Andrea

About Andreakc

Associated founder KonectCity, firts to discover the key to IoT interoperability across different platforms and systems, serial entrepreneur and status quo challenger.

Konectcity Digital Twins

ADVANCED IMAGING ALGORITHM FOR THE DIGITAL MANAGEMENT OF BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION SITES

What if we could have instant access to all the information about a construction site, down to smallest details about every person, tool, and bolt?

What if we could always be sure about the final measurements of a beam or that soil volumes in the cuts are close to those of the fills? What if we could always track how fast the supply of materials runs out, and re-order supplies automatically?

Konectcity Platform is essentially a link between a real world object and its digital representation that is continuously using data from the sensors. All data comes from sensors located on a physical object ( HVAC, thermostats, alarms, cameras, database; this data is used to establish the representation of an existing object in our VR world so that, from one single screen, we interact with the 3d virtualization of every connected asset wherever located in the globe.

Using KonectCity means always having access to as-built and as-designed models, which are constantly synced in real-time

Predictive analysis based on algorithm and machine learning

We can use the model predictive control approach and make decisions based on forward simulation, beginning with the current state of the building. So we can always analyze different paths of actions and estimate their probabilities and corresponding cost functions in order to select the most optimal decision (or adjustment) for what we should do next.

Our AI automated progress monitoring verifies that the completed work is consistent with plans and specifications. A physical site observation is needed in order to verify the reported percentage of work done and determine the stage of the project.

By reconstructing an as-built state of a building or structure we can compare it with an as-planned execution in BIM and take corresponding actions to correct any deviations. This is usually done by reconstructing geometry of a building and registering it to the model coordinate systems, which is later compared to an as-planned model on a shape and object level.

Often data for progress monitoring is collected through the field personnel and can be hugely subjective. For example, the reported percentage of work done can be faster in the beginning and much slower close to the end of the project.

People tend to be initially more optimistic about their progress and the time needed to finish the job.

Hence, having automated means of data collection and comparison means that the resulting model to as-designed  BIM models is less liable to human error. Digital twins solve the common construction process problems helping saving time, overrunning costs and resources greatly benefiting the bottom line.

AS BUILT VS AS DESIGNED MODELS

With a real-time digital twins, it is possible to track changes in an as-built model daily and hourly. Early detection of any discrepancies can lead to a detailed analysis of historical modeling data, which adds an additional layer of information for any further decision making processes.

Project managers can track and reconstruct steps that led to errors adjusting work schedules accordingly in order to prevent any similar mistakes from occurring.

They can also detect under-performers and fix the cause of the problem planning the necessary changes to the budget and timescale of the whole project. According to the Construction Industry Institute, about 25% of productive time is wasted on unnecessary movement and handling of materials. Our technology provides automatic resource allocation monitoring and waste tracking, allowing for a predictive and lean approach to resource management. Companies would avoid over-allocation dynamically predicting resource requirements on construction sites, thus avoiding the need to move resources over long distances greatly improving time management.

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous sectors in the world.

Early notification, using our advanced AI combined with video cameras and mobile devices combines an extensive safety net letting construction managers know when a field worker is located in dangerous proximity to working equipment and sending a notification about nearby danger to a worker’s wearable device.

The real-time site virtual reconstruction allows companies to track people and hazardous places so as to prevent inappropriate behavior, usage of unsafe materials, and activities in hazardous zones.

Optimization

Equipment utilization is an important metric that construction firms always want to maximize. Unused machines should be released earlier to the pool so others can use them on other sites where they are needed. With advanced imaging and automatic tracking, it is possible to know how many times each piece of machinery has been used, at what part of the construction site, and on what type of the job.

Some countries impose tough regulations on how to monitor people presence on a construction site. This includes having a digital record of all personnel and their location within the site, so that this information could be used by rescue teams in case of emergency. This monitoring is another digital plug in offered by our platform.

Data processing and analytics

UAV are habitually used to collect laser dots referral points combining imaging cameras and sensors to build augmented reality images. A high rate of generated data demands an even higher rate of data processing and fully-automated pipelines, from data capturing and analysis to knowledge and decisions. Our geospatial engine processes high volumes of data for all layers and connected assets always offering real time information with a precise location and positioning on map offering a VR visualization on screen. Our system combines the most advanced photogrammetry algorithms combined with Structure from motion acquisition ( drones and cameras ) . These elements combined offer denser 3D representations that are more accurate in measurements when compared to any other method.

LOCALIZATION

Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) constitutes the computational problem of constructing or updating a map of an unknown environment, while simultaneously keeping track of an agent’s location within it.

Object detection and recognition is a cornerstone for robotic applications on construction sites, as robots need to know the location of obstacles for navigation and path planning. It is also an important thing for robots’ manipulators: they need the precise location of the objects to be picked up or moved.

In our VR modelling construction companies can use object detection and recognition to create better models of hazardous spaces and to monitor complex machinery on-site. It usually involves a combination of sensors, such as a camera, radar, LIDAR, and inertial measurement unit (IMU), if an agent is moving. The agent can be a robot, a crane, or a head- mounted display a worker is wearing at a construction site.

Another usage of object tracking is to recognize gestures in human-computer interactions, which can be harnessed for the automatic recognition of workers’ hand signals on a construction site.

KonectCity helps to better represent the as-build project at any point in time. It allows up-to-date information to be fed back to the field so as to decrease the number of errors and reworks.

With continuous localization and tracking of people and equipment it is possible to completely monitor the use of time utilization and dynamically allocate resources in order to decrease time of waiting for free machinery or the inefficient use of expensive equipment.

Moreover, real-time monitoring can push security alerts about hazardous situations right to ta worker’s mobile phone or headset, which increases the safety of a construction site. It also offers all data about who is present on a construction site and where they are located, in case of emergency.

Konectcity Digital Twins2019-07-09T17:13:57-07:00

Konectcity Technology is transforming Industry 4.0

How we re-shape the industry

The basis for these cutting-edge technologies is the availability of data.

Reducing costs, reducing down-time, reducing TAKT time, reducing MUDA, maximizing efficiency and profits at the bottom line.

Through digital twins, which map and link together all the steps of industrial manufacturing in a virtual world, comprehensive data pools can be created. “The crucial factor is using the data from the digital twin of the product, production and performance in an innovative way that creates new potential for productivity. When automation, software, hardware and cloud platforms as well as cutting-edge technologies are integrated and combined seamlessly, the data can be converted into valuable knowledge – increasing performance and flexibility. This is the next step of digital transformation.  One example is our new platform  with an integrated AI; through the use of machine learning algorithms, robot-based handling processes can be optimized, for example. For the learning process, artificial intelligence (AI) requires large volumes of data. And this data is only available if processes have been digitized and linked together seamlessly. With our ecosystem Konectcity has extended its Digital Enterprise automation platforms  to include a data processing solution on the shop-floor. With its scalable concept from the shop-floor our cloud-based IoT operating system is creating a new methodology integrating the most advanced manufacturing execution system and lean process management.

From automotive to manufacturing we can demonstrate how the use of cloud and Edge-based data analysis together with other cutting-edge technologies such as additive manufacturing or autonomous manufacturing systems create new opportunities for the efficient and flexible production of car systems and components.  “Konectcity is already supporting the automotive industry and big players such as FCA  for the optimization and integration of existing and new technologies. This helps companies to meet today’s challenges such as growing demand for increasingly customized products and alternative drive concepts.

Digitalization cannot be implemented without protecting industrial plants from cyber attacks. In future, AI and Edge computing will also improve security, since data analysis can be used to detect cyber attacks far more quickly and reliably.

With Blockchain, Konectcity is presenting another future technology for industrial applications: in industry there is considerable potential for improvement, for example in traceability for products. In the food supply chain, information is documented in a digital and tamper-proof format, and stored in Blockchain on every step of the journey, including details such as the farm location, batch number, processing data, factory information, expiration dates, storage temperatures and shipping details. Relevant information is provided to users via our platform.

For process automation we are introducing a new innovative process control system offering companies in the process industry new opportunities in the age of digitalization. This includes global web-based cooperation in engineering and operations as well as unique usability with a seamless object-oriented data model and an open system architecture. In addition, the system offers the option of scalability from small process modules through to the largest process plants in the world. In this way, Konectcity can provide its customers with investment and know-how protection combined with the advantages of the new system.

The integration of these cutting-edge technologies is leading – to a much stronger link between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). Through the convergence of these technology areas, increasing volumes of data from industrial development and manufacturing will be linked in future with other data from areas such as logistics or purchasing. As a result, a large amount of information will be transferred from the central level to the control level.

In order to provide cross-sector data transfer and to increase flexibility and productivity, a wide-ranging, powerful communication infrastructure is required. The new 5G communication standard creates exciting prospects here. High data rates, reliable high-performance broadband transmission and ultra-short latency periods support considerable increases in efficiency and flexibility in industrial value creation – especially for Industry 4.0 applications. Konectcity has used this new communication standard from the outset and is supporting standardization and industrial implementation through the development of an appropriate portfolio.

Konectcity  supports digital transformation with a range of services from consulting through to implementation. “We support our customers on the path to digitalization – from consulting on strategies for industrial digitalization through to supporting in the implementation and optimization of digital solutions,”. Consulting is based on a thorough evaluation of the digital readiness of the company, which is carried out by experts together with the customer. “Together we determine the existing level of digitalization at the relevant company and from there we develop a tailored digitalization strategy for the customer together with a road-map.”

Konectcity is an innovation leader in automation and digitalization. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, we drive the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. We can provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalize the entire value chain. Optimized for the specific needs of each industry, we support customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility.

Konectcity Technology is transforming Industry 4.02019-06-26T19:56:41-07:00

Are You a Smartivist ?

Over the past seven years, the smart city concept has changed fundamentally in terms of the approaches that cities or communities have chosen for urban transformation. Driven by technology providers in the early years, governments as leaders of the smart city movement have later understood that technology is “only” the enabler for reaching governmental, economic and societal goals. Today, smart city strategies still consider technology as an enabler, but governments have learned that top-down initiatives or a “master planned” approach are not the determinants of success. Drivers for success are collaborative and participative citizen-/human-centric approaches. If a city or community wants to become smarter, it should take the needs and problems of its customers – citizens, businesses, workforce/commuters, entrepreneurs, academia and non-profit organizations – into account.

We strongly believe that it is time for a new paradigm or evolutionary stage of the smart city.

Existing generations of smart cities

Call for a new paradigm of the smart city

The human element: rise of the “smartivist”

Existing generations of smart cities.

Smart Cities 1.0: a technology-centric vision of smart cities led by major technology companies to create efficient and innovation-driven cities

Smart Cities 2.0: a government-led vision of utilizing technologic solutions as enablers for improving quality of life

Smart Cities 3.0: a citizen- or human-centric vision of smart cities based on co-creation [with citizens] to improve quality of life and generate prosperity

What Boyd Cohen has accurately described in his framework of evolutionary smart city stages is something that we can witness every day around the world: cities are following different strategic approaches, based on their actual development and knowledge status.

Some tend to start their smart city endeavors in stage 1.0 with one big technology partner, a wide range of cities uses “masterplans” and government-led initiatives that embrace technology to create beneficial outcomes for their smart city 2.0. Both stages help in increasing efficiency from a government perspective and in creating an innovative image. But are these approaches suitable to create a better – more livable, prosperous and sustainable – place? And for whom?

In the business world, it is widely known that an anticipation of “build it and they will come” is not the best course of action. Prior to implementing smart city solutions, it is important to know why they are needed, how they can be implemented, what the benefits are for their users, and whether possible risks or objections exist.

Thus, to create a smart city 3.0 it is paramount to facilitate participation and collaboration across all stakeholders. If a city or community wants to become smarter, it should take the needs and problems of its customers – citizens, businesses, workforce/commuters, entrepreneurs, academia and non-profit organizations – into account and actively engage in bottom-up thinking and co-creation to identify, develop and implement suitable solutions. Therefore, we believe there is the need for a new paradigm of the smart city. Often, to emphasize the human-centric approach, a smart city 3.0 is referred to as a “senseable city”.

Call for a new paradigm of the smart city

The “smart city” is kind of a sticky concept in a slippery environment. A multitude of definitions and alternative names for this concept exist. Most definitions focus on the role of technology and data as a key enabler for becoming smart. From our perspective, technology indeed is an important enabler, but the way it is utilized is far more important: the smartest solutions are those that get all chosen target groups inside a city or community engaged – may it be as users, as contributors or as ambassador

THE “SMART CITY” CONCEPT DESCRIBES THE ABILITY FOR UTILIZING THE CAPACITY OF A CITY/COMMUNITY TO CREATE AND ADOPT SOLUTIONS FOR OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AND SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES THAT HELP TRANSFORM “THE PLACE WE CALL HOME” TO A PROSPEROUS AND MORE LIVABLE PLACE FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS. THE ECOSYSTEM OF IMPLEMENTED SOLUTIONS IS WHAT DEFINES HOW SMART A CITY/COMMUNITY IS.

Our definition clearly states that being smart is about initiating/adapting and implementing solutions that create added value and transform into collective good. The term “smart” in this sense includes technology as an enabler but does not limit the concept to technological solutions.

The acceptance and use of smart city solutions call for a user-centric approach that takes the needs of all actors into account, especially those of the citizens. Therefore, it is paramount to create a participative, open, transparent and inclusive mindset.

Collective intelligence is the key success factor for smart cities, representing a new paradigm in the development of smarter cities:

BEING SMART BUILDS ON THE HUMAN CAPACITY AS A SUM OF INDIVIDUAL ACTORS IN A COMMUNITY THAT ENABLES THE CREATION AND ADOPTION OF SOLUTIONS, LEADING TO AN EFFICIENT TRANSFORMATION OF THE COMMUNITY BY A STRONG SMART CITY SOLUTIONS ECOSYSTEM.

Taking the three generations of smart cities into account, the journey towards becoming a smart city or smart community is not primarily driven by a technology partnership with one big player or a government-led top-down master plan. It is rather the sum of intelligent initiatives and solutions that are co-created/developed and implemented by many different private and public actors throughout the city and across different strategic fields of action.

From our experience, pure top-down smart city master plans often lack human-centricity, are overly focused on technology and fail to connect and activate the collective intelligence of a city or community. Human-focused bottom-up approaches are a means to activate and connect different actors and are an effective tool for analyzing the status quo within a city or community. They are a starting ground for creating a shared vision and setting up an effective strategy that is based on collective intelligence.

Upon analyzing the status quo, a lot of communities are surprised by the huge number of actors, initiatives, and solutions that already exist. A sound analysis is the foundation for developing an overarching strategy that connects all the existing dots, uniting the actors to follow a shared vision and to work on “blind spots” or gaps that have not yet been addressed.

The human element: rise of the “smartivist”

The human element is something that has been largely neglected in the first two generations of smart cities. The third generation has recognized the importance of citizens and other actors inside the city or community for the creation of solutions tailored to the needs of its main “customers”. But the human element is not only about individuals for leveraging information.

What we see in many cities is the “rise of the smartivist” (in analogy to the “rise of the creative class” by Richard Florida). The “smartivist” can be defined as “an individual who steps forward to actively support the process of creating a better place on a voluntary basis”. The “smartivist” supports as a single expert or by establishing initiatives (e.g. loose project consortiums, new legal entities such as non-profit organizations, associations) to address specific challenges (read our article: Rise of the Smartivist – The Importance of Smart Citizens in Smart Cities).

The collective intelligence and power of a large number of “smartivists”, who are often experts in their fields and/or highly motivated citizens (“local champions”) that possess a strong identification with the city or community they live in (“local pride”) is something that can massively accelerate smart city efforts. The high degree of commitment and the quality of contributions the “smartivists” bring to the table is something that needs to be encouraged, nurtured and rewarded.

By tapping into collective intelligence based on a human-centric approach, a city or community can implement engaging solutions and create a truly smart city of and for the next generation.

Are You a Smartivist ?2019-06-26T21:11:23-07:00

When Communication is Resilient?

Dealing with air traffic and communications between pilots and control tower, our system knows all way to communicate and has learned how to automatically switch among conventional and non conventional communication protocols whatever it might occur so to ensure that proper instructions are transmitted.

In Mexico we demonstrated how fast our platform reacts saving 16,900 lives in 123 different locations in under two minutes with all phones being disconnected by the monstrous earthquake.

Communication systems are integral to how our society functions, including broad reliance on mobile devices and the internet. The resilience of communications systems is one of the most critical aspects of community resilience, as nearly all other forms of infrastructure are dependent on clear and reliable communications.

Communication systems play a critical role during and after a hazard event. People rely on landline telephones, cellular or mobile systems, internet access, and cable and broadcast television to monitor the situation and to contact family members, schools, employers, and emergency responders. In addition, government and other public agencies disseminate information to the public through one-way communication systems. Informal networks that reinforce the capacity of communities to respond to extreme events are also reliant on communication systems to mobilize and to respond.

Unfortunately, communications systems have failed in multiple ways as a result of hazard events. Physical damage to communications infrastructure and critical equipment can also lead failure of dependent energy, water, and transportation systems. And in the aftermath of hazard events, service disruptions can occur when user demand exceeds the capacity of the system.

To identify the level of communications performance and resilience a community needs, stakeholders—including service providers, critical facilities representatives, local businesses, and representatives of interdependent infrastructure systems—can form a team to explore their needs, threats, and potential mitigation strategies.

Communications time horizons

A community that has experienced a hazard has short (0–3 days), intermediate (1–12 weeks), and long-term (4–36+ months) recovery needs. Specific to communication systems, communities traditionally focus on short-term recovery needs that facilitate emergency response and management goals. These include:

Relaying emergency and safety information to the public.

Coordinating recovery plans among first responders and community leaders.

Communication between civilians and emergency responders via 9-1-1.

Communication between family members and loved ones to check on each other‘s safety.

Continued operation of informal and private networks that support community recovery.

When addressing resilience to help a community prepare for the next hazard event, longer-term communications infrastructure needs include:

The ability to communicate with employers, schools, and other aspects of individuals’ daily lives,

Re-establishing data and voice communication operations of businesses, banks, and government services to resume commerce, and

Restoring, retrofitting, and improving infrastructure components to avoid failing in the same way during future events.

Measuring communications performance

Performance in communications systems is measured by the following variables:

Availability refers to the percentage of time a communications system is accessible for use. The best communications networks achieve 99.999 percent availability—they are unavailable for only five minutes per year. Availability drives the communications industry and service providers continually invest to improve this measure of their systems.

Reliability measures the frequency of interruptions. Though a communications network may have high availability, multiple brief downtimes reduce its reliability.

Capacity of a communications network is the volume of calls, texts, and other transmissions that can be reliably transmitted.

For communication systems, resilience refers to the ability of the system to withstand changing conditions—from routine hazards, design hazards, or extreme events—and also to recover rapidly from disruptions. Recovery may include plans to rebuild infrastructure, which can enhance resilience by improving availability, reliability, and capacity.

Performance levels of communication infrastructure systems vary from community to community; individuals, businesses, and other stakeholders can advocate for desired levels of communications resilience based upon their needs.

In our view, considering the worst case scenario makes a huge difference when lives and safety are the priority.

When Communication is Resilient?2019-06-26T20:36:09-07:00

Resilience

An analysis of definitions of smart and resilient cities and of characteristics attributed to each of these concepts is revealing a very broad overlap connecting a large number of terminologies and technologies.

Taking into account the convergence of definitions, both smart and resilient cities are building capabilities to deal with and prevent chronic stress and acute shocks, deploying a broad range of technologies. They enable individuals, communities, institutions, and businesses to participate in the definition and execution of policies. They invest in the growth of human and social capital through education, meaningful work, communing, and sharing, and including all of its citizens to live in a decent way.

With increasing urbanization (more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities), the management of natural disasters, for example, will increasingly have to take account of conditions on the ground that are specific to cities.

In many aspects, smart cities implement solutions and practices which contribute to making them resilient. Among these are the establishment of “early warning and emergency management systems”.

At this level, smart cities can rely on sensors deployed in the city. The sensors can be used to detect a rise in the water level, a prelude to high river levels and flooding or to permanently measure exposure to pollution-causing chronic diseases.In Mexico City, the average call-out time for emergency services teams on the ground has been divided by three after setting up a platform incorporating video images with other data from various public agencies.

Nowhere in the advanced world exists such a capacity put to the test and witnessed by mainstream media and we believe this to be the best example of how a platform capable of collecting and aggregating data at all levels can prove effective in all conditions and catastrophic scenarios were responders and citizens need a higher degree of safety.

Mexico, September 2017 Puebla earthquake struck at 13:14 on 19 September 2017 with an estimated magnitude of Mw  7.1 and strong shaking for about 20 seconds. Its epicenter was about 55 km (34 mi) south of the city of Puebla. The earthquake caused damage in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City area, including the collapse of more than 40 buildings. 370 people were killed by the earthquake and related building collapses, including 228 in Mexico City, and more than 6,000 were injured.

In Mexico our platform control the 123 nurseries belonging to ISSSTE (Institute for social security and services of state workers)

Disconnected phones, no communications. If you went through our website and you read “smart airport” you know already that our platform controls all communications from phones to satellites.

In under two minutes, time to count to 120, without a single phone call or radio dispatch, our platform took control of all connected radio, satellites and camera sending alert to 123 different locations across the country giving the exact positioning of everyone, and that’s for every place.

Less than 300 adults in these many different locations saved 16,900 children in under two minutes, I know I’m repeating “in under two minutes but please try to figure out what could you do even thinking of a small campus” where are the student? Where is the shooter? Where are the caretakers? How will you communicate with disconnected phones? How many people could you reach with one radio broadcast? How would you control remote services? Doors? Extinguishers? How will you co-ordinate efforts? Can you do this all in under two minutes? And who would you call? 911 ?

This is what we call resilience, this is what we call preparedness and who cares what sensors we are connected to if all tech is cut out and not responding. Let our system take over and guide you.

That’s where our platform is by far superior when compared to anything existing out there and you can’t find this description on Google nor you will find a journalist capable of figuring out or anticipate  the lives saving future which is here now without bragging about it. We have it. Let others keep on dreaming and go on googling “experience”.

Resilience2019-10-16T10:50:31-07:00

Smart City, Hype or Reality!

We were the early founders of IoT technologies. In fact, sponsored by Google and IBM, we were the first putting together a complete IoT platform even before this acronym now addressing anything connected existed.

Since those early days pioneering this new technology, we went on with an increasing speed in order to accommodate the market’s expectations and SaaS requirements.

Very quickly we found ourselves dealing with Smart City where everything seems still to be abstract and disconnected from reality.

Enough looking at the ever-growing number of papers; in the last seven years, the number of papers published on smart cities has grown exponentially. However, very few of these texts critically evaluate the concept of a smart city. What’s more, there is still no precise definition of what constitutes a “Smart City”.

In our culture, as technology expert of systems and integrations with a number of projects done for global companies, we start by looking at the hype – and the related confusion – surrounding the concept of smart cities. We then try to identify the actors behind the concept of a smart city and see if the concept is capable of providing some useful substance. Finally, we offer our own analysis of what smart cities are all about and what would be needed for them to become a useful reality.

This exponential growth in the number of articles and books about smart cities, in both academia and the trade literature, points to the hype surrounding this topic. This is even more notable if one looks at the content of this literature, noting that most of it is not only identical – that is, copied from one another – but also mostly promotional, celebrating the beneficial virtues of smart cities, not only for cities (obviously), but also for economic growth, environmental protection, human wellbeing and humanity more generally Unsurprisingly, critical article about smart cities are very hard to come by. We have seen this issue already about IoT and industry 4.0. So many anticipations, so many expectations, so little knowledge, so much noise pushing sensors, celebrating vendors and management tools having no deals with M2M automated protocols.

This logically leads to confusion, fuelled by a proliferation of related concepts. Some of this conceptual innovation is simply due to the fact that authors feel the need to come up with new ways to differentiate themselves in this increasingly crowded semantic space. But a more profound reason has to do with the fact that authors of such articles come from different disciplinary backgrounds and therefore seek to highlight different features of what they think smart cities are.

PERSPECTIVES ON SMART CITY

Engineer’s perspective, the omnipresence of network infrastructures in particular digital technology and infrastructures.

Economist’s perspective, business-led urban economic development mostly due to private entrepreneurship and business intelligence.

Innovation economist’s perspective, urban development focused on high-tech and creative industries

Public manager’s perspective, innovation in the way city are governed by ICT

Sociologist’s and (in some way) architect’s perspective, community building and sharing, vertical farming, sustainability

There is clearly a confusion of concepts, not to mention the promotional dimension of these concepts, as all of them have positive connotations. There is currently no clear definition of what a smart city is. This confusion is due to the fact that authors from various disciplines have tried to jump on the smart city bandwagon without really understanding the underlying technological evolution that has made a certain “smartness” possible.

The reality of smart cities

A smart city is not just a concept; there are indeed some practices associated with it, even though these practices are far from what the concept – and its different variation promises. We can now identify the following practices, all of which come under the “smart city” label.

Smart transportation covers a series of smart city practices or rather applications, such as integrated electronic timetables or (more or less integrated) electronic ticketing.

A smart environment typically pertains to the monitoring of urban environmental conditions, thanks to sensors and other measuring devices.

Smart energy mainly refers to smart meters and the monitoring of electricity consumption, although smart streetlights could also be mentioned in this context.

Smart water basically means the same in the area of water and sometimes wastewater.

The smart building encompasses both above (smart water and smart energy) to designate buildings that monitor their own state along with a set of parameters (consumption, states, etc.).

Smart safety and security designate basically surveillance devices (notably cameras) that monitor people and movement throughout a city.

Smart health care, sometimes also called e-health, pertains to the digitalization of health care services, such as diagnostics via the internet, but also more efficient management of the highly fragmented health care systems.

Smart government/city-services, also called e-government, refers to the digitalization of the traditional paper-based government services, ultimately aiming at a purely digitalized interaction between the citizens and the public authorities.

Smart participation is broader than simply e-voting (which would be one of the smart government services), as it encompasses more innovative interactions between the citizens and the various public, but also private entities.

Connectivity is often mentioned in the context of smart cities but basically means equipping cities with (tele-)communications infrastructures, whether they are wired or wireless.

All of these practices are introduced in a very piecemeal fashion, owing to the fact that they are generally promoted by some of the city’s administrative units without coordination with other units. Additionally, there is typically no coordination among the different promoters and vendors of the various smart city technologies, let alone standards that would allow for an integrated approach to smart cities. There is generally also a problem of metropolitan governance, given that metropolitan areas are composed of several cities, which are political entities of their own and typically do not coordinate among themselves, whether in matters of a smart city or in any other matter.

In short, the introduction of smart city practices and corresponding applications is generally driven by vendors who are themselves specialized in certain technologies and solutions. The most widespread of such vendors come from the device producers in the areas of sensors and meters, as well as smartphones, among others. In the smart city arena, one can also find telecom operators, for whom smart cities constitute an opportunity to install connectivity. Finally, the third type of vendors in the smart city arena are data integrators, data management firms, and data analytics firms, which typically offer more integrated services and solutions to citizens, but mostly to city governments.

Therefore, given the vendor-driven nature of smart city solutions, it is only that the concept is primarily a promotional one. This leads to the fact that even the smallest application – such as smart street-lighting – is now equated with a city has become smart. City governments and mayors go along with this because such urban labeling contributes to the city’s self-promotion.

In conclusion, we may say that many cities around the world have bits and pieces of smart city practices, but these rarely warrant a city to be labeled a smart city, and even less so to be a smart city.

Analysis

Nevertheless, these practices, albeit piecemeal and uncoordinated, are real. As such, they point to an underlying movement of growing digitalization of the cities. Yet, such digitalization requires at least three elements in order to lead to smartness. First, the generation of data (from all sorts of devices), secondly, the interconnection and exchange of these data (thanks to telecommunications infrastructures and the internet) and, thirdly, the analysis of the generated and interconnected data (thanks to ever more sophisticated algorithms). However, vendors generally only provide one of these elements, and then often only for one of the sectors, such as energy or transport.

If combined intelligently in so-called “digital platforms”, these three dimensions of digitalization, integrating the different sectors, would enable smart cities to have huge potential.

In particular, digital platforms (that is, smart cities) have two main potentials:

First, smart cities clearly have the potential to create huge efficiency gains in and even across the various infrastructures. These gains are basically due to much more efficient coordination among the various actors involved in the provision of the respective services, in transportation, health care, energy, etc. This leads to reduced costs, as well as to less waste and therefore also to more efficient use of resources, something that can be seen as a contribution to sustainability.

Secondly, smart cities – particularly thanks to digital platforms – also have the potential to develop much more integrated services tailored to (individual) customers’ needs. This precisely results from the power of these digital platforms, which are capable of much better match supply and demand.

Considering all of the aforesaid, we came to the following conclusion;

there cannot be a smart city complex with disconnected segments and underserviced elements.

There cannot be a smart city grouping elements of different vendors having their unique control routines and devices

There cannot be a sustainable model without a single ecosystem, industry supported and agnostic to all elements, existing, when we have to retrofit, or yet to exist, where we are building.

There cannot be a smart city without a collaborative platform where all parts and elements responding to a project, or to a municipality can be on the same page.

KonectCity has the unique ability to represent the single access point for all existing technologies, hardware, platforms, database, sensors and more with no restrictions and no boundaries to its scaling capabilities or data processing.
KonectCity is actually the “full liner” capable of connecting A to Z within a single platform.

We are not just a system, we are the system.

Smart City, Hype or Reality!2019-06-26T20:15:18-07:00

Smart Airports in Action

KonectCity in partnership with IBM developed a project for integrating, correlating and representing the systems currently in use at the Terminal COS (Operative Security Center), based on natural gestures.
The proposed solution will allow the operating units to optimize process timing and resources in the field.

This inquiry was motivated by under-serviced systems, redundant personnel, and sudden strikes. As a consequence, flustered passengers and aggravated costs were causing harm to the company. Thanks to our solutions, all scheduled flights are on time, boarding operations flow with no delays and redundant personnel was destined to different operational duties maximizing profits and time.

It’s a high-performance Geo-Spatial Command & Control System that leverages the most advanced technologies of graphic representation, able to offer new visualization and interaction modes according to the Natural User Interface paradigm.
Our system supervises, commands and controls used in MCS – Mission Critical System such as ports, airports, cargo and passenger terminals, military, security and intelligence environments, where the real-time aggregation of data from heterogeneous sources and systems allows the user to have a complete overview of a situation and observe and control it through a single system and a single interface.

Analysis of the existing infrastructure
According to the technical inspection and to the information received, the infrastructure results composed of 28 different systems, managed separately and exactly:
• GroundStar System for the parking areas occupation scheduling of aircraft and ground means for logistics.
• ADM (Airport Data Management) System showing the data coming from Enav Radars and used at the same time for sending logistical information to the arriving aircraft.
• Avigilon stream system used for the verification of the parking areas occupational state
• SDK Avigilon application, developed for showing for every single parking position: arrival and departure data inclusive of a video stream.
• Motorola Tetra System for radio communication via the airport and major handler.

The following external services have been taken into consideration for further verification of the flight status :
• Flightradar24
• Eurocontrol
The Help System, integrated into the platform manages the following activities
• GPS Vehicles Tracking
• Events
• Tele warning
• ADM data coming from ENAV radars

The operator working flow could be summarized in the following essential steps:
Assignment of the stand where the aircraft has to park, looking at a first monitor showing the occupation planning data in Gantt form (similar to an Excel sheet).
On a second monitor, the operator checks the flight arrival times using public web-services systems.
The operator checks on a third monitor the video stream so to be sure that the destination stand is free.
Then he forwards the stand number to the control tower. The control tower transmits the info to the aircraft.
Finally, the operator communicates through a traditional radio system with the resources in the
field.

The interface proposes a first overview with the visualization of the status of every system in the field.
In the upper part of the interface, the aggregate system proposes the list of the arriving flights (Arrivals) received by Gantt.
Automatically the system warns the operator that is necessary to assign to the control tower (ex ADM) the free automatically confirmed stand.
The operator clicks on the alerted stand and so he sees its actual state (free/occupied) through cameras automatically streaming on location.
When the operator touches the alerted stand, a panel proposes the video stream of the selected stand as well as other information on the flight, like scheduled arrival and departure, boarding gate, check-in desk, and baggage-handling conveyors.
Clicking on the button on the same panel, the operator can confirm it with a simple touch on the screen and send the data to the control tower.

The same panel could be used for managing all the other flight management processes.
The system based on our platform can
automate all processes and operations that follow rules based on routines and data patterns to facilitate and simplify the operator’s work, so to optimize procedures timing and minimize mistakes.
Rules can be added to automatically report all performed operations.
Data coming from sub-systems, state of the parking stands, and the information shown by the systems are all geo-referenced on the map with a continued data feed and monitor update.

In the lower part of the interface, a time-bar will allow the operator to examine the history of the past 24 hours and the scheduling of the following 4 hours.
Additionally, from the Managing Monitor, it will be possible to use the Radio Communication System. The operator will, in fact, dispose of a panel that will allow him to communicate via chat and/or voice with the operators in the field
Additionally, it will be possible to integrate weather information services and visualize their data on the visualized terminal area.

For the Command and Control Room, we will supply Multi-Touch46” monitors, integrated into the operator command console, with relevant connected PC Tower. One single operator can manage all operations.

Smart Airports in Action2019-06-26T20:01:29-07:00