Microsoft showcased an interactive demo to illustrate the future of IoT and its capabilities in driving the growing trend on smart cities around the world. During Gitex, the demo showed how IoT devices, Microsoft Cloud, and Analytics come together to build a safer and smarter city; that improves the lives of people and aids governments and policy makers to use information to drive informed decisions to run smarter cities.
Microsoft demonstrated how IoT comes to life and how through the use of a small, yet very powerful cloud connected IoT device to a car can help city dwellers to overcome several day-to-day urban challenges.
Samer Abu Ltaif, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf said, “Microsoft smart city solutions continue to put the city’s people first, harnessing their ideas, energy, and expertise to create more sustainable places to live, with access to citizen-centric services, public safety, high-quality healthcare and education. This demo illustrates how innovative technologies from Microsoft, supported by IoT, can help address key urban challenges and shape the future of regions, cities and municipalities.”
The main character in the demo is Jad, a city resident whose movements between his home and workplace are guided by a windows smart phone and his car, both connected to Azure cloud and linked to the entire city infrastructure through sensors. From his smartphone, he can get traffic predictions, speed warnings, road toll information, accident updates on the road, car emission details as well as car parking availability and payment options.
The focus of the demo was to present technical solutions that address current and future urban challenges, and also highlight IoT best practice guidelines and proof of concept deployments that can be applied for the success of any smart city vision. The demo highlighted the capability of IoT in helping reduce road fatalities through real-time speed monitoring of vehicles.
It also showed how IoT can help reduce emergency services response time, empower governments to manage transportation more efficiently using a virtual tolling system, and also enable governments and citizens to improve overall resource efficiency and reduce emissions. The demo also showed as to how IoT can help city governments and people simplify parking, for example by drivers using their smartphones to locate nearby parking spaces and make payments automatically.
With more than 50 percent of the world’s population living in urban areas, cities are continuously grappling with challenges of dwindling resources, which is overstretching their abilities to cope with the growing numbers.
Smart city solutions with IoT at their core can help to tackle the growing challenges. Urban IoTs are designed to support the Smart City vision, which represents a paradigm shift in the way cities are managed and aims at exploiting the most advanced communication technologies to support added-value services for the administration of the city and for the citizens.