DCN June 2017 - Page 30

big data & IoT ADVANCING THE SMART CITY IDEAL The Internet of Things is undoubtedly the next major digital communications revolution. However, to make the most of such an opportunity, it’s vital that we have a network infrastructure in place that can handle it. Joy Gardham, head of Western Europe at Brocade, discusses what this network infrastructure should look like, how it will support our future smart cities and what businesses need to be aware of to ensure they can contribute to creating a happily connected ever after. W hilst not all applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technology have received the warmest of welcomes - the smart hairbrush and smart toaster were widely met with smirks - other applications, such as smart thermostats and connected cars, are genuinely helping people lead easier, safer and more efficient lives. The IoT will prove invaluable over the coming decades, and as urban populations swell, our 30 | June 2017 cities will be forced to meet the requisite demands. It’s predicted that, by 2050, 75 per cent of the world’s population will be city dwellers, and connected technologies can facilitate the more efficient and sustainable use of our limited resources. It is, to some degree, already happening. Increased availability of public Wi-Fi and contactless payments on public transport are two visible day-to-day examples of our gradual move to smarter cities. However, whilst these developments are helpful for citizens, it’s the host of IoT applications currently working behind the scenes which are the greatest resource savers and the stepping stones towards the smart city future which city planners envision. Take the smart street lights currently being piloted in Glasgow. The LED lights, which will replace old sodium lamps, will not only cut carbon emissions and drain less energy, but dim and brighten dynamically. Sensors within the