By Drew Clark.
Increasingly, computing power is everywhere. The personal computer that once resided on the desktop migrated to the hip pocket and the wrist watch, and now to eyewear and clothing.
Welcome the “Internet of Things,” or IoT in tech jargon.
We may encounter these tiny technologies first in our homes or at work. But the IoT already has big implications for city leaders and managers charged with building “Smart Cities” and making their governments more responsive.
The IoT consumer gadgets on the market include smart doorbells, WiFi enabled toothbrushes, refrigerators that order groceries and ovens that can be scheduled to cook dinner. What has become known as the Internet of Things occurs when: 1.) digital sensors can be embedded onto almost any “thing,” 2.) almost every electronic device has some measurable processing power, and 3.) these devices can be networked together through the Internet.
Among the areas where the civic IoT is advancing most rapidly are in water management and waste removal, the electrical “smart grid,” and improving transportation — whether it be public transit, smoother automobile traffic or parking cars.