Selected Articles from IEEE Xplore - November 2015

Introduction by Victor M. Larios, Department of Information Systems, University of Guadalajara

In the near future much of humanity will be located in urban environments where ubiquitous interconnected devices produce and exchange information to improve services and quality of life. This is a definition of and driver to establish Smart Cities, which in the present poses many challenges. In this selection of articles, we focus on the relationship between Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT) to bring about a better picture of the challenges, opportunities, and visions derived from real experiences where the IoT is a fundamental piece of achieving the Smart Cities of the future. Smart Cities today challenge the ability of systems to be distributed, autonomous, secure, deal with privacy, and, most importantly, to scale.

In the first article, we present a case study conducted near the metropolitan area of London, England. The goal is to measure and optimize energy and control heat systems, and also to detect and optimize human mobility using Wi-Fi signal triangulation. In this case study, a company is employing an information hub called the HIVE dealing with thousands of users deploying energy meters and control devices and merging different sources of information provided by sensors. A second case study scales IoT deployment considerably, depicting a project in the metropolitan area of Madrid, Spain, which is implementing a network of sensors in a public transport system in use by millions of commuters. In this case study, the government deals with an IoT sensor network system, and the experience is presented as a unique opportunity to model the dynamics of the urban environment.

Looking further at the development of IoT in urban environments, the second article introduces a point of view of Smart City challenges in Barcelona Smart City (BCI) as a live experience. In this project, a specific area is used as a test bed for the IoT and, from lessons learned, the main issue is to converge different technologies of sensors into one manageable system for the city. The major claim is the need for standards for IoT and data exchange platforms. The article promotes the use, as possible, of open platforms to support a broader ecosystem of developers. It posits that standards are to be considered not only for IoT, but should also cover all related layers of data transport, data repositories, and front-end interfaces for end users. The ultimate goal is to deal with the convergence of technologies to support the centric systems of Smart Cities.

Finally, we provide an article introducing a discussion related to a promising technology emerging from IoT to focus in Smart Cities, which is the 5G-communication system. The relevance of this new technology is that it will help bring about the efficient delivery of services and experiences for end users rather than focus on data transfer capacity, as in the communications systems of today. To reach that vision, we need to integrate a new model of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in infrastructure layers connecting the IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence to reach the required autonomy, self organization, adaptation, security, trust, and privacy required in Smart Cities. In order to scale, we need to think of the people, their interconnected devices, and their smart homes as building blocks for the Smart Cities and, in the end, provide new eco-systems based in new socio-economic structures.


IEEE Xplore References

  1. D. Kyriazis, T. Varvarigou, D. White, A. Rossi and J. Cooper, "Sustainable smart city IoT applications: Heat and electricity management & Eco-conscious cruise control for public transportation," World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (WoWMoM), 2013 IEEE 14th International Symposium and Workshops on a, Madrid, 2013, pp. 1-5.
  2. T. Gea, J. Paradells, M. Lamarca and D. Roldán, "Smart Cities as an Application of Internet of Things: Experiences and Lessons Learnt in Barcelona," Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing (IMIS), 2013 Seventh International Conference on, Taichung, 2013, pp. 552-557.
  3. K. E. Skouby and P. Lynggaard, "Smart home and smart city solutions enabled by 5G, IoT, AAI and CoT services," Contemporary Computing and Informatics (IC3I), 2014 International Conference on, Mysore, 2014, pp. 874-878.


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