A SMART city is always a SAFE city.  A SMART city always keeps its citizens and the city SAFE at all times.  Can we feel SAFE at all times ?  May be, but feeling SAFE is not the same as being actually SAFE. As we have discussed in the series earlier, ICT – Information & Communications Technologies, is a major component, of a SMART city, upon which the infrastructure of Technologies for a SMART city is built upon, which keeps the citizens and the city SAFE. This is the Digital SAFETY a sub-component of a SAFE city, which can ensure our SAFETY. A city, where no one is hacked, nor their data stolen, nor their private information stolen / exposed, nor any other cyber crime exists and more, and where the citizens not just feel safe, but are actually safe and confident.  Digital SAFETY can be secured with the installation of ICT hardware and software, all over the city, such as CCTV and mobile cameras, sensors, rugged iron boxes on the streets like fire hydrants with switches, cables and wires,  state of the art intelligent software programs and more, and all integrated and inter-connected, and all leading to a Central Monitoring System (CMS) or Unified Control Center (UCC). Besides taking measures to make our ICT infrastructure SAFE and secure, and thus strengthen our Digital SAFETY, we also must ensure that other essential sub-components of SAFETY in a SMART city are also considered as equally and essentially important, such as Health SAFETY, where water, air and food are the cleanest and SAFEST for Human lives, which increases the life span, lowers the mortality rate, reduces several diseases caused due to polluted air and water and unsafe, contaminated food, thus reducing our healthcare costs and making us smarter humans. Another sub-component of a SAFE city is Crime Prevention & SAFETY, such as zero crime rates in our cities.  A city with no homicides, break-ins, rapes, burglary, racial or any other attacks, discrimination for any reason, nor any other crimes. Some may call this Equitable SAFETY, which is what, is Social Equality, without which there cannot be Political Equality and without which there cannot be Economic Equality, and therefore there cannot be an Egalitarian society.  This boils down to SMART SAFETY for all. Continue Reading

Internet of Things and the next web revolution

The famous philosopher Immanuel Kant proposed that our knowledge of the outside world depends on our modes of perception. Humans are said to have five sensory perceptions. These sensory organs form our gateway to the experiences of the outside world. The brain sits at the top acting as the control center to process and analyze the myriad data which is delivered to it from these sensory organs distributed throughout  our body. The medium used to transport these electrical impulses to the main control center (brain) is our web of dense nervous system. A smooth and seemless integration of these three elements: sensory organs, nervous system and the brain makes us aware of the world around us. This elements are what comprise an intelligent life – the human being. What if, this can be realized for the world around you? It is possible to replicate this biological wonder, which is us - the humans, in the real life outside world. The sensory organs can be substituted with sensors and embedded systems in the outside world. They will act as our eyes and ears to capture the information. The role of the neural networks can be taken over by the wireless and wired means of communication (fiber network, wifi etc.). The brain of the whole arrangement is the control center which analyzes the data drawn in from these sensors. It employs algorithms and analytics to derive meaning from the extensive data collected from the sensors. This information can later be played to our advantage to make life efficient, sustainbale and livable. Welcome to the Internet of Things. A new era of connected sensors and gadgets  employing digital technologies or information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance quality of our life.  They enable us to reduce costs and make efficient utilization of our resources. The alternative name for Internet of Things is Web 3.0. The first implementation of the web represents the Tim Berner Lee’s Web 1.0, which,  could be considered the “read-only web.”. There was very little in the way of user interaction or content contribution. There wasn’t any interactive content and it was just a bunch of static pages which provided information to the user. Web 2.0 saw the advent of social networking sites and discussion forums. The facebook, twitter  and instagram propelled this phase of web revolution. These sites emphasized user-generated content, usability, and interoperability. The term was popularized by Tim O'Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004, though it was first coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999. In 2015, we are well into Web 2.0 as can be seen from the Facebook example itself. Facebook announced a huge milestone: a billion people used the service in August 2015, founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post. "On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family," he wrote. "When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. Continue Reading