Today, we talk about Smart Cities incorporating information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance the quality and performance of urban services. For example, in energy, transportation, and utilities in order to reduce resource consumption, wastage and overall costs. Blockchain and AI set to power cars, drones, robots or autonomous tasks in agriculture. Some countries such as China are setting mandates and investing billions in Blockchain and AI. AI will replace humans in traditionally menial tasks, such as taking food orders, call centers, etc. Virtually every application, service and IoT object will incorporate some form of AI to automate or augment processes or remove human actions.
For now, let us focus on Smart Cities. It is a smart space in a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems. These systems will interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. Distributed ledgers are emerging tools that will enhance the IoT. It enables secure and fast interaction, transitions and transactions between the interconnected 'everything'. Companies can trace a transaction and work with untrusted parties without the need for a centralized party. This greatly reduces business friction and has applications in finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain, and IoT. Furthermore, Blockchain could potentially lower costs, reduce transaction settlement times and improve cash flow. Here is a list of mainstream companies adopting blockchain technology for their businesses compiled by us.
"The concept of the IoT (Internet of Things) was drafted in the 1980s in a Coke vending-machine at Carnegie Mellon University as the worlds first internet-connected machine to check its inventory and if drinks were cold"
Nearly 70% of the global population will live in urban areas by 2025. By 2030, 30+ Mega-Cities will house 9% of the global population, which directly contribute 15% of the world’s GDP, and take up about 3% of global land mass. Tokyo is leading the charge with an estimate of 36.57million population by 2030. The urban lifestyle will be the main engine of the global economy. However, it will also be the planet’s greatest risk of 'unsustainability'. Pollution, water resources, and social inequalities are just a few of the problems looming on the horizon. Rapid urbanization is one of the major forces shaping our global economic future. As a result, new technologies shall play an important role in managing infrastructure, transport, healthcare services, education, leisure, safety, etc.
The Rise of Smart Cities
By 2020, the smart city industry is projected to be a $400 billion market, with 600 cities worldwide.
The drivers behind the smart city market (besides human main driver - convenience) include some of the most challenging global developments. It includes the continued growth in urbanization, the need to reduce city emissions, and better management of resource consumption.
- Smart cities are implementing technologies for climate monitoring, to collect highly localized air quality information. Each device throughout a city collects air quality measurements. These measurements are then sent to a cloud or Blockchain based application. Subsequently, it is broken down into analytics for the government and the public to see.
- Smart buildings have all these systems connected through an IoT network. This will allow them to communicate with each other and work together to make the building as efficient as possible through continuous adjustments. Sensors can detect when a particular room or office is vacant and dedicate less lighting and temperature resources to that space.
- Smart streetlights can stay dim when there are no cars or people are around. These lights will light up when its sensors detect someone is coming. As a result, this will greatly reduce energy consumption.
- Smart water systems can help improve the sourcing, treatment, and delivery of this essential resource. Sensors could automatically alert a city to water leaks, measure rainfall and provide real-time flood analysis for flood control. As a result, smart cities can optimize and help reduce water waste as well as delivery costs.
- Smart bins can monitor rates of recycling and therefore, offer valuable data for authorities to make proper recycling policies.
These technologies can be used to connect vehicles, infrastructure, public transit, and people to improve mobility and safety. The infrastructures provide:
- A higher quality of living for residents
- Good environment for businesses development
- Optimization of natural resource utilization
- Transparency for government
These goals can be achieved with the use of Blockchain that acts as a tool for decentralized and distributed ecosystems. Blockchain provides security and transparency that empower all smart cities’ use cases relying on shared information, common database upgrading, information verification, and decentralized feature.
Major sectors such as Industrial, Transportation, Energy, and Healthcare are ripe for change and tremendous growth. Several examples are the adoption and innovation of “core applications” in artificial intelligence, integrated circuit, smart driving, high-end manufacturing, robotics, cleantech, edge computing, and more.
Firms Contributing to Smart Cities
Firms like XCEL ASIA is taking a multi-strategy approach and will catalyze venture creation and the startup ecosystem in “Asia’s Emerging Economies”. They are launching a differentiated, high-touch, cross-border accelerator program network. The Pan-Asian startup accelerator will start with Singapore, Taipei, Nanjing, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and others as the fund is being capitalized.
NSCS is another firm that is aiming to make FinTech and HardTech accessible to new markets. The Malaysian-based company connects projects to trusted advisor, partner and investor to over 45 companies worldwide. They are also active in various sectors such as mobile technologies, artificial intelligence, digital services, telecommunication, online business, neurosciences. In August 2018, NSCS has partnered with a France-based company, Electric Visionary Aircraft (EVA) who built the first compact autonomous E-VTOL (Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing). The partnership seeks to incorporate its aircraft service to leapfrog traffic jams and offer an alternative to commute in urban areas.
Moonwhale Ventures supports businesses to identify which part of the value chain is outdated and due to innovation, consults on the digital transformation process updates, and implements new industry standard technology such as Blockchain. Furthermore, Moonwhale is devoted to giving the most efficient Security Token Offering (STO) service. We strive to render the fullest possible quantity and the best possible quality of service in our capacity in advising businesses on expansion, new venture building, and growth-financing through tokenization.
To end this article, here is a quote that perfectly captures the essence of smart cities:
“Instead of redesigning the cities of today, we should be trying to build the cities of tomorrow”.
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About The Author:
Danny Christ is the CEO & Co-Founder of Moonwhale Blockchain Ventures Inc.