In recent years, the concept of smart cities has gained popularity quickly. Many countries are transforming their cities and investing in making them ‘smarter’. However, the actual definition of smart cities is not very clear. Some focus on sustainable development, some on technological innovation and others on the people who live there and their experience. Key seems to be that smart cities are sustainable, driven by the needs of the people who live there. To realize this, technology seems to be indispensable.
Smart city race to the top
In the Netherlands, several cities are working on their smart transformation. Already back in 2009 Amsterdam launched a smart city platform, bundling innovative projects. For Amsterdam, realizing carbon neutrality is an important topic and they are working hard towards reaching this goal by 2040. This year, the roof of the Amsterdam Johan Cruyff Arena was covered in solar panels and the energy will be stored in batteries, which significantly contributes to Amsterdams’ ambitions. Together with top Dutch universities, the city is researching self-driving vehicles, mobility management and sustainable energy. The city even appointed a Chief Technology Officer to further their transformation.
The second fastest growing city in the Netherlands is Utrecht. Their smart city focus is mainly on health, under the umbrella of ‘healthy urban living’. Their aim is to keep the city livable, even with the fast growth. Besides the focus on health, Utrecht is also the city with the most smart grids and the home of solarcharging and the city is heavily investing in making the city smarter through data.
The ‘brains’ of Chinese cities
One thing is clear: there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to smart cities. Every city faces its own challenges and requires a different smart solution. This is also clear in the approach of the Chinese government in creating smart cities. In Beijing for instance, the focus is ‘smart economy’, while for Hangzhou the focus is on the ‘Internet of Things’ and Guangzhou is focusing on ‘intelligent traffic’. Also, completely new smart cities are being constructed, such as Xiong’an. This former village near Beijing is being completely transformed and made smart from the start.
At present, there are about 500 smart cities in China that are being piloted. The market size over 650 billion yuan, with which the Chinese are investing more than any other country in the world. The Chinese smart cities are mainly concentrated in the major economic regions Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta.
Combining smart city expertise
The Dutch approach to smart cities is very much a bottom-up approach. Local initiatives are piloted and together with citizens and companies cities work towards their smart ambitions. Meanwhile in China the approach is very much top down, and local governments are heavily investing and promoting a quick transformation. Both ways of working towards smart cities are very different but when combined may amplify each other.
Designing a truly smart city is about connecting all the pieces of a complicated puzzle. Together, countries can add their pieces to a global puzzle. For instance, while the Dutch have a lot of expertise in the field of smart water management and smart charging, China has a lot of expertise in the field of big data and high tech.
After all, the challenges to which smart cities may be the answer are global. How do we create attractive places to live? How do we make our cities future proof? How do we use big data but protect privacy? By combining expertise of different countries, the smart cities of the future might be closer than we think.
source: netherlandsandyou.nl - July 30th, 2018
In terms of urban development, the Finnish capital has found its way between the all-technological and the all-participative.
Surrounded by the calm waters of the Gulf of Finland, architecturally contemporary brick buildings rise block after block into a crane sky over the ancient port of Sörnäinen. The Kalasatama district ("fishing port" in Finnish) is one of Helsinki's major urban developments. Nothing futuristic at first sight, yet this operation of 175 hectares is one of the most interesting attempts in Europe to give substance to the nebulous concept of smart city. "We have chosen Kalasatama as a field of experimentation, a platform for cooperation and innovation for the city, economic actors and citizens," says Anni Sinnemäki, the deputy (ecologist) to the Mayor of Helsinki in charge of the urbanism. The innovations that work in Kalasatama, we will spread elsewhere. "
The Finnish capital must solve a delicate equation: in September 2017, the municipality set the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2035, even though its population is expected to jump from 640,000 residents today to 780,000 in 2035. "We want to build housing for everyone, but to achieve our climate goals we must think in terms of smart city, paying attention to the social aspect and not just to technological innovation," says Sinnemäki.
The district summons the heavy artillery of the sustainable city. Kalasatama is served by the metro, and several tram lines are under study. All buildings have the obligation to connect to the urban heating and air conditioning network powered by huge heat pumps recovering energy from the city's wastewater. The Katri Vala underground power plant, buried in a cave dug into the rock close to Kalasatama, is the largest of its kind in the world. Buildings must also integrate a smart grid ("smart grid"), which will pool the electricity produced and consumed by the million square meters of housing and 390,000 m2 of offices. The requirements for energy efficiency are drastic, buildings must produce 30% of their energy this year and rise quickly in power: Kalasatama wants to show a neutral energy balance in 2030, when 25 000 inhabitants and 10 000 employees will populate the neighborhood ...
But the most interesting is not there. "We do not just want to save energy: we want to focus on the human, the quality of life, the uses, create a spirit of community," says Veera Mustonen. The young woman works for the Forum Virium, the innovation department of the city of Helsinki, a cell of 35 people set up by the municipality to accelerate the implementation of the smart city. "This is a public-private-population partnership: we are here to support large groups, start-ups, facilitate their experiments, connect them with City departments, research centers, but always include citizens, who are co-creators and testers of all innovations, "she explains.
The main idea: the smart city must save one hour per day for everyone. "When companies come to us with an idea or a product, we always ask them how it will free up people's time," says Veera Mustonen. Kalasatama wants to embody a "third way" of the smart city, between the all-technological - sensors and Big Brother - and the "all-talk" without action on the ground. "Cities like Copenhagen have set up a big data platform without thinking about the uses, it's a failure," says Veera Mustonen.
To reduce markdowns and break out of a lull in sales, H&M is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data to tailor its merchandising mix in its brick-and-mortar stores.
The fashion retailer is using algorithms to gain insights from returns, receipts and data from loyalty cards to improve its bottom lines, according to news source Retail Dive reports.
H&M is utilizing the technology in a store located in an upscale section of Stockholm, Sweden. It has so far learned that women make up most of its customer base, and that fashionable items such as floral skirts have sold at better-than-predicted rates. Sales have improved with these insights, and H&M is moving away from the idea of stocking each location with a similar selection. That strategy previously led to unsold inventory and subsequent markdowns, as the retailer needed to clear out approximately $4 billion in excess merchandise.
The brand has also announced that 2018 will feature fewer brick-and-mortar store openings as H&M moves to adapt to increasingly digital shopping patterns. The change comes after years of rapid growth from the fast-fashion giant, which now finds itself somewhat struggling to integrate into the eCommerce landscape. According to news from CNBC, H&M will only open about 220 stores in 2018, as opposed to the 388 it built in 2017. That 220 is a net number, however, and the retailer will actually be opening 390 stores and shuttering 170.
“The scale of the reduction will surprise some today,” wrote Morgan Stanley analysts Geoff Ruddell and Amy Curry, who had categorized H&M as an “underweight” back in January. “It will leave the bears questioning why H&M still enjoys a ‘growth stock’ rating.”
Other concerns for Wall Street investors include that the retailer ended 2017 with a net debt on its balance sheet — instead of net cash — for the first time in two decades. Cash flow was reportedly hurt by an uptick in stagnant inventory.
Source: PYMNTS.com on May, 10th 2018
In Barcelona, high-tech data platforms generate demand for old-fashioned community development.
Residents living around Plaça del Sol joke that theirs is the only square where, despite the name, rain is preferable. Rain means fewer people gather to socialise and drink, reducing noise for the flats overlooking the square. Residents know this with considerable precision because they’ve developed a digital platform for measuring noise levels and mobilising action. I was told the joke by Remei, one of the residents who, with her ‘citizen scientist’ neighbours, are challenging assumptions about Big Data and the Smart City.
The Smart City and data sovereignty
The Smart City is an alluring prospect for many city leaders. Even if you haven’t heard of it, you may have already joined in by looking up bus movements on your phone, accessing Council services online or learning about air contamination levels. By inserting sensors across city infrastructures and creating new data sources - including citizens via their mobile devices – Smart City managers can apply Big Data analysis to monitor and anticipate urban phenomena in new ways, and, so the argument goes, efficiently manage urban activity for the benefit of ‘smart citizens’.
Barcelona has been a pioneering Smart City. The Council’s business partners have been installing sensors and opening data platforms for years. Not everyone is comfortable with this technocratic turn. After Ada Colau was elected Mayor on a mandate of democratising the city and putting citizens centre-stage, digital policy has sought to go ‘beyond the Smart City’. Chief Technology Officer Francesca Bria is opening digital platforms to greater citizen participation and oversight. Worried that the city’s knowledge was being ceded to tech vendors, the Council now promotes technological sovereignty.
On the surface, the noise project in Plaça del Sol is an example of such sovereignty. It even features in Council presentations. Look more deeply, however, and it becomes apparent that neighbourhood activists are really appropriating new technologies into the old-fashioned politics of community development.
The latest edition of Criteo's Global Commerce Review reveals that European retailers achieve 54% of mobile sales through apps in the fourth quarter of 2017. In France, consumers are active in all environments and buy more and more via their smartphone .
Criteo unveils the results of its quarterly Global Commerce Review for the fourth quarter of 2017. This report explores consumer activities, behaviors and preferences across all devices and browsers.
Highlighting consumers' increasing use of consumer applications, the report confirms the focus on mobile and its utility in driving omnichannel marketing business strategies around the world. "While the use of smartphones continues its strong ascent, the increased adoption of mobile apps and mobile browsers is leading to exciting omnichannel buying trends," said François Costa de Beauregard, Criteo's Managing Director France. Merchants and brands can leverage these trends to optimize their business efforts, enabling them to reach consumers more effectively to generate the best possible results. "
The opportunity of applications
When merchants prioritize application optimization in addition to the mobile web, the performance gains are substantial. At the global level, advertisers experienced an almost 50% year-over-year increase in transaction-based applications, which reached 46% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
In Europe, apps account for 54% of mobile sales for merchants who jointly invest in mobile browser and merchant application. The conversion rate for merchant applications reaches 13%, a figure more than three times higher than the 4% rate usually observed on the mobile web.
The use of the mobile web has reached maturity but consumers are volatile, and continue to make purchases in a mobility situation, at different frequencies, on all connected devices.
Smartphone transactions in France increased by 45% compared to Q4 2016 (excluding applications). The use of tablets is declining, generating 7% fewer transactions compared to the previous year.
Computers remain the most used during office hours but show a small decline in transactions from one year to the next (6%).
The sectors with the highest proportions of mobile sales are sporting goods (35%), clothing (35%) and health and cosmetics (34%). Seasonal variations led to a slight decline in the number of computer transactions preceded by a mobile click, as consumers were more active on mobile devices during the summer. In the 4th quarter, 28% of computer transactions in France were preceded by a click on mobile.
Omnishoppers, a high value
Omni-channel strategies help guide consumers through their winding journey, resulting in improved online results. Globally, omnishoppers have the highest long-term value for brands and merchants, generating 27% of all sales, although they represent only 7% of consumers.
Consumers are constantly switching between computer and mobile, depending on the time of day and the day of the week. Marketers targeting the workforce need to consider the prevalence of the computer during office hours, especially in the morning. However, it is essential to optimize the targeting of smartphones and tablets in the evening and on weekends.
The combination of purchase intention data also gives the opportunity to increase purchasing opportunities for each consumer, as the average amount of the basket is significantly higher - up to 8% on average in France - for consumers identified.
This trend is particularly apparent in the fashion and luxury goods, health and cosmetics sectors, and in high-tech.
The Global Commerce Review report was based on analysis of the respective navigation and purchasing data collected from more than 5,000 merchants in more than 80 countries during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Source: ecommercemag.fr by Dalila Bouaziz on February 28th, 2018
In recent years, geolocalisation technologies have created "Location Based Services": products and services adapted to people's past and present geolocations. Made possible thanks to Roofstreet technology, the next evolution is in progress with the arrival of "Trip Based Services": products and services that adapt not only to positions but also to past and future trips.
Who needs to understand travel today?
Understanding travel is a current issue and essential to many sectors.
70% of consumers now use their mobile in stores.
Locate a store, consult reviews or compare prices ...: the mobile is today become indispensable to the consumer even in his journey offline purchase. To better understand the role and increasing impact of smartphone in store, the MMA has just published its Guide to interactions mobile point of sale.
Two years after its first edition, the Mobile Marketing Association France announces a major update to its Point of Sale Interaction Guide. "70% of consumers are now using their mobile in stores. In this guide, traders can discover the latest technologies, optical or radio, to interact with consumers. But this publication offers them, above all, a real user manual for accelerate the digitalization of their point of sale with an important focus on management of personal data at the dawn of RGPD 2018. " - explains Anh-Vu Nguyen, head of the working group "Mobile Interactions in point of sale "at the MMA.
In addition to an overview of different technologies (NFC, BLE, Wi-Fi, recognition image, QR code and now VLC) and use cases available to traders, the guide proposes a new legal section: Maître Thomas Beaugrand, lawyer at the Staub & Associés, partner of the association, shares its vision of the legal and consequences of the GDPR on the collection and exploitation of data. "The power of e-commerce giants today rests on data exploitation and traditional traders can also benefit to better understand their consumers, optimize organizing their point of sale or maximizing their sales".
However, this requires a clear understanding of the new legal framework of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR 2018), distinguishing between
clearly the good and the bad practices in terms of collection and data exploitation. "Adds AnhVu Nguyen.
This guide was produced by member companies of the Mobile Marketing Association France: Atsukè, EzeeWorld, Fidzup, SLMS, Snapp '& userADgents, with the support of the AFSCM, the law firm Staub & Associés and thanks to the support of BNP Paribas and Hello bank!
Ford and Silicon Valley-based Autonomic will work together to build a new open platform upon which cities can build out infrastructure communications, including connected traffic lights and parking spots, called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.” Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced the news on Monday at the CES 2018 keynote kicking off the annual conference.
The platform is designed to help connect smart transportation services, as well as adjacent connected offerings, uniting them with one common language to help coordinate all this efforts in real-time. That means tying together personal cars with vehicle-to-everything communications built in, incorporating things like bike sharing networks, public and private transportation services, including buses, trains, ride hailing and beyond.
The Transportation Mobility Cloud will support location-based services, determining routes, sending out alerts about things like service disruptions, handing identity management and payment processing, as well as dealing with data gather and analytics. It’s intended not only as a kind of connective tissue for the forward-thinking services and vehicles that will make up the smart city of tomorrow, but also as a platform upon which new apps and services can be built from the heath of data available.
Ford says to think of it like “a box of Legos” with pieces that can be quickly taken apart and reassembled to build new types of assets and products to better serve city residents. It’s intended to be flexible enough to work with all partners, and to change from city-to-city depending on local requirements and implementation specifications.
In a blog post detailing the news, Ford suggests some possible uses to illustrate what the platform could do, including routing autonomous vehicles away from the most densely clogged arteries occupied by human cars in times of peak traffic, and rerouting cars on the fly to help reduce congestion, or even letting cities fence off ares of the city to restrict them to EV only zones in order to help mitigate air quality and emissions issues.
Ford stresses that it has designed this platform “for everyone,” a road base group that includes transit service operators, as well as competitor automakers, who it invites to join in with the effort in order to help make it as widely compatible as possible. Ford says it hopes to use its open approach to drive adoption to the point where it can claim to be the smart city platform with the most connected vehicles by the end of 2019, and eventually it hopes to achieve a 100 percent compatibility rate with vehicles and services on the road.
It’s a massive undertaking, but if successful, it could pave the way to cities better able to launch and incorporate Ford’s growing stable of mobility service offerings, including things like last mile shared commute service Chariot, as wells Ford GoBike and its forthcoming autonomous ride hailing fleets. Teaming with Autonomic, a company that Ford invested in last year, will help it ramp quickly since the Palo Alto company’s staff has lots of experience building platforms intended for integration on a broad scale, including Amazon Web Services.
Part of the promise of ride-hailing has been that it would reduce congestion in cities – but studies show the opposite is true, which Ford says it hopes to help correct with a platform like that which can help optimize their rollout and integration into existing services and traffic flows.
Source: techcrunch.com by Darrell Etherigton - January 9th 2018
Ericsson forecasts 20 billion IoT-connected devices, including 1.8 billion by cellular network in 2023
According to the latest updated report on the mobility of the Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson, the number of objects connected to the IoT (connected cars, industrial machines, meters, sensors, consumer products of types wearables, etc.) should grow on average 19% worldwide by 2023, to reach a total of 20 billion units.
By that time, all devices connected to a network (including mobile phones, PCs, tablets) will reach 30 billion units.
Ericsson distinguishes objects that will be connected by short-range wireless technologies (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, etc.) from those connected to a long-distance network (3G, 4G, 5G, NB-IoT, and LPWA networks such as Sigfox or Lora).
Objects connected by short-range technologies will be largely in the majority (17.4 billion units in 2023) and their number will increase on average by 18% per year by 2023.
On the contrary, objects connected to a long-distance network will be very much in the minority ("only" 2.4 billion objects in 2023 and 600 million in 2017), but their number will grow faster: + 26% on average per year .
At the end of 2017, Ericsson estimates that about 500 million objects will be connected to IoT through a cellular connection. Their number is expected to reach 1.8 billion units, or 75% of the long-distance category. Clearly, Ericsson, one of the first equipment manufacturers of cellular network infrastructure, believes that Sigfox and LoRa will not break through ... What remains to be verified.
Currently, the long distance segment is dominated by GSM / GPRS technology, but unsurprisingly, by 2023, 4G LTE and 5G cellular technologies will take over. The 4G will then represent the majority of cellular IoT connections, while the 5G will support the most critical applications.
The first cellular IoT networks based on Cat-M1 and Narrow Band-IoT technologies (NB-IoT) were launched in early 2017 and Ericsson currently has more than 20 cellular IoT networks using these technologies. operating commercially around the world.
Source: VIPPress.net, November 29th, 2017