According to IDC estimation, the global market value of Internet of Things will reach $ 8.9 trillion in 2020, and then there will be more than 50 billion intelligent networking devices, so the Internet of Things is considered the biggest technological opportunity after the mobile device era. Based on energy, transportation, disaster prevention, environment, education, health, public security, medical and other factors have become a derivative issue of globalization, coupled with the development of smart cities as a key trend. 2017 Smart City Summit & Expo focused on the material networking field application, launched at Taipei Feb 21-23.
By teaming up with private enterprises, the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and Taipei Smart City Project Management Office (PMO) of the Taipei City Government (TPCG) quickly implemented the smart innovative applications and services of private enterprises in suitable fields for field tests based on daily life problems and citizen needs. At the upcoming Smart City Summit & Expo, these new innovative applications will be exhibited. They include the “VR Laboratory Classroom” featuring VR/AR-assisted instructions, the “smart streetlamp” constructed over a backbone network, the mobile environmental monitoring system of micro environments using the LoRa technology (long range, low power wireless technology), and the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for monitoring drinking water. All these IoT and VR/AR related innovative applications will surely make Taipei a better and smarter city.
By exploiting the features of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), the “VR Laboratory Classroom” fuses the periodic table in games for students to remember the relevant knowledge. In practice, after students put on the head-mounted display (HMD), they must choose the correct element to challenge a level and even fight the monsters with the characteristics of an element. In addition, VR/AR brings a revolutionary change to multimedia assisted instructions. They enable teachers to design and produce interesting and lively classic lesson plans, re-interpret textbook knowledge, turn imagination into reality, and re-present and reproduce abstract course contents to improve teaching quality and enhance learning efficacy. Currently, relevant units are aggressively planning the application of VR/AR in demo courses for senior high schools.
The “smart streetlamp” not only lights up streets in the night but can become a base node of the Internet of Things (IoT). The overall system is a mesh backbone network formed by smart streetlamps equipped with wireless transmission functions. Data received by the sensors will be transmitted to the cloud platform via the backbone network. Each smart streetlamp is equipped with a webcam to provide images for different applications, such as traffic flow and crowd calculation, security control, lost and found, and facial recognition. A smart streetlamp is also equipped with digital signage for the government to promote policies and for private enterprises to advertise.
The mobile environmental monitoring system uses sensors on vehicles to capture driving condition and detect the environment where a vehicle is located. The range of detection includes air quality, temperature, humidity, and geographical information. After sending such information to the cloud for analysis, we can establish the model for disease spread, analyze air pollution and the urban heat island effect, and predict traffic congestion.
Taipei City Government’s professional fixed wing UAV enables an aerial patrol of water resources and landform conditions. Empirical trials will be planned near reservoirs to help monitor the drinking water environment. A UAV can fly over two hours and 100km for watershed environment monitoring to reduce the human inspection cost. In addition, the information collected can be used for constructing a 3D models of landforms near a reservoir to enforce soil and water conservation.
Whether it is the innovative application of VR/AR in instruction or the data integration and monitoring of smart streetlamps, a smart city has begun, and innovation and integration of different technologies will unveil more testing fields in the city.