Understanding the Internet of Everything
Why Every Smart Solution Begins with Connectivity
Connectivity is the foundation necessary for every smart city solution to scale,” said Venture Smarter founder Zack Huhn, in his opening remarks at the Smart Regions Congress hosted in Washington, DC, last month.
“We must achieve equitable access for all people to the networks and devices they need,” Huhn said. “And then we must connect our infrastructure and our things.”
To understand the daunting scope and value of the “Internet of Everything,” Venture Smarter co-founder Mitch Kominsky hosted a panel of private and public sector experts discussing Connectivity and Security.
“We know we must connect our people and things, and use the data collected from these vast networks to improve quality of life,” Kominsky said. However, with more than 1 billion cyber attacks per day, Kominsky cautioned that security must become and remain a priority.
The panel agreed on five important ingredients to achieving smart connectivity:
1. Community and Collaboration
André Hentz, Deputy Under Secretary (Acting) for Science and Technology, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, explained how the Internet of Things can improve public services and reduce negative impacts.
“Flooding is the most common and expensive FEMA expense. Using iOT sensors downstream, we are beginning to collaborate across communities to better predict hazards, and thus reduce costs, of potential flooding,” Hentz said.
Hentz said the federal government is focused on both the protection of privacy and other laws, while simultaneously preparing to identify and support smart technologies to improve quality of life for all Americans.
2. Risk and Security
With advancements such as these, we must ensure systems are secure in order to protect privacy and prevent attacks, according to TJ Costello, Director of Smart Cities and IoT for the Americas at Cisco.
“Food delivery by drone is coming to our cities. With autonomous cars comes electrification of entire cities and regions. To do these things correctly means we must put a data fabric together to bring smart solutions to people and cities without compromising their security and privacy,” Costello said.
To drive home the importance and value of the data derived from the Internet of Everything, Costello explained a recent project with the City of Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas ranks among the top five cities for pedestrian deaths. By putting together sensor data, we were able to identify the problems in pedestrian walkways and find the solutions,” Costello said. “That same data can be useful to the economic development department to see how those pedestrian patterns could be used in business development and planning.”
3. Policy and Procurement
Tom Synan, Chief of Police of the Newtown Police Department in Cincinnati, OH, stressed the importance of establishing strong public policy that takes advantage of the Internet of Everything and its data.
“In the City of Newtown, we are using hotspots to track opioid overdoses and treatment, and use that data to predict future overdoses for the long-term goal of eliminating them,” Synan said.
- What treatment centers are open?
- Do they take Medicaid?
- What other insurance do they take?
4. Data Governance
Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Kansas City, MO, Bob Bennett, said his city is working on plans to extend Smart City infrastructure across 318 miles, with an emphasis on Digital Inclusion.
“Three things are necessary to achieve a smart city,” Bennett said, “Smart transportation systems, water systems and electronic systems.”
Bennett said he could make any city in the US a “relatively smart city” without making any infrastructure changes by studying available data
“85 percent of the data we need to better understand any community already exists,” Bennett said.
Chris Rezendes of Context Labs underscored the importance of security and risk measures to support the flow of capital to smart city projects.
“Whatever risk models the public or private sectors use now to evaluate investment, add cyber-physical and climate risk mitigation,” Rezendes said.
He added, “We won’t see capital flow to smart city projects when one cyber attack could destroy an entire investment.
“Historical data must be combined with real-time data to encourage investment, protect those investments and justify bond ratings,” Rezendes said. “We must make climate risk and cyber-physical security risk a top priority.”
Resendez encouraged private-public data sharing to improve the flow of data to secure and protect infrastructure and people.
RSCI supports interdisciplinary and interagency efforts to develop technology and process planning standards at the local, county, state, and federal level; to educate and align leaders around available resources; and to understand and address pressing problems in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The core mission is to improve the quality of life across the nation while alleviating strained municipal budgets using smart technologies and strategies.