Sometimes walking into conference exhibitions, we feel like we’re living in the Silicon Valley parody of TechCrunch. But, after attending Smart Cities Silicon Valley this week, we feel genuinely energized about the range of city-centric technologies being developed and deployed to make local governments more efficient and effective, while also improving our daily lives.
Here are some of the companies and technologies that caught our eye:
Echelon: We know that LED lighting reduces energy use and saves money, but this adaptive control system lets a city adjust streetlights block by block to better match neighborhood needs. This level of responsiveness is pretty great from a public safety and economic development standpoint too.
Fybr: Knowing that legacy water and sewer systems are something many cities in the US are dealing with, we were most excited about their ability to provide real time insights into the operations of wastewater, stormwater, energy and streets systems on one dashboard. Not only will that save utility and public works staff time (and $) but it may also help cities find opportunities for system integration.
CNX: Last mile broadband expansion is a big issue for a lot of small and mid-size cities. Making the permitting process easier for both cities and companies, using a platform like theirs, will go a long way towards solving it.
Ike: These digital kiosks are cool not only because they provide guidance to tourists, visibility to local businesses, and are designed to match the local vibe…but also because they generate revenue for the cities that deploy them.
Inrix: They’re doing a lot of thinking about how autonomous vehicles will impact our cities. Also, after getting to play with their system we’re hoping my next car comes with Inrix navigation.
LocalIntel: We loved that this unique data-driven economic development support is applicable to nearly everyone, including the small cities that often need the most support. Also, we appreciate their CEO’s commitment to keeping operating costs down so they can continue offering affordable solutions.
Ingenu: Still wrapping our heads around this one, but it sounds like this network is designed specifically to support smart city deployments – and ensures that monitoring flood sensors won’t be impacted by our constant streaming of The West Wing.
Hitachi: Obviously not a small company, but one that is doing innovative work to improve public safety and streamline emergency response by aggregating data captured by everything from video feeds to social media.
We’re looking forward to understanding more about the tangible benefits (and any challenges) that these, and other smart solutions, are providing for cities and their citizens.
What other smart city technologies have you been impressed by?