IBM Watson wants to help streetlights become smarter
Echelon and the IBM Watson IoT group will collaborate to develop an enhanced streetlight control platform for smart cities, the companies announced in a release.
The platform will allow cities to use connected lighting that responds to observed behavior and trends in a way that can both reinforce public safety and reduce energy consumption.
The platform will enable cities and municipalities to gather data from sensors and other connected devices, and leverage the power of IBM Watson’s AI to make smarter decisions. In particular, Watson will power adaptive decision-making processes, taking sensor data and using it in real time to automate public lighting.
Smart lighting platforms can provide cities with a number of clear and tangible benefits. Here are some of the ways cities can use them:
- Promote pedestrian safety: Cities can use sensors to determine whether there are pedestrians in the vicinity of a light at night. Lights can be activated when there's a person nearby, providing a sense of security and added visibility that may serve to reduce crime by keeping people alert.
- Enhance automotive visibility: Using a smart lighting platform, municipalities can adjust streetlight output based on traffic volume as well as weather conditions. With low-power LEDs, the lamp can modulate output, so in cases of fog, it can decrease light levels so that visibility isn't further reduced. When typically low-trafficked areas see high volume, lights can adjust to provide output beyond normal hours.
- Reduce energy costs: By using a connected adaptive lighting platform, cities are able to realize benefits like those listed above while also reducing electricity usage and energy costs. The adaptive nature of a smart lighting platform allows it to only use lights that are needed, transitioning lighting from timing-based to need-based. Cities will not need to waste power keeping lights on when no cars are on a road or no pedestrians are walking on a street, allowing sensors to monitor those factors and letting the platform control lights based on that data.
Partnerships like this will continue to propel smart city solutions. Cities will be able to realize a broad range of benefits in the short and long term, improving public safety while also reducing costs. The main drawback comes from upfront expenses, setting up sensors, and developing the connectivity and protocols that are needed to allow an adaptive platform to automate operations.
As BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, discusses in the Smart Cities Report, smart platforms will allow companies to offer services to a wide range of cities, growing their business while providing clear benefits to those cities as well.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting businesses, governments, and consumers and transforming how they interact with the world. Companies are going to spend almost $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years — and the proliferation of connected devices and massive increase in data has started an analytical revolution.
To gain insight into this emerging trend, BI Intelligence conducted an exclusive Global IoT Executive Survey on the impact of the IoT on companies around the world. The study included over 500 respondents from a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, technology, and finance, with significant numbers of C-suite and director-level respondents.
Peter Newman, research analyst for BI Intelligence, has conducted an exclusive study with in-depth research into the field and created a detailed report on the IoT that describes the components that make up IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market in terms of device installations and investment through 2021. And we examine the importance of IoT providers, the challenges they face, and what they do with the data they collect. Finally, we take a look at the opportunities, challenges, and barriers related to mass adoption of IoT devices among consumers, governments, and enterprises.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- We project that there will be a total of 22.5 billion IoT devices in 2021, up from 6.6 billion in 2016.
- We forecast there will be $4.8 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2016 and 2021.
- It highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; stages of adoption, deployment, and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices, platforms, and services; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.
In full, the report:
- Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem
- Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward and highlights areas of interest in the coming years
- Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why
- Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies implementing IoT solutions