Philips Lighting looks to the future

Source: Smart Cities World on November 19, 2016

Whatever they say, the future will definitely not be orange. The sodium infused streetlights that give our cities that distinctive orange glow will be consigned to the past as will the ambient strain of light pollution that accompanies it.

This is according to Philips Lighting that presented its view of how connected lighting can underpin the structure of future cities at the Smart Cities Expo World Conference in Barcelona earlier this week.

The lighting company looked to 2030 as its reference point, which, although sounds like future with a big ’F’ is only 14 years away. It’s the year by which it is predicted that 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities.

In the first installment of the 2030: Smart City Life virtual reality experience, Philips demonstrated how connected LED lighting has the potential to enhance and transform many aspects of our lives in the march towards increasing urbanization. And its not ‘out there’ fanciful thinking, The four scenarios that the company presented in its VR exercise are firmly based in current day reality – what is possible and happening right now – so let’s take a look at these in greater detail.

1. Connected Streets

Connected LED street lights provide highly energy efficient, quality light, but they can also act as sensor nodes on an information highway. Fourteen years from now connected streetlights could stream data between millions of devices. Connected lighting infrastructure collects and distributes data and improves city services such as light, traffic, air quality, public safety, parking and other location based services, leveraging state-of-the-art communication technologies.

Autonomous vehicles navigate roads safely, using and communicating with sensors in streetlights that scan the road and pavements, and provide a frame of reference by transmitting situational information to augment the vehicles’ on-board sensors.

At the show, the company announced its latest connected lighting project in Jakarta that utilizes Philips CityTouch to monitor and manage nearly 90,000 streetlights.

2. Interactive Public Spaces

Scarcity of space will force cities to extend public spaces underground, with a seamless transition made possible by lighting that mimics natural daylight and makes people feel comfortable.

Digital lighting systems can send positional data to help drones navigate and deliver items, while responsive light walls display art and foster citizen interaction and creativity.

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