During the pandemic, we saw just how important it is to continue innovating during challenging times. With local communities and individuals restricted from meeting and with strict Covid measures in place, city authorities and businesses had to rethink how they operated.
Many sectors tapped into smart applications and IoT technologies, from telehealth to help alleviate the pressure on frontline workers, to the rollout of contact tracing and infection screening applications. We even saw a new concept – robot dogs deployed in Singapore to encourage social distancing.
While ‘smart dogs’ are unlikely to be in European cities any time soon, low cost IoT technologies are becoming more attractive and much easier to justify. Hearing public sector organisations talk about the future of public services and how they can potentially reduce costs, save energy and make towns and cities safer places to live is encouraging for our industry.
We are looking forward to being part of this important discussion at next week’s Smart Places and Communities 2022 virtual event, organised by UKAuthority, a publication that showcases best practice and innovation in technology for the delivery of modern public services.
Wi-SUN Alliance will be speaking on the last day (at 11.35 BST on Friday, June 24) on the topic of IoT network communications: No one size fits all, educating public sector bodies about different communications technologies and standards to future-proof their IoT infrastructure.
Public sector IoT initiatives can start from a single (often small) project and evolve to something much bigger. Street lighting is a great example of this. A smart lighting deployment, to replace an outdated, inefficient and operationally expensive system, provides the perfect business case for other initiatives, such as smart parking, traffic management, and environmental monitoring.
Our message to delegates, which will include CIOs, Heads of Smart Initiatives, Data Leaders and those involved in transformation and digital projects, is simple; your network communications infrastructure in fundamental in supporting and driving change. Based on open standards and able to scale to support millions of devices from multiple vendors, the network hub can help meet the needs of smart city development today and in the future.
Wi-SUN will be in good company. The impressive speaker line-up includes Prof. Julie McCann of Imperial College London; Aruj Haider, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, Westminster City Council; Jenny Nelson, Head of ICT & Digital Transformation, Newcastle City Council; Linda Chandler, Smart City Lead at Microsoft; and Tim Kidd, Head of UK Public Sector at Hitachi Solutions.
UKAuthority Smart Places & Communities 2022 runs over three days, June 22 to June 24 (from 11.00am to 12.45pm each day). While it’s a UK event, it will be available on demand and so we encourage those not able to listen live, to register for a recorded version.