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Terry Halvorsen, CIO, US Department of Defense
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IoT, the Foundation for Smart Cities
Technology has now become the missing link that connects humans to the world around them. Be it a simple smartphone that facilitates digital payments or the ability to keep a check on weather forecasts, technological sophistication has eased the collective lifestyle of the society. Smart devices form the Internet of Things (IoT) and similar smart networks that make way for smart cities and infrastructures. Although its full-fledged adoption may not be seen at the moment, concepts relating to smart cities powered by IoT are definitely expected to be a part of the near future.
Consider the example of Amazon GO, a store where visitors can walk in, pick up the item they want, and walk out without having to stand at the billing counter. The store recognizes products using RFID and image recognition technology which allows the company to automatically bill their customers and send a digital invoice, allowing them to pay online instead of waiting in long queues. A similar technology is used with parking meters and toll booths where vehicles are automatically tagged when entering into an area or a region. By leveraging cost-effective hardware such as smart tags, electrical sensors, and internet connectivity, packets of data are exchanged amongst various devices, which in turn, trigger corresponding actions that would have otherwise been performed by human interaction. Such equipment are being deployed across the globe for real-time data collection, enabling smarter way of communication and reducing redundancy of tasks. Owing to these advancements, smart city applications such as smart metering, traffic control and utility management are turning out to be a necessity in some urban areas, thereby contributing to the evident growth of technology.