Kansas City today launched a smart city public-private partnership with Cisco and Sprint, enhancing the city’s reputation as a leading technology, innovation and entrepreneurial municipality.
Smart city is a new, technological infrastructure for the 21st century. Today, people communicate, do business, play games and otherwise interact via computers, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices. Smart city technology creates the ability to add sensors to just about anything (streetlights, pavement, the water system and more) to connect “everything” in a manner that provides additional information on which people can act and react.
“The infrastructure we’re launching today will improve access and services for every resident and visitor in the near future, and in ways we cannot imagine in the years ahead,” Mayor Sly James said. “We’re also kicking the doors wide open for innovative entrepreneurs who want develop new ways of serving consumers and the city as part of Kansas City’s vibrant and growing tech community.”
The initial Kansas City deployment phase is an intelligent Wi-Fi network to be built, funded and owned by Sprint. Kansas City will have access to free public Wi-Fi to connect, network and support new technologies such as sensors and intelligent data management systems with existing technologies such as smartphones and smart devices.
The Smart+Connected City framework, designed and proposed by Cisco, supports new ways to monitor and assess physical infrastructure conditions in real time with dynamic data and tools for analysis.
As a result, Kansas City will be able to provide more responsive services, identify new sources of revenue and cost savings through more efficient service delivery and ultimately improve the citizen experience.
The initial deployment phase of the project will focus around the 2.2-mile KC Streetcar starter line through downtown with the flexibility to grow and expand across Kansas City. This initiative expands on several other smart city initiatives underway, and the goals of the KC Digital Roadmap launched in February.
The Internet of Everything
“Sprint looks forward to playing an integral role in this ground-breaking initiative to bring greater connectivity across a wide range of business and consumer applications that support the Internet of Everything in our hometown,” said Stephen Bye, chief technology officer at Sprint. “Delivering Wi-Fi connectivity is a great fit for Sprint, and enables our customers to more easily use both cellular and Wi-Fi for a better mobile experience.”
Wim Elfrink, executive vice president industry solutions group and chief globalisation officer for Cisco, said: “It’s exciting to see forward-looking cities like Kansas City driving innovations that enable cities to connect people, process, data and things, and bring the Internet of Everything to life. Kansas City is empowering its citizens, helping them become more efficient and more productive, and the city is poised to create significant new economic value. We’re pleased to be part of the partnership that will deploy a Smart+Connected City framework.”
A Smart+Connected City framework builds on the concept of how cities can utilize the internet to help improve city livability and people’s lives.
In its initial deployment phase, Wi-Fi connectivity along the KC Streetcar route will help to enable smart lighting, digital kiosks and sensor technology.
Smart lighting reduces power consumption and enables better tracking of total energy used. Kiosks at KC Streetcar platforms and other locations around Downtown will provide information about local businesses and events and offer new ways to access city services.
In a futuristic example of smart city technology, sensors may detect increased vehicle traffic headed downtown. Intelligent data management can process that input and communicate to, for example, parking garage managers, who may want to open extra garage-entry lanes or add attendants to shorten wait lines and speed up garage entry.
In the future, the Water Services Department may automatically detect changes in system pressure and flow to be able to address system failures before they cause catastrophic damage and possibly injuries.
The Living Lab
New applications will be developed in the marketplace over time through a Living Lab partnership between Cisco and Think Big Partners. The Living Lab adds to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas City which is already recognized both nationally and internationally for its tech startup community, supporting accelerator programs, and gigabyte fiber network.
The Living Lab will be a development data portal that will connect entrepreneurs to smart city data for rapid innovation of new applications that can be developed, built, tested and validated using Kansas City data before being launched in a full-scale, industrial-user environment.
This will create an opportunity for entrepreneurs to build high-growth companies, partner with larger companies, and help Kansas City realize financial and social benefits of the Internet of Everything segment while aiming to enhance the city’s quality of life.
The Smart+Connected City framework was first announced in May 2014 when Kansas City leaders and Cisco signed a letter of intent for the project. Later in 2014, Sprint explored joining the project to own and operate the Wi-Fi network. Work is expected to begin immediately; Wi-Fi services and the Cisco Smart + Connected City framework are targeted to be available with the opening of the streetcar starter line in early 2016.
“Becoming a Smart+Connected City allows Kansas City to deliver services more efficiently with savings for city operations as well as provide the connectivity and experience that citizens and innovative companies now demand of their environment,” James said.
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Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 57 million connections as of March 31, 2015, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past four years. You can learn more and visit Sprint atwww.sprint.com orwww.facebook.com/sprint andwww.twitter.com/sprint.
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