Am I alone?

All over the world people gather in Internet of Things Meetups.

Is there one near you? If not, set one up yourself. If you need advice, mail.

Read about the first Meetup in Ghent.

More information can be found here.


Donal Power: For this new smart city venture, small is beautiful

While corporate giants and big cities are adopting Internet of Things (IoT) technology at a fervent pace1 , a new venture seeks to help smaller businesses and towns take advantage of IoT’s vast potential too.
Telecommunications consultancy B2 Group announced that it was launching Directed IoT. The focus of the new division is to aid the implementation of “last mile” IoT initiatives for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and mid-sized towns and cities.
“In today’s market, many segments of the IoT ecosystem are under-served and we believe that the Directed IoT division can fill the gap in needed services and expertise,” said Bob Bilbruck, CEO of the Irvine, California-based B2 Group.

Smart Citizen Toolkit

With the Arduino-enabled Smart Citizen Kit, citizens can record real-time environmental data which can then be used for research, analysis and, eventually, citizen-led solutions to environmental problems

The SocIotal toolkit is timely. The social and stakeholder need in the smart city debate is becoming recognized widely. It is no longer seen as nice to have, but as a key focus alongside the technical implementation.

Oxford academic Igor Calzada is "particularly wary of a model, which seems to be dominant especially in the US, that sees citizens mainly as just customers to whom the administrations provide services. “If you see citizens only as customers, cities become just social reward, material exchange, relationship based markets. But as we have seen recently, markets can also fail.”  In cities that want to call themselves really smart, "citizens cannot just be managed like data entries, or left as an afterthought: a concern that seems to be shared also by Peter Sany, president of the non-profit TM Forum, who organized the conference Calzada spoke: “there are four ‘P’s. You have to start with people.”

Commercial organisations, "including telecoms providers and utilities, often explain their needs to local councillors, who then want to implement a top-down approach to create a smart city. “But that does not work,” says Corné Kriesels, co-ordinator, cables and pipes, for the city of Breda. “To create a successful smart city, only a bottom-up approach will succeed. A municipality must first pay attention to what is happening in the city and then look critically at the processes and workflow in its own organisation."”

For example in Lisbon, the need for BIP/ZIP (Bairros e Zonas de Intervenção Prioritária), a program developed by the city for priority measures in difficult city neighbourhoods. was determined following detailed analysis of quantitative and qualitative data on building substance as well as of social, climatic and economic indicators.

Sicco Santema, professor of B2B marketing and supply chain management at the Delft University of Technology, states "supply chain costs will be cut by 15% to 20% if parties work together." According to him the creation of an open supply chain where only one party collects source information and shares it with the rest of the chain, throughput can be reduced significantly and the cost savings will be substantial. In the Netherlands  there are too few examples of supply chain information-sharing. “There are often too many interests,” he says. “The current aim of many organisations is to gather as much information as possible, and then to guard that information like a lion. The danger of keeping information to yourself is that Google will eventually be your biggest competitor, he says. “Information and the availability of information is critical in supply chain optimisation. That is what Google and Amazon do best."

By giving local citizens access to the system containing information about works and other reports, the number of reports is reduced, says Kriesels. “The nature of the reports has changed,” he adds. “Where previously people mentioned, for example, a pile of sand that was lying somewhere, the reports we get now are more serious in nature.”

Smart Cities May Turn Competition into Collaboration

As more smart cities emerge, embracing technology and learning from the insights that big data offers, we will likely see a new business strategy emerge–geo-collaboration. When we think of cities now, we typically envision businesses, systems, and people operating among one another with almost no connection or collaboration. Now, imagine what will happen once cities become more connected and smart? Once local companies realize the value they could create together through interconnectivity, the possibilities are virtually endless.