Utility technology firm Itron has announced the winners of its inaugural Smart City Challenge, celebrating innovative developments in city management.
The challenge, which saw competitors devise Internet of Things (IoT)-based solutions to urban issues, was won by engineering innovation company Noesis in Glasgow; and electronic systems developers Instrumentation Technologies (I-Tech) in London. Each winning company will now be given the chance to collaborate with their respective cities to bring their innovations to fruition.
Itai Dadon, director of smart cities and IoT at Itron, said: “The inaugural Itron Smart City Challenge shows how we are applying technology for a purpose. While these solutions were purpose-built to address specific needs defined by the sponsoring cities, river safety and noise pollution are common concerns for cities worldwide. We invite cities from around the world to collaborate with Itron to launch the next set of open innovation challenges.”
The London Challenge
I-Tech developed a system enabling city authorities in London to monitor people falling into the river Thames and ensuring safety equipment would be immediately accessible. Small monitoring devices were attached to lifebelts which sounded an alarm and sent alerts to the emergency services if they were removed; and a ‘jumper detection system’ was implemented to identify and track people falling from bridges.
Uros Dragonja, Solutions Architect at Instrumentation Technologies, said: “This challenge was a great opportunity to for us. We demonstrated our capability to study the problem and then deliver a customised solution that enhances Itron’s IoT networks with our innovative, custom built sensing electronics. Utilising Itron’s developer tools, we developed a solution that will enhance safety for London’s citizens. We are pleased that London selected our solution, which we believe represents the future of emergency response services.”
The Glasgow Challenge
In response to prevailing concerns over noise pollution in Glasgow, Noesis devised a programme which would implement acoustic sensors attached to lampposts in areas of the city with projected high levels of noise. The sensors allow city authorities to collect accurate and comprehensive data on times, sources, volumes and locations of noise pollution, meaning they can then take effective action to mitigate the problem.
Kees Den Hollander, Chief Commercial Officer at Noesis, said: “As a leading IP Core provider excelling in innovative hardware design, Noesis is thrilled to develop a high-quality product for Glasgow that harnesses the power of IoT. For this challenge, we designed a solution that will utilise wireless networks to create real-time, highly granular sound maps with our acoustic sensors. It is an honour to have our solution selected by Glasgow.”