IoT In Smart Cities

IoT-in-smart-cities
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Introduction-

The internet of things is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items with network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. It creates opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. It finds numerous applications in the areas of smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. This research presents a discussion on internet of things and its applications in smart cities. Emerging technology of IoT make smart cities efficient and responsive.

The generation of internet started by the “internet of computers” where the computers through a global network with its services like World Wide Web, were playing the key role that normally consumed information. After years, internet was changed into the “internet of people” where people in addition to using information were creating it through social networks and other ways by which people can create contents And the last generation of internet is “Internet of Things” that as it was mentioned, things are going to produce and use information and have key role in helping people in their everyday life. The emergence of IoT is driven by the changing nature of hardware, that smartness and connectivity allows for physical objects to be a part of the internet. IoT implies that products, or “things”, are becoming smart and connected. 

These two attributes have previously existed separately, i.e. physical objects which have been either smart or connected, but are now increasingly being adopted in physical objects simultaneously. A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more flexible, efficient, and sustainable with the use of information, digital, and telecommunication technologies to improve the city’s operations for the benefit of its inhabitants. 

Smart cities are greener, safer, faster, and friendlier. The different components of a smart city include smart infrastructure, smart transportation, smart energy, smart health care, and smart technology. Two closely related emerging technology frameworks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data (BD), make smart cities efficient and responsive.

The generation of internet started by the “internet of computers” where the computers through a global network with its services like World Wide Web, were playing the key role that normally consumed information. After years, internet was changed into the “internet of people” where people in addition to using information were creating it through social networks and other ways by which people can create contents And the last generation of internet is “Internet of Things” that as it was mentioned, things are going to produce and use information and have key role in helping people in their everyday life. The emergence of IoT is driven by the changing nature of hardware, that smartness and connectivity allows for physical objects to be a part of the internet. IoT implies that products, or “things”, are becoming smart and connected. 

These two attributes have previously existed separately, i.e. physical objects which have been either smart or connected, but are now increasingly being adopted in physical objects simultaneously. A smart city is a place where traditional networks and services are made more flexible, efficient, and sustainable with the use of information, digital, and telecommunication technologies to improve the city’s operations for the benefit of its inhabitants. 

Smart cities are greener, safer, faster, and friendlier. The different components of a smart city include smart infrastructure, smart transportation, smart energy, smart health care, and smart technology. Two closely related emerging technology frameworks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data (BD), make smart cities efficient and responsive.

2. Key issues arising

Rural-urban migration tends to impact on the delivery of services in the cities due to constrained resources. As a result, the concept of a smart city has been adopted to improve delivery of services in urban areas. This research is on how cities can be smartened through the adoption of IoTs. 

Survey was conducted on what constitutes smart cities and what domains of any city can be made smart through the adoption of IoTs. The domains of transport, tourism, health, ambient-assisted living, crime prevention, governance, infrastructure management, disaster management, environmental management and energy management were identified.

3. IOT Technologies in Smart Cities

Health Care:
Mobile applications, body area network sensors and personal health management ecosystems have been recognized as essential components of the technological platforms of the next generation of healthcare for their potential to allow citizens to play an active role in the management of their health . Mobile health applications (smart phone and tablet) can connect to medical devices or sensors (e.g. bracelets, smart watches, patches, etc.) and provide personal assistance and reminders. Through the use of sensors directly connected to mobile devices, it is now possible to gather a considerable amount of data.
Transportation:
An integrated transport system would need a single ticket in the form of a smart card which can be loaded with money and is swiped at any point of entry into a transport system using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to transmit information from the card to the reading machine and back. Payment is deducted accordingly from the card for the trips made. At each parking bay is a meter that detects the presence a car parked through a tag on the number plates as soon as the car enters the bay and starts calculating the charges for the parking as they accumulate.
Crime Prevention and Community Safety:
Identification of criminals has been made easier through mobile biometric detection machines. Fingerprints of a suspect are captured to a police mobile biometric machine. This data is sent via a network to a fingerprint database located at the Department of Home Affairs for comparison and it returns the identity of the suspect.
Disaster Management and Emergency:
Satellites detect heat signatures of a fire that has just started in an area. The satellites relay the information to a control centre that registers the fire in their systems and dispatches fire trucks. The same control centre triggers fire sirens that are placed at strategic points in the area to alert the inhabitants.
Governance:
The number of available online services, their effectiveness and usage level and their level of interaction are important indicators of the „smartness levels” of e-government. Water, sewage, electricity and rates bills each have an ID tag which is read by the tag reader at the counter and automatically matched against user details in the database and update with payment is made.
Refuse Collection and Sewer Management:
The municipality has sensors placed in the septic tanks so as to raise an alarm when the septic tank reaches a preset level. Trucks are then dispatched to remove the waste from the septic tanks. The municipality places bins at strategic positions in the city. The bins have sensors which raise alarms when the bin is full and a refuse collection truck is dispatched to collect the waste.
Environmental Management:
The city engineers install sensors across the city which measure temperature, relative humidity, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, noise and particles. If any of the parameters go above a set threshold, the GPS enabled sensors send an alarm to a central node. The node in turn sends the information to the cell phones of the habitants.
Smart Energy and the Smart Grid
A smart grid is related to the information and control and developed to have a smart energy management. A smart grid that integrate the information and communications technologies (ICTs) to the electricity network will enable a real time, two way communication between suppliers and consumers, creating more dynamic interaction on energy flow, which will help deliver electricity more efficiently and sustainably .
The Key elements of information and communications technologies will include sensing and monitoring technologies for power flows; digital communications infrastructure to transmit data across the grid; smart meters with in home display to inform energy usage; coordination, control and automation systems to aggregate and process various data, and to create a highly interactive, responsive electricity . Many applications can be handling due to the internet of things for smart grids, such as industrial, solar power, nuclear power, vehicles, hospitals and cities power control.
Today’s grid is very reliable and can deal with normal electricity fluctuations and it will take a step further towards using a low carbon energy system, by allowing integration between the renewable energy and green technologies, and offering many benefits to customer in cost savings through efficient energy use at home.

INTERNET OF THINGS CHALLENGES

The fact that Internet of things applications and scenarios outlined above are very interesting which provides technologies for smart everything , but there are some challenges to the application of the Internet of Things concept in cost of implementation. The expectation that the technology must be available at low cost with a large number of objects. 

IoT are also faced with many other challenges, such as:  

  • Scalability: Internet of Things has a big concept than the conventional Internet of computers, because of things are cooperated within an open environment. Basic functionality such as communication and service discovery therefore need to function equally efficiently in both small scale and large scale environments. The IoT requires a new functions and methods in order to gain an efficient operation for scalability.  
  • Self-Organizing: Smart things should not be managed as computers that require their users to configure and adapt them to particular situations. Mobile things, which are often only sporadically used, need to establish connections spontaneously, and able to be organize and configure themselves to suit their particular environment.  
  • Data volumes: Some application scenarios of the internet of things will involve to infrequent communication, and gathering information’s form sensor networks, or form logistics and large scale networks, will collect a huge volumes of data on central network nodes or servers. The term represent this phenomena is big data which is requires many operational mechanism in addition to new technologies for storing, processing and management.  
  • Data interpretation: To support the users of smart things, there is a need to interpret the local context determined by sensors as accurately as possible. For service providers to profit from the disparate data that will be generated, needs to be able to draw some generalizable conclusions from the interpreted sensor data.  
  • Interoperability: Each type of smart objects in Internet of Things have different information, processing and communication capabilities. Different smart objects would also be subjected to different conditions such as the energy availability and the communications bandwidth requirements. To facilitate communication and cooperation of these objects, common standards are required.
  • Automatic Discovery: In dynamic environments, suitable services for things must be automatically identified, which requires appropriate semantic means of describing their functionality.  
  • Software complexity: A more extensive software infrastructure will be needed on the network and on background servers in order to manage the smart objects and provide services to support them that because the software systems in smart objects will have to function with minimal resources, as in conventional embedded systems.  
  • Security and privacy: In addition to the security and protection aspects of the Internet such in communications confidentiality, the authenticity and trustworthiness of communication partners, and message integrity, other requirements would also be important in an Internet of Things. There is a need to access certain services or prevent from communicating with other things in IoT and also business transactions involving smart objects would need to be protected from competitors’ prying eyes.  
  • Fault tolerance: Objects in internet of things is much more dynamic and mobile than the internet computers, and they are in changing rapidly in unexpected ways. Structuring an Internet of Things in a robust and trustworthy manner would require redundancy on several levels and an ability to automatically adapt to changed conditions.  
  • Power supply: Things typically move around and are not connected to a power supply, so their smartness needs to be powered from a self-sufficient energy source. Although passive RFID transponders do not need their own energy source, their functionality and communications range are very limited. Hopes are pinned on future low power processors and communications units for embedded systems that can function with significantly less energy. Energy saving is a factor not only in hardware and system architecture, but also in software, for example the implementation of protocol stacks, where every single transmission byte will have to justify its existence.  
  • Wireless communications: From an energy point of view, established wireless technologies such as GSM, UMTS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are far less suitable; more recent WPAN standards such as ZigBee and others still under development may have a narrower bandwidth, but they do use significantly less power.

4. Conclusion

In summary, there are many benefits that will arise by using Internet of Things in our everyday life such as reducing costs and power supply. IoT has the potential to drive integrated solutions that can make a difference. By using IoT in our life, the whole world is going to be changed and people will get many opportunities in order to commit their insignificant activities to their smart things. The adoption of IoT in city services and infrastructure has transformed the way cities operate and deliver services. The application domains for IoTs in smart cities range from transport, tourism, health, ambient assisted living, crime prevention, governance, infrastructure, disaster management, environment management, smart homes to smart energy.

Internet of things may facing two major challenges in order to guarantee seamless network access; the first issue relates to the fact that today different networks coexist and the other issue is related to the big data size of the IoT. Other current issues, such as address restriction, automatic address setup, security functions such as authentication and encryption, and functions to deliver voice and video signals efficiently will probably be affected in implementing the concept of the internet of things but by ongoing in technological developments these challenges will be overcome. The internet of things promises future new technologies when related to cloud, fog and distributed computing, big data, and security issues. By integrating all these issues with the internet of things, smarter applications will be developed  soon.