Article | April 23, 2019

What Is A Smart City, And Why Should I Care?

Source: BlueStar, Inc.

By Felicia Jordan, BlueStar

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The technology world is full of buzzwords, and our channel is no exception to this rule. As soon as one term becomes demystified, two more spring up in its place. Just when you thought you understood what the Internet of Things is and how it could impact your business, the term ‘smart city’ starts getting kicked around.

Hopefully you know enough about IoT to understand the ramifications of smart city tech (and if you don’t – no worries, we’ve got you covered). But if you’re an ISV or VAR, it’s imperative that you understand what a smart city is, and what it means to the channel.

Smart cities go beyond smart homes, Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, and the luxury of Wi-Fi in the park. Estimates from experts are predicting that more than $41 trillion will be invested in IoT tools, platforms, and technology in cities around the world over the next 20 years. It’s being seen as the solution to many of today’s modern problems: from gun violence to California wildfires, to traffic jams. And with a sticker price like that, you can’t afford to ignore it.

DON’T MISS THE BIG PICTURE

Sure, smart homes are already coming into play, and from Google to Amazon to Microsoft, you can take your pick of digital home assistants at your fingertips. But building a smart city is obviously a larger task, and it’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

A smart city, as defined by the Smart Cities Council, “uses information and communications technology to enhance its livability, workability, and sustainability. It collects information about itself using sensors, devices or other systems, and sends the data to an analytics system to understand what’s happening now, and what’s likely to happen next.”