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Let’s look at some services that you may not think you may not have thought of; some may call them unusual. I think it’s good to look outside of the box and think of what’s coming or maybe a way to solve a problem that you didn’t think of. Here are some things that may not be on your radar.

  • Drone traffic control and monitoring is something that will need to be implemented if Amazon wants to start a drone delivery service. I think that we need to start planning that now. Qualcomm is already testing drone control over LTE, which means it won’t be long until drones are able to be routed long distances, say a few miles. This will change the landscape for drone usage assuming the FAA can keep up with demand.
    • The dream of cost-effective drone delivery is going to become more and more real for more than food and goods.
    • Think of how we will get medicine to someone cost effectively and without worrying about traffic.
    • What about emergency services looking over an accident in real-time? I mean before emergency service can even get to the site, the drone pilot is already assessing the situation so that when emergency responders arrive the know exactly what to do and where to do.
    • What about tracking criminals? Suddenly we don’t have the expensive helicopters buzzing but the drones going after most criminals in real-time dispatched from the trunk of an officer’s car! How cool is that? Here is another tool in their arsenal to keep the streets safe.
    • Widespread search and rescue in parks can happen immediately, no more waiting for approval to start the search, just deploy a cost-effective drone.
  • Autonomous vehicle tracking and routing is one more item that may fall into the hands of the city. Someone has to track and route the vehicles. It may be the city or something equivalent to Uber or a taxi company. Who will do it and how will it be done? Will someone like AT&T or Verizon pick up this service? I can tell you this; they won’t do it for free!

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  • Criminal tracking is one thing that has been done for years with the ankle bracelets. This will be greatly improved with the IOT systems that are being deployed. Law enforcement can track someone better than ever using this service. Who will own it? Chances are someone will manage the system and send alerts to law enforcement when they leave their designated area.
  • Vehicle tracking is one more thing that may or may not catch on. While you may find this funny, it is being done in Songdo, South Korea, https://publications.iadb.org/handle/11319/7721 where they track legal and illegal vehicles in real-time If a vehicle is stolen, it won’t take them long to catch it in the city. They use RFID to track vehicles throughout the city where each vehicle is registered, and they can immediately tell legal or not Then track it on their CCTV system.
  • Video tracking is going to be more important than ever. Again, in the study of Songdo, they also speak of monitoring the city of unusual activity using CCTV throughout the city. Most cities have video today but are they using it to its fullest potential. This is where they need applications to have facial recognition for catching criminals and monitoring traffic to alert them of accidents and to alert them when a crowd gathers in an unusual area meaning that something may be wrong. Take it to the next level!
  • Selling data will be a valuable source of income. I bring this up again and again because I would think that no one knows the city as well as the people who work there and represent the city. I don’t mean the propaganda that you tell everyone. I mean the traffic patterns and where most residents go at what time of day. How they can tell what businesses will take off and which ones won’t. They know this just because they know the city, the locations, and how people will react.
  • Grabbing attention with a large Kiosk is what Palo Alto intends to do. They are quite advanced in their smart grid project and the investment into smart city projects. One of them is to put in a 52” Kiosk downtown for the locals and visitors to know what is going on. A bulletin board that no one can miss. To learn more about what they and other cities are doing go to http://smartcitiescouncil.com/article/how-one-citys-not-afraid-fail-attitude-making-it-smarter and see what’s possible.

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My point here is that we need innovation. There is so much that is possible if we can see it. If we can imagine it. Albert Einstein once said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution” Let’s play a part in that evolution.

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I have worked for large and small companies, and the one major thing they all have in common is that when they find something that works they stick with it. This is fine for a while, but eventually, you need to innovate again, use that imagination to create something great and new. Sure, we fail, but it could be on the way to something great, something bigger than us or what we imagined. Let’s do that together!

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