Cities can leverage existing real estate like lampposts to become the IoT magnet for many city services not offered today. Industry estimates suggest that nearly 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban environments by 2050. To help make cities safer and more efficient, there is a significant push toward deploying smart city technologies, which can be implemented into manufacturing, public safety, utilities, transportation and tourism sectors, among others.
There are also use cases among not-so-“smart” objects, such as street lights, whose capabilities can change drastically as internet of things (IoT) technology is implemented.
The smart street light
BACpress : Many cities have already begun removing the incandescent lightbulbs in lampposts in favor of LED lighting, based on LED’s energy efficiency and cost savings, as well as the increased safety brought on by the brighter light. But these cities are now taking those upgrades a step further with smart lampposts to improve city-wide communications and safety.
Armed with sensors and wireless technologies, the street lamppost of the future will do much more than light the streets at night. Smart street lights may have features such as:
Solar power capabilities:
Going a step further than the efficiency benefits of LED lightbulbs, which use up to 80% less energy than more traditional lighting, the smart lamppost will be outfitted with solar panels to not only power the lampposts lighting, but some of the other applications below like electric charging.
Turning everyday street lights into smart city superstars
Gone will be the days of road repair or traffic crews setting up temporary signage. The smart street light will have digital signage capabilities to alert pedestrians and vehicles of traffic issues, amber alerts or event information.
Environmental condition monitoring:
The smart street light will be able to monitor temperature, humidity, flood conditions, air quality and more. This data can be gathered and used by city personnel to learn about these conditions and implement future initiatives to improve the safety and quality of life for citizens.
Using surveillance cameras, the smart street light can monitor traffic conditions and speeds to adjust traffic signals or to alert drivers of traffic backups via digital signage. Smart lampposts may also help to identify suspicious behavior or enable license plate recognition.
Push to talk:
Smart street lights may feature the capability for pedestrians to ask a digital assistant for directions or connect a pedestrian to emergency services.
With the emergence of electric bikes and scooters throughout cities, smart street lights may act as a charging station for these devices with some of that power coming from solar panels.
While these features are exciting, there is a significant amount of behind-the-scenes technology required to enable all of this functionality.