County Working on Global Cities Team Challenge
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett announced, as part of the Global Cities Team Challenge, that Montgomery County and several corporate and academic partners are working together on the Challenge to explore the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and their potential public sector benefits, according to a county press release.
IoT systems are a critical component of the growing smart-cities movement, in which communities use technology to enhance citizen services, such as improving safety, traffic management, energy efficiency, and crime reduction.
“We’re seeking to adapt to our growing populations by using mobile applications, sensors, crowd-sourcing and data analytics to better respond to our citizens’ needs,” says Leggett.
The team consists of local start-ups and premier industry partners such as IBM, SigFox, Intel Security, Twilio, Brivo Labs, N5 Sensors, BioBright and Senseware. The project also involves research institutions such as the University of California at Irvine.
The team will develop and deploy experimental technologies in real-world “test beds” and will share the knowledge learned from these experimental deployments with other jurisdictions. Montgomery County expects to add other cities and counties to the team as the Global Cities Team Challenge progresses. To facilitate the work of the team and the creation of pilot devices, Montgomery County is establishing the “Thingstitute,” a pop-up living laboratory/incubator for IoT technologies and start-ups.
The White House Presidential Innovation Fellows and the White House Chief Technology Officer praised Montgomery County and its team, during an earlier phase of this project, for deploying this technology in a real-world setting in the county. Using ultra narrowband technology and mesh networks to transmit data from sensors monitoring smoke, hazardous gases, air quality, light and temperature, occupants of monitored areas are contacted via phone if a dangerous condition arises. If an “all clear” response is not received, first responders could be alerted to investigate.
One of the goals of the Global Cities Team Challenge is to build public awareness around IoT and to tap the creativity of citizens, students, and entrepreneurs. The team will hold several forums and “Make-a-thons.” During these events – similar to “hackathons” – residents, businesses, and students will create their own connected devices while receiving expert guidance.
The Global Cities Team Challenge kicks off September 29th with a workshop at the National Institute of Standards and Technology featuring a presentation by the Montgomery County Chief Innovation Officer, Dan Hoffman. More information about the Global Cities Team Challenge can be found at http://www.nist.gov/cps/sagc.cfm.