Smart cities: future-proofing for tomorrow
Smart city projects are on the rise, but remain small in scale due to networking challenges. With further investment, these difficulties can be overcome and cities’ benefits can be realised
Most smart city projects start small and focus on a vertical market – street lighting, for example, is a typical entry point. While this is one of the most commonly used smart city technologies, Trilliant has assisted in the implementation of additional tools, such as environmental monitoring, traffic management and enhanced security.
Trilliant is making smart cities a reality by creating solutions that solve challenges associated with the compatibility of disparate technologies, enabling them to share information with each other and with non-scalable solutions. Because we approach smart cities differently, we’re able to deliver solutions that are open, flexible and future-proof.
To do this, Trilliant enables and provides consultative services to establish a network before installing any devices. With the right digital infrastructure in place, our cities have the architectural support to create smart cities for the future. Long term, this approach is more sustainable than simply piecemealing solutions together one by one.
While it’s true that smart cities can deliver huge benefits, they are difficult to establish. Beyond capital challenges, getting projects past the pilot stage can be a real hurdle. Many cities already recognise the benefits of smart technology, but city leaders are challenged to not prioritise its development over other important projects, like affordable housing or school funding. The question of city funding and investment doesn’t have an easy answer, but it is something many cities across the world are facing.
Cities that do implement smart technologies are often under pressure to deliver long-term value creation
Cities that do implement smart technologies are often under pressure to deliver long-term value creation. Solutions from different vertical markets use proprietary systems, but without a network solution like the one Trilliant provides, cities can face a major connectivity challenge. By not considering how they can harness data from multiple systems, cities can miss out on the long-term value that smart-city technology can provide.
Similarly, data streams from closed sources that don’t converge in a single place can also cause issues. At Trilliant, we’ve been connecting critical infrastructure for almost 20 years. We understand data can be challenging, but there are ways to make managing it easier. Our clients have found that data management from various sensors has grown into a key part of their business operations, even uncovering untapped revenue streams. Because our platform can bring together disparate devices, data can be managed in one place, no matter what kind of technology it’s streaming from.
A good communications platform is incredibly important, as it opens doors for cities to find the best possible solutions for their unique situations. Trilliant’s platform uses a standards-based application programming interface to surface data in a single pane, giving places the ability to tailor their smart city to the needs of their citizens.
We believe in working with customers to create practical solutions for their energy and smart-city needs. When considering short and long-term returns on investment, cities should first invest in their connectivity infrastructure. This is where Trilliant helps them stand apart.
We support the technology – lighting, sensors and CCTV cameras, for example – but also have a critical understanding of the infrastructure required to make them operate at peak performance. Having a structure in place to leverage this technology allows for investments in the future that are managed by the city. Through ownership of things like data and the network, cities can develop both direct and indirect revenue-generating opportunities. At the moment, however, a lot of cities don’t appear to be interested in acquiring this extra revenue. In many markets, such as the US, there has been very little capital prioritisation for smart-city projects. The US market is missing out on a huge opportunity to prioritise the type of infrastructure that can facilitate smart cities.
Until there’s prioritisation from the public and private sectors, consumers will continue to buy individual systems without a long-term plan on how to manage them. Although some smart-city opportunities are being embraced, many more remain underutilised.