Smart cities will use 1.6b connected things by 2016

According to Gartner, smart cities will use 1.6 billion connected things by the year 2016. This is an increase of 39% from 2015.

By unifying facilities as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors, cities can function far more effectively. For example, in industrial zones, shopping malls, airports, seaports, office parks, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 percent.

Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at Gartner, says in a recent press release that data collected in cities assists greatly in interacting and engaging with residents and businesses. Tratz-Ryan, points out that in some cities, it is evident how data has helped them to more efficient.

“Citizens can actively contribute to the development and strategic direction of their city,” adds Tratz-Ryan. “At the same time, businesses become more empowered to utilise the sensor data to create their value proposition.”

Read more: Using the Internet of Everything to build Africa’s smart cities of the future

Some of the cities that are using data collected by IoT, according to Gartner, include Singapore and Malaga or Madrid. In Singapore, sensors in bus stops can identify people with different needs, allowing buses to announce their arrival early, making it easy for the people with special needs to be ready to board on time. In Malaga or Madrid, environmental sensor-mounted bikes or mail carts register air pollution, with the data uploaded onto a web portal accessible to the public.

Smart Cities

Gartner says that in 2016, commercial security cameras, webcams and indoor LEDs will drive total growth, representing 24% of the IoT market for smart cities. According to Gartner, business applications that are fuelling the growth of IoT in commercial buildings are handled through building information management systems. These systems are often the ones that drive operations management, especially around energy efficiency and user-centric service environments.

And as such, commercial buildings will see massive growth over the next few years, enabling them to reach over 1 billion in 2018.

“Incentives into the deployment of IoT in commercial real estate will fuel its development,” said Ms Tratz-Ryan. “The UK’s building information modelling (BIM) mandate, for example, requires that all public sector construction commencing in 2016 complies with BIM.”

BIM utilises data models coming from various information sources including IoT, which will be used by commercial real estate in the future.

Read more: Human app data gives insight on how we move in cities

It is not only on how cities function that IoT is being a big influence. In smart homes, the growth of IoT is fuelled by devices such as smart TVs, smart set-tops boxes, smart bulbs, smart thermostats, home security systems, and kitchen appliances. Through an ecosystem of home appliances, infotainment and home sensors, smart homes are in fact growing in such rapid speed that smart home investments overtake those of commercial buildings in 2018.

Over the next five years, smart homes will record the highest increase and represent 21 percent of total IoT use in smart cities in 2016.

“Device and wireless standards will be embedded in more devices. Homes will move from being interconnected to information- and smart-enabled — an integrated services environment that will provide value to the home and the individual ambience,” adds Tratz-Ryan.



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