Posts Tagged ‘smart cities’

Robert Bosch Venture Capital Leads $3.75 million Series A Round for Flybits

fly-300x85TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2014 /CNW/ – Flybits Inc., a Toronto start-up that has created a context-aware experience development platform for mobile environments, has closed a $3.75 million Series A financing. Led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) and Trellis Capital Corporation with participation from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Ryerson Futures, Inc., the investment will advance the company’s product development and international growth in the United States and Europe.

Since spinning off from Ryerson University in 2012, Flybits has raised a total of $4.05 million to date, including a seed round from MaRS Innovation. Flybits technology has been used in developing smarter cities, connected stadiums, smart corporate campuses, shopping malls, conference venues and even fashion shows. The company also concurrently incubated its technology at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone in Toronto and Vodafone Xone in Redwood City, California. Read more

RDF is Critical to a Successful Internet of Things

Depiction of RDF and the internet of ThingsDo you still remember a time when a utility company worker came to your house to check your electric meter? For many of us already, this is in the past. Smart meters send information directly to the utility company and as a result, it knows our up-to-the-minute power usage patterns. And, while we don’t yet talk to our ovens or refrigerators through the Internet, many people routinely control thermostats from their smart phones. The emerging Internet of Things is real and we interact with it on the daily basis.

The term Internet of Things refers to devices we wouldn’t traditionally expect to be smart or connected, such as a smoke detector or other home appliance. They are being made ‘smart’ by enabling them to send data to an application. From smart meters to sensors used to track goods in a supply chain, the one thing these devices have in common is that they send data – data that can then be used to create more value by doing things better, faster, cheaper, and more conveniently.

The physical infrastructure needed for these devices to work is largely in place or being put in place quickly. We get immediate first order benefits simply by installing new equipment. For example, having a smart meter provides cost savings because there is no need for a person to come to our houses. Similarly, the ability to change settings on a thermostat remotely can lower our heating costs. However, far vaster changes and benefits are projected or are already beginning to be delivered from inter-connecting the data sent by smart devices:

  • Health: Connecting vital measurements from wearable devices to the vast body of medical information will help to improve our health, fitness and, ultimately, save lives.
  • Communities: Connecting information from embedded devices and sensors will enable more efficient transportation. When a sprinkler system meter understands weather data, it will use water more efficiently. Once utilities start connecting and correlating data from smart meters, they might deliver electricity more efficiently and be more proactive in handling infrastructure problems.
  • Environment: Connecting readings from fields, forests, oceans, and cities about pollution levels, soil moisture, and resource extraction will allow for closer monitoring of problems.
  • Goods and services: Connecting data from sensors and readers installed throughout factories and supply chains will more precisely track materials and speed up and smooth out the manufacture and distribution of goods.

Read more

Stem is Trying to Make Buildings Smarter with Machine Learning

stem

Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOM reports, “Here’s the basic idea behind startup Stem: install batteries at a building and use software to convert the building over to battery power (instead of using power from the grid) when energy from the power grid is expensive (like a hot Summer day). Large power companies seem to think it’s a good idea, and on Monday Stem announced that it’s raised $15 million from new investors including GE and Spanish power giant Iberdrola. Stem was founded back in 2009 as Powergetics and it rebranded as Stem last year. The company launched its first battery and analytics system with a hotel in San Francisco a year ago, and now they’re working on installing about a megawatt of systems across Hawaii.” Read more

See the Trailer for Datalandia: The Small Town with Big Data Solutions

GE is having fun showing off their Big Data solutions in a very small (fictional) town called Datalandia. Katie Kaye of AdAge reports, “GE filmed a teensy town in Germany to teach everyday people about the internet of really big things. The maker of data-generating wind turbines and jet engines today will unveil the first of a series of short films that mimic summer-blockbusters to illustrate the industrial internet through scenarios involving blood-sucking vampires and extraterrestrials. ‘What if there was a little town that had the industrial internet and they were using it every day to keep the town folks happy, healthy and productive?’ asked Tommy Means, founder and creative director at Mekanism, the creative agency behind the campaign. The mini-films were shot on location at Miniatur Wunderland, a massive world of model trains and their surroundings in Hamburg that’s loaded with intricate replicas of an airport, ships, hospitals, a soccer stadium, and countless itsy-bitsy inhabitants. GE has named the realm created for the campaign ‘Datalandia’.” Read more

IBM & Deutsche Telekom Building Smarter Cities

David Meyer of GigaOM reports, “IBM and Deutsche Telekom, the carrier behind the T-Mobile brand, are to work together on creating smart city systems, the companies have announced. The smart city concept, which is closely related to the internet of things, is reliant on pervasive connectivity, drawing on what has traditionally been known as machine-to-machine (M2M) technology to hook up everything from traffic lights to public transport vehicles to the local broadband network. This usually involves the use of cellular networks.” Read more

Glasgow Wins Grant to Become One of UK’s First Smart Cities

Jane Wakefield of the BBC reports that Glasgow has been awarded a £24 million grant by the British government to make it one of the UK’s first smart cities. She writes, “[Glasgow] will use the money on projects to demonstrate how a city of the future might work. They will include better services for Glaswegians, with real-time information about traffic and apps to check that buses and trains are on time. The council will also create an app for reporting issues such as potholes and missing bin collections. Other services promised by the council include linking up the CCTV cameras across the city with its traffic management unit in order to identify traffic incidents faster.” Read more

Video: Linking Smart Cities Datasets at ISWC

Irene Celino recently shared a presentation on Linking Smart Cities Datasets with Human Computation: the case of UrbanMatch at the eleventh annual ISWC conference in Boston. The description of the presentation states, “To realize the Smart Cities vision, applications can leverage the large availability of open datasets related to urban environments. Those datasets need to be integrated, but it is often hard to automatically achieve a high-quality interlinkage. Human Computation approaches can be employed to solve such a task where machines are ineffective.” Read more

London Plans to Test Smart City Operating System

Jane Wakefield of the BBC reports that London plans to test a new “smart city” operating system. She writes, “Living Plan IT has developed its Urban OS to provide a platform to connect services and citizens.  With partners including Hitachi, Phillips and Greenwich council, it aims to use the Greenwich peninsula as a testbed for new technologies running on the system. The OS aims to connect key services such as water, transport, and energy. David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, was among the signatories to the partnership. ‘The development of smart cities in future is a crucial commercial opportunity for Britain, and London is the right place to be doing it,’ he said.” Read more