To manage the city’s infrastructure centrally, Barcelona’s council and supercomputing centre, with Cisco and other technology partners, have just completed an innovative proof-of-concept platform.
One could spot on the city thoroughfares grey cabinets housing a range of technologies that could be controlling anything from traffic and lighting to parking and waste.
The city is increasingly getting covered by sensors that would be the conduit for delivering smart support to citizens.
In order to consolidate and centrally manage all infrastructure, data, and services, Barcelona has developed and tested what is designed to be an “open, flexible, scalable and secure” platform accessed through a simple browser-based remote dashboard.
The platform, implemented jointly by Cisco, the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, and technology and academia partners such as Schneider Electric, the Technical University of Catalonia, and i2cat, addresses the challenge of isolated silos.
It deploys a fabric of nodes at the network edge, providing data processing, analysis, and security close to the connected sensors and objects in the streets, and intelligently connecting them to a backend platform in the cloud.
This platform meets the challenges of the Internet of Things by simplifying, accelerating, and dramatically reducing the cost of deploying new services.
This is likely to help create new business models, potentially attracting entrepreneurship and fostering innovation.
A Cisco official said some 50 billion devices will be connected worldwide to the internet by 2020 – and that 40 per cent of all data will come from sensors and smart devices. By then, a Smart City with one million inhabitants will generate more than 180 million gigabytes of data per day.
A platform like the one developed in Barcelona might be a way to reduce the complexity, costs, operations, and time required for deploying urban applications.