Business Reporter reports on First Line

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Article topic is “Viva the smart city! Barcelona shows the way for the future”, published September 22 by Business Reporter. You can read the original here. «Software companies are helping to develop technologies that make use of the industrial internet of things (IoT), to create cities that are smarter and more sustainable, reducing costs and improving efficiencies for everyone involved.

Nick Puntikov, president at First Line Software, says: “The industrial internet is one of the hottest trends for technology and software engineering companies. We are preparing ourselves and getting ready for this evolution.”

A study by Pike Research estimates that investments in smart city technology will increase to $108 billion by 2020, while Navigant Research forecasts that global smart city technology revenue will grow from $8.8 billion annually in 2014 to $27.5 billion in 2023.

Figures from cities that have implemented the industrial IoT to improve sustainability has shown it will not only increase efficiency, but reduce costs as well.

Barcelona has saved $3.1billion a year through installing sensors in places such as public water pipes and parking meters, so they can be used more efficiently. The city has also optimised productivity for garbage truck drivers by wirelessly connecting garbage bins to monitor trash levels.

The data from the waste bins can be used to plan the best routes for rubbish collection, reducing waste management service costs.

In one of the European megalopolises, a monitoring system developed by First Line Software for a parking lot operator to help drivers find car parks has reduced search time by 50 per cent, saving time and fuel for drivers, while revenues increased by 11 per cent. Around 828 sensors were installed into the asphalt of the car park as well as 25 parking payment terminals.

However, not all cities have adopted a smart approach. Puntikov believes the biggest issue in creating a smart city is that not everyone has the technological knowledge required to know how to make an area sustainable. There can also be a lack of co-operation between players in the marketplace on how to best create a smart city.

Puntikov says: “This gap needs to change. Some cities are excellent at putting together strong minds that understand what the city needs to become smarter and have very good engineering support. But there are others where this does not work so well.”

What Puntikov says will be important in filling that knowledge gap will be leadership. He says: “From my perspective it is important to have a group of people, like a think tank, that really see the big picture of a smart city with a view of three, five and 10 years.”

He believes smart cities, by natural evolution, will become the agenda of every city council. Leaders will have no choice but to have sustainable cities on their agenda eventually.

What cities will look for, Puntikov explains, is a one-stop solution – to partner with a technology firm that can develop both the hardware and software for a system, rather than going to one company for a certain product and another for something else. Companies like First Line Software, which use technologies built on the industrial internet of things, will be in a prime position to do this. »

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