advertisement advertisement Think all the talk about investing in so-called “smart buildings” is just greenwash? Think again. The smart building business is set to grow to $2.4 billion each year by 2016–compared to just $900 million in 2010. According to a recent report from Pike Research, the market will grow as new investors, including IT vendors, building management system vendors, and energy efficiency companies become involved. Why is this happening now? One word: profits. It’s all due to “the strong return on investment (ROI) that such deployments Smart buildings are a worthwhile investment for building owners because they will see returns much more quickly than a homeowner who installs, say, smart thermostats and lighting systems. Products that building managers might invest in include lighting optimization software, energy analytics systems (for smart meter-equipped buildings), and energy waste detection software. The prototypical smart … [Read more...] about Smart Building Management Business Ballooning to $2.4 Billion by 2016
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Smart cities–filled with sensors and connected tech to help solve everything from traffic jams to pollution–have been slow to materialize. But Singapore has come up with a plan to become the world’s first “smart nation.” Every inch of the country will be wired and collecting data to help build better services. advertisement advertisement “We are working to ‘dashboard’ the entire nation of Singapore, and to use a range of data to continuously improve how we provide critical services to citizens in areas such as health care, transport, and resources,” says Steve Leonard, the executive deputy chairman of Infocomm Development Authority, Singapore’s national technology arm. Various cities are experimenting with smart technology, like Copenhagen, which is testing out dozens of smart streetlights that can save massive amounts of energy. But if Singapore is successful, it will be the first place to fully connect all … [Read more...] about Singapore Plans To Become The World’s First Smart Nation
Smart cities that leverage technology and innovation to improve efficiency and quality of life for their citizens are picking up steam around the globe. I recently suggested that the smart city movement could learn from lean startup methodologies. I discussed a small example of how Vancouver could apply lean thinking to its experiments to put pedestrians and cyclists ahead of cars leveraging two of the key components of lean startup thinking: hypothesis testing and measurement; and minimum viable product (MVP). advertisement advertisement Another highly discussed component of lean startup thinking worth exploring in the city context is the concept of the pivot. A pivot is when an organization recognizes that some components of their strategy are flawed, based on the results of their iterative testing of MVPs. One example in the urban environment: Kansas City’s pivot towards becoming a smart city. Famous examples of pivots in the startup world include Burbn, which … [Read more...] about Pivoting To Create A Smart City
Larry Platt, the editor of the Philadelphia Citizen, felt like Ed McMahon on election day last November. He was at a local polling station with an oversized $10,000 check in hand and cameras in tow. Who was the lucky winner? A school crossing guard named Bridget Conroy-Varnis. What did she do to attract such a windfall? She voted. advertisement advertisement Founded in 2015, the Citizen is an unconventional publication, interested in not only writing about the city’s problems but exploring and testing solutions. The voting lottery, paid for by a private local foundation, was one of its earliest experiments, aimed at increasing paltry turnout in the city’s local elections. “People have lost faith that their vote matters,” says Platt. “What we have [in Philadelphia] is a corrupt one-party system of political leadership. The people who run the corrupt system are invested in keeping the status quo. The more people we have weighing in on how the … [Read more...] about What If We Paid People To Vote?
As we try to find the find the answer to climate change, each eco-innovation may spur even more questions about their overall effects. Could the noise from wind turbines cause cancer? (Science says no.) Could the sound from an electric car stimulate plant growth, regenerating the environment we’ve helped destroy? Science says . . . maybe? Or at least, that’s the hope of Ayax Toyota. advertisement advertisement Within the next two years, the U.S. and Europe will require electric cars to emit a noise in order to warn pedestrians of their approach, or else these quiet vehicles can take pedestrians and bikers by surprise. Instead of just installing a sound that mimics non-electric vehicles, Ayax, an independent, Uruguay-based manufacturer and distributor of Toyota vehicles, has partnered with digital innovation agency The Electric Factory, a sound designer and a “smart cities expert,” to create an audio that they say could go further to benefit the … [Read more...] about These electric cars will project a sound that . . . makes plants happy?