The concept of a ‘smart city’ looks set to become a reality with London pioneering the way.
London already has a global reputation as being one of the most high-tech cities on the planet but the British capital’s notoriety of being a world innovator in technology looks ready to be set in stone. According to reports, London is to become the planet’s £45 million test-bed for the latest hi-tech gizmos designed to improve city life.
After a string of hi-tech city ideas to be launched in London including a scheme known as Catalytic Clothing, which essentially features jeans that stop air pollution, the latest technologically avant-garde project making headway in London, designed to improve the life of all that reside and visit the capital, is a ‘Network of Sensors’ scheme that plans to warn of dangers and stave off emergencies in the city.
Researchers from the Imperial College London, University College London and chip-maker Intel, are working together to develop the potential of real-time information and social networks that ‘push the boundaries’ of how future cities will look and act.
One possibility of how these ‘network of sensors’ could help keep London safer would be through leak detection sensors. As Edward Astle of Pro Rector Enterprise, Imperial College London said:
“One example of how our research could work in practice is where there is a major leak from a water supply, flooding the roads. We could introduce a network of sensors that would detect the leak, divert the flow of water to prevent damage and wirelessly transmit information to transport authorities, so that traffic could be diverted, preventing congestion and general city-wide disruption.”
Earlier this year a similar high-tech test-bed scheme was launched known as Living Plan IT, which is supported by Hitachi and Phillips. The Living Plan IT project is preparing to use an operating system to show how smart cities could be powered in less than five years’ time.