Internet of Things transforms Hamburg into first smart city; new IoT chip announced at Computex

Europe’s first ‘smart road’ opens as IoT market is set to hit $1.7 trillion

Cisco and the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) have teamed up to make Europe’s first ‘smart road’ a reality.

The smartROAD proof of concept aims to improve resource management, traffic flow, infrastructure condition and environmental management, using the Internet of Things (IoT), which Cisco describes as ‘an Internet of Everything approach with real time data and analytics’.

Insights from this concept will help allow Cisco, HPA and partners to decide whether to roll out more IoT solutions across Hamburg, Germany.

The news comes as analyst IDC predicts the worldwide Internet of Things market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 16.9 per cent.

The smartROAD solutions are focused on four areas:

1. Traffic Management helps the port road manager to monitor road traffic. Incidents are detected automatically and the port road manager is alerted to coordinate with other authorities.

2. Structural Sensors provide real time data on the condition of movable infrastructures such as the Kattwyk Lifting Bridge, letting the maintenance team better plan repairs.

3. Environmental Sensors deliver data that is used to improve analysis of the environmental situation in the port area.

4. Smart Lighting improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the port and saves energy. As part of the proof of concept, ‘Follow Me Lighting’ is deployed on one of the streets to specifically improve this road for the users.

Partners in the smart port ecosystem are Philips (intelligent lighting), AGT International (analytics software), T-Systems (Deutsche Telekom’s IT services and consulting division), World Sensing (monitoring and sensors) and Kiwi (video analytics and anonymization).

All sensors and systems are connected by a network infrastructure. Data is processed by analytics software, and findings are made available via an integrated dashboard. Cisco also put in place a security framework for the whole installation that gives visibility into safety and security and enables the port management to take actions in real time.

Together with Kiwi, Cisco has implemented software that runs on the cameras and blurs people and car plates. This level of information is discarded by the cameras and does not enter the network.

"smartROAD is a key step into making our vision of the Internet of Everything a reality," said Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions and Chief Globalisation Officer, Cisco.

"Cities all over the world want to become more efficient and more enjoyable for citizens. At Cisco, we believe digitization can help cities master the many challenges they are facing. Here in Hamburg in particular, the port plays a key role in the city’s economy and its development – that’s why we are supporting Hamburg Port Authority to grow capacity by using their infrastructure more efficiently."

The news comes as Rockchip, China semiconductor company and mobile SoC solution provider, launched ‘the world’s lowest power Wi-Fi technology’ at Computex 2015, the Rockchip RKi6000, which reduces power consumption of IoT smart devices by 85 per cent.

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