What do you feel when a gun-toting security guard stares at you in the dead of the night when you are at your doorstep after attending a late night dinner party with your friends, colleagues, and family? Of course, it is very disturbing but one feels relieved as well for having employed the guard to protect the street after several mugging there. Security is the most important thing of the modern day life. There is, however, the secure solution in technology in modern cities, and the cities adopting internet of things for security are called – Smart Cities. The world is turning fast to technology to employ new technologies for better management of urban centers. What is a smart city? Bakici, Almirall, and Wareham say the “cities that utilize information and communication technologies with the aim to increase the quality of life of their inhabitants while providing sustainable development.”
Pakistan has yet to take its first leap towards Smart City as such cities use information communication technologies and the internet of things solutions not only provide security but are also for resources and utility management. Automation of utility supplies and security gadgets not only are cost-efficient, but also provide us with feedback for performance improvement and behavioral study. Besides providing quality of life to the public, the purpose is to gauge the effectiveness of different urban systems and service delivery models in place and make required improvements on the basis of this feedback. All this also involves handling of big data—something not possible to do manually—so dependence is overwhelmingly on the use of technology.
Not only the developed countries but also the developing courtiers have been adopting technologies and moving towards building smart cities. Lahore has hundreds of CCTV cameras on all major roads watching over us. This is the first step towards the smart city. But having hoisted cameras for security is not a security proof arrangement. The cameras help the law-enforcers track down the movements of offenders. It means the cameras will help the police arrest the offenders. Efficient technology, however, is helping the world to predict a crime and stop it before it is committed. That solution lies in installing automated and Internet of Things supported sensor technology in our neighborhoods.
As quoted in Technology Review, Dr Javed Nasir said that smart cities have evolved as an urban development vision to collect and integrate multiple ICT and the IoT solutions in a secure model to manage a city’s assets – the city’s assets include, but are not limited to, local departments’ information systems, schools, transportation systems, hospitals, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, and other community services.
In a city network, the automated sensor set up detects leakage in water or gas supply as soon as the leakage occurs, pinpoints the exact point of leakage leaving the repairers to do their job. In the non-automated system, the utility leakage is detected manually which may take hours or even days to reach the point of malfunction. Similarly, in the security sector, the automated sensors spot the unwanted person and disallow them from entering the house. This is the goal of building a smart city so that improved quality of life by using urban informatics and technology.