The connectivity of all things is going to provide new levels of efficiency in cities around the world as they become smarter. With tens of billions of devices slated to be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) public and private organizations are deploying projects to ensure the technology will deliver as promised. The Array of Things (AoT) is one of those projects, which has been designed to monitor the environment in an urban setting with nodes that support multiple environmental and air quality sensors.
As part of the project's hundreds of nodes will be deployed in Chicago, the AoT project has selected AT&T (News - Alert) for its network connectivity to transmit the data collected to a central database server at the Argonne National Laboratory.
This is one of a kind public sensor utility which will have an open and freely available source of urban sensor measurements. The data it generates will support research, development, education, prototyping and demonstration. The project was tested with 12 nodes that measured temperature, light, sound, humidity, air quality and more mounted on private facilities at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and DePaul University.
After the successful test, the project has been expanded to 500 nodes in Chicago, with installations on street signal light poles and external building walls. The goal of the project is to gather the type of data that will help large urban areas more livable and efficient. This includes energy efficiency, traffic safety, urban flooding, air pollution and other factors that greatly impact city living.
The role AT&T will play in this project is to install the nodes and provide the technology needed to deliver all of this data in a manner that is secure over its wireless network.
Mike Zeto, General Manager and Executive Director, AT&T Smart Cities, said, "We’re excited that Chicago and other cities with Array of Things sensors will be able to use this data to gain deeper insights into the needs of their city and citizens so they can ultimately make more informed decisions, drive efficiencies and deliver a higher quality living experience to their citizens."
When the nodes are fully operational they will transmit sensor values at regular intervals to a database managed by the program operators. Any published data from the project will be open and free of charge to ensure public and private entities will have the necessary information to develop projects that take into consideration the impact it will have based on the data.
The challenge for cities around the world is maximizing resource efficiency as more people relocate to urban areas. As the number of megalopolises continue to increase with tens of millions of people, the AoT project and others like it will need to be deployed to improve the sustainability, resilience, efficient operation, and livability of cities.
Edited by Peter Bernstein