British Prime Minister David Cameron today described the Internet of Things as a “new industrial revolution,” and pledged $US122 million (£73 million) in research funds towards its development.
In his speech, Cameron described how everyday objects connected to each other through the Internet would help boost the efficiency of urban infrastructure like water systems and the electricity grid.
In a series of recent reports from BI Intelligence, we looked at how smart cities are one of the key areas of development for the Internet of Things. We detailed the top applications destined to change urban life and create the most competitive global metropolises. There are literally hundreds of billions of dollars at stake for utilities, governments, and taxpayers. Cities like London, Beijing, Sydney, Doha, and São Paulo are locked in a race to build the smartest infrastructure from Internet-connected building blocks.
Here are some key examples of how the Internet of Things will power cities:
- Intelligent traffic management systems. Machina research, in a paper prepared for the GSM Association, sees $US100 billion in revenue by 2020 for applications such as toll-taking and congestion penalties.
- A related revenue source will be smart parking-space management, expected to drive $US30 billion in revenue.
- Waste management systems. One innovation has been equipping garbage cans and recycle bins with RFID tags that allow sanitation staff to see when garbage has been put out. By doing this, the city of Cleveland was able to eliminate 10 pickup routes and cut operating costs by 13%. In Cincinnati, residential waste volume fell 17% and recycling volume grew by 49% through use of a “pay as you throw” program that penalizes those who exceed waste limits.
- Smart electricity grids that adjust rates for peak energy usage. These will represent savings of $US200 billion to $US500 billion per year by 2025, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
- Smart water systems and meters. The cities of Doha, São Paulo, and Beijing have reduced leaks by 40 to 50% by putting sensors on pumps and other water infrastructure. Water utilities, whether private or publicly run, will save billions if they have the ability, thanks to Internet-connected sensors, to measure reservoir levels, water pressure, and leaks.
In full, the reports:
- Break down which other products and industries on the consumer and enterprise sides are seeing the biggest investment in the Internet of Things or IoT, and what sorts of technologies are gaining the most traction
- Consider where growth will come from in the future
- Size the market for the IoT in terms of total devices, revenue, and economic value
- Explore what the building blocks of IoT devices are, how these devices will be linked with consumers, and what solutions the smart objects will be designed to address
- Consider the obstacles that could hinder the IoT from realising its full potential, including differing standards and uncertain ROI
To access BI Intelligence’s full reports, Here Comes The Internet Of Things, and The Internet of Everything [Slide Deck], sign up for a free trial subscription here. Subscribers also gain access to over 100 in-depth reports on social, mobile, payments, and e-commerce, and hundreds of charts and datasets.