In the last decade an increasing number of cities around the world have launched Smart City initiatives whereby they aim to utilise the latest development in ICT technologies to enhance existing city services or create new types of services to improve the lives and interaction with their citizens. India has also seen manyfold growth in its cities and the situation is becoming grim day by day. IF it wants to manage its cities well in near future it must rapidly launch smart city operating systems at the earliest.
We need to unify the administration of a countless variety of public services in order to make them more efficient, sustainable, productive, useful, predictable… In short, smarter.
The unification of digital languages is just the first and necessary step that smart cities are awaiting.
It is also the step required to open the way to other tools and to exploit the potential of artificial intelligence. It could provide systems and their physical elements with sufficient readiness to automate management processes. It would be a bit like activating the automatic pilot in SimCity, but always under the supervision of an adult.
Harmonizing all the systems that intervene in big data and the universe of devices that currently use it in a city, is possibly one of the most important challenges for any city in the process of digital transformation. Also one of the most cost-effective for companies that are prepared.
Smart city services are tightly integrated with the ICT capabilities of the infrastructure. They rely on ICT infrastructure for collection, manipulation and interpretation of data from a wide range of sources (e.g. sensors, CCTV cameras, citizens’ SmartPhones, etc.) to rapidly create and deploy innovative urban services at the city-scale.
However, all previous smart city projects have been based upon closed, inflexible, and vendor-specific ICT solutions. Any new service developed on top of such a solution uses proprietary Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which typically lack the ability to optimize the underlying ICT infrastructure depending on specific performance and efficiency service requirements.
This significantly limits the ability of the city to innovate with the creation and deployment of new urban services and –more importantly- it is impossible to replicate and transfer from one city to another.
It’s time to collaborate with various ITeS companies that will offer an alternative solution based on City Operating System (CityOS). It is based on open-source software technologies, CityOS is an open and programmable ICT orchestration software that controls and manages data flows between different sub-systems in a smart city.
The collaboration must provide an open platform for the development of applications and services from third parties with transparent access to the underlying ICT infrastructure. In that respect, CityOS is similar to the Android operating system in SmartPhone which manages and coordinates the data flow between its components.
The City OS has several unique features that make it ideal as a smart city solution:
- Open & Programmable: Offers an open application development environment where third party developers can create new Smart City applications and services on the city’s ICT infrastructure
- Technology Agnostic: Supports a wide variety of devices from Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor to wireless, wired and cloud computing infrastructure
- Abstraction of underlying resources: Hides all the technology detail of the underlying ICT infrastructure and creates abstract models of the network resources for simple and easy programming.
- Network virtualization: CityOS contains a powerful virtualization engine that enables the “slicing” of the physical ICT network into separate “network slices”, each with its own Quality-of-Service (QoS) requirements. This allows many users to use the same network resources simultaneously for more efficient and cost-effective network utilisation.