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Cisco Unveils First Internet of Everything Platform for Smart Cities

The city of Nice and Cisco showcased the first Internet of Everything proof-of-concept (PoC) for a smart city today in France. The project, called “Connected Boulevard,” builds on the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) movement.

On Monday, Cisco hosted a tour at Boulevard Victor Hugo in the center of Nice, the host city for the PoC zone and its 200 sensors and detecting devices, including RFID tags. In addition to sensors, the Connected Boulevard plays host to “guest” devices such as mobile phones and tablets used in city streets that connect onto a wireless mesh network.

Data captured through assets in Nice is being processed and analyzed to offer the city and its residents invaluable context-aware information on parking, traffic, street lighting, waste disposal, as well as environmental quality as experienced in real time. Early projections from pilot tests of smart parking services have shown a potential for up to 30 percent decrease in traffic congestion, significant air pollution reductions, combined with an increase in parking revenues.

“Cisco would like to thank Nice for this unprecedented opportunity to deploy a real-life Internet of Everything-ready proof of concept at the city level,” says Anne Lange, Connected Boulevard lead and director of public sector innovation for Cisco Consulting Services. “We are able, for the first time, to validate a multi-service, extensible IoE-ready network architecture in an urban context.”

Further benefits are also being realized from estimates in synchronizing street lighting on a need-basis. For example, by calibrating street light intensity with pedestrian and traffic peaks, real-time environmental conditions such as fog and rain, the city could potentially save 20 to 80 percent in electricity bills.

On the environmental aspect, more accurate data of humidity and temperature levels, in addition to air particles are being processed for understanding context-critical patterns.

This is possible because Connected Boulevard is made up of more than just sensors and devices. The Connected Boulevard equips the city with the capacity to capture data from daily life through the hybrid network infrastructure of the city that includes Cisco Wi-Fi network. The data is processed into real-time information and converted into intelligence with the help of context-aware location analytics, before being disseminated to serve multiple services in city operations and for city dwellers. It is an Internet-centric “always-on” platform designed to be resilient, extensible, highly secure and agile, through four interoperable layers:

  • Layer 1: Sensors and networked devices with mesh technologies, which promote seamless integration of emerging context-aware sensors and devices as the need for new city services arise.
  • Layer 2: Data capture, processing, storage and analytics at distributed points across the city, which reduces architectural complexity and ensures extensibility, increasing responsiveness to real-time and context-critical data while boosting scalability.
  • Layer 3: Central data collection, including computing, storage, and analytics, combined with integrated and open standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for building Open Data readiness and exploitation by the city.
  • Layer 4: New and innovative applications and services that are developed and integrated for both city managers, businesses and residents.
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