One of the most interesting panels at this year’s Dallas TechWeek featured Trey Bowles (CEO & Co-Founder of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center), Jen Sanders (Executive Director of the Dallas Innovation Center), Herb Sih (Managing Partner of Think Big Partners in Kansas City), and Tim Fleming (Director of Enterprise Sustainability at AT&T). The panel focused on the aspects of building a connected, smart city that many do not think about – data and efficiency.
When we think of smart cities we usually think of the visible changes, the science fiction stuff that’s coming into reality - drones, autonomous vehicles, robots, etc. This panel however took a different approach and discussed how to leverage data in smarter ways to improve current capabilities and make them more efficient. Trey Bowles gave us a glimpse of what a day might look like in a world where not only people are communicating with technology but machines are talking to each other. For example, what if sensors told the city waste pick-up when your cans are full…or not? What if traffic and route planning were sent directly to the autonomous car you requested since you no longer own a car. Better allocation and use of everything from power to emergency services would be invisible to most of us, but we’d see the benefits in costs and investment. Jen Sanders pointed-out that this isn’t going to happen quickly or to the same degree in every city. Some towns are better candidates for some things than others. Tim Fleming spoke to resources that we don’t consider now when he said “Cities consume 75% of the energy and produce 80% of emissions. What about the emissions of methane from Cows?” The conversation was rounded-out by Herb Sih who said “The city is a platform, much like a smartphone, that can do amazing things given connectivity.”
While it may be a while before we see any true smart cities, the world of connected devices continues to grow along with the benefits they can offer – contact us today to find out how to better leverage data and the internet of things for your business.