grown in an entirely different way, using genetically modified seeds and livestock at a tiny urban farm or big box retailer near you.
The convergence of mobile networks, broadband internet, cloud platforms, IoT, AI and open data is helping transform one of the world’s oldest professions. This is of great significance as agriculture and related sectors like dairy production form the backbone of the Indian workforce. Today, tradition is merging with technology as the IT services sector is helping open up new opportunities for both seasoned and emerging entrepreneurs.
San Antonio is in the early stages of installing smart technologies in three designated “innovation zones” – Brooks, the Medical Center and downtown.
Less than a decade ago the chief innovation officer or CINO was viewed by some as a silly job title, just another ill-defined guru/Sherpa/visionary/Jedi thing.
Decades ago, wireless deployment served only a narrow purpose for a narrow constituency. Today, it provides nearly limitless ways to make life easier for all people through the power of mobility. As we enter the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G, we know that mobility encompasses much more than telecommunications.
In their State of the City addresses, mayors express their priorities for our cities–the challenges and opportunities–and their vision for our country.
“Smart cities” isn’t just a description of highly connected towns; it also applies to those municipalities looking to spur growth of “The Internet of Things.” To do that wisely means partnering with private enterprise and easing regulations that could inhibit internet expansion, not building local municipal networks to manage these smart cities. It also will require the Federal Communications Commission to continue to break down barriers to 5G deployment.
Want to understand all the most important tech stats and trends? Legendary venture capitalist Mary Meeker has just released the 2018 version of her famous Internet Trends report. It covers everything from mobile to commerce to the competition between tech giants. Check out the full report below, and we’ll add some highlights soon. Then come back for our slide-by-slide analysis of the 20 most important parts of the 294 page report.
For generations, Nebraskans have been known around the world for the high-quality goods produced on the state’s farms and ranches. These agricultural families value tradition, hard work, and the land they live on. In the digital era, agriculture producers of the 21st century are looking to utilize new information technologies to increase their productivity and success.
At 36 years old, Jason has worked on farms and ranches for 20 years. He was born only a few miles from the crop supply company where he now works in Moline, Michigan — an unincorporated community in the middle of West Michigan’s farm country. There’s no paved road to his job. To get there, he crisscrosses railroad tracks that run through town and, this time of year, drives past mounds of dry fertilizer and potash, ready to be spread in the adjacent fields.
Over the past six weeks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with over twenty cities across the United States and Australia. Whether I was speaking with a small rural council or a large metropolitan city, the challenge of citizen engagement came up in almost every conversation; specifically, the ever-increasing gap between current engagement strategies and large pockets of the community.
An accountant, a farmer and a teacher walk into a train depot... Sounds like the beginning of a great joke doesn’t it? Funny enough, I met people in each of those professions as well as many others at the AgLanta Conference 2018. At this year’s conference, we focused on the role of agriculture in ‘smart cities’. To start the conference off, Henry Gordon-Smith, Founder of Agritecture, so eloquently asked the audience: “can a city really be smart without agriculture?”
Last week, city officials from around the country gathered in Los Angeles to share ideas about how government can be more data-driven, creative and effective in solving public problems. The raison d'etre for the Government Performance and Innovation Summit, an annual event hosted by Governingmagazine and its nonprofit partner Living Cities, is to showcase, spread and scale up promising programs and practices in local government.
Autonomous cars are much in the news, mostly because of the collisions that are bound to happen as we mix human and robot drivers. These raise obvious questions — who pays when a robocar kills? — but the uproar over safety overlooks the fact that autonomous technology will take over commercial trucking long before the average person has to decide whether to ride in a robo-cab. Companies are building autonomous trucks today for the controlled environments of shipping ports and large industrial sites (which already have self-driving forklifts!).
Right now, most self-driving cars–like those being developed by Google or Uber–can only operate in very limited urban areas of the United States. In part, that’s because these cars need extremely accurate 3D maps that are constantly updated to function properly. That makes them impossible to use on millions of miles of roads outside cities–a problem that MIT engineers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are tackling with a new system using just basic GPS, laser sensors, and artificial intelligence to navigate rural roads. Its name is MapLite.