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Earth Technology

Most of What We Need For Smart Cities Already Exists 65

An anonymous reader writes "Looking to a day when modern infrastructure is network addressable, Glen Martin considers that, lacking only requisite content and relatively simple augmentation, most of what we need for smart cities already exists: 'Using smart phones, pedestrians could "wake up" the objects by accessing codes generally used by the city to identify street items that required repair. Each bit of infrastructure would make some kind of declamatory statement — sometimes gracious and welcoming, sometimes didactic, sometimes peevish. The "interlocutor" would then respond, and a brief exchange would ensue. The object would then invite the passerby to return for more conversation.'"
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Most of What We Need For Smart Cities Already Exists

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  • Buzzword (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dereck1701 ( 1922824 ) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:26PM (#46896281)

    This entire article is one long buzzword, I feel like I'm sitting in a motivational seminar just reading it. I like the general idea of giving everyday objects an ability to query and be queried, but to be any more than a novelty you'd need to automate the query code somehow (OCR, Bar code/reader, RFID, etc). But you've also got a pretty big cataloging & logistical issue, you have to code & catalog everything you might use (lamp posts, manhole covers, post boxes, stores, etc) and maintain that database. The next big problem is keeping it going over the long term, I work in local government and given the history in my field (mapping) I can tell you that there is a tendency for the interest in maintaining a project to ebb and flow quite significantly. Back in the 80s a massive amount of money was spent (at the state/federal level) to create some pretty detailed mapping, most of which was put on a shelf and forgot about, then in the 90s interest returned and tens of thousands of dollars were spent to digitize our information (local), then it sat on some hard drives for a decade and a half gathering dust, then interest returned & I was brought in to, convert, update & maintain the information. Each time the data had to basically be completely redone due to changes in format, methodology and/or technology. And each time significant amounts of money, time & resources were lost. Its all fine and dandy to create this kind of information/interactivity, but you have to make sure that its kept current, useful & active. Otherwise it is doomed to failure.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban