Southend … The ‘Smart City’

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is reported to have signed an agreement with tech company Cisco to deploy its ‘Kinetic for Cities’ platform in order to share the benefits of new digital technologies with its businesses and citizens, thereby making it a ‘Smart City’.

What Is ‘Kinetic For Cities’?

According to the Cisco blog, the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform is a unified IoT platform strategy and a cloud-based platform that helps customers extract, compute and move data from connected things to IoT applications to deliver better outcomes and services. In essence, using sensors, digital management platforms, and analytics programs for all aspects of a city (including solutions for lighting, parking, crowd, environment and others), businesses and citizens can benefit from the effects of urban innovation, sector-specific solutions, city engagement that the technology provides.

Technology Hub

Through the use of the new platform, it is hoped that Southend can become a technology hub, and this can help it to grow and evolve, in line with the rest of the UK and with competition globally. It is also hoped that use of the digital platform could bring smarter, connected experiences for people who live in, work in, or visit the town.

Already Working In Other Cities

Cisco’s Kinetic for Cities platform is already being deployed in other cities such as Manchester (UK) where it is being used to project explore smart transport and CO2 emissions, in Jaipur (India) where it is helping to improve public safety.

How Will It Be Used In Southend?

At the current time, Southend Council looks likely to use the Kinetic for Cities platform for initiatives such as pilots relating to community safety e.g. building an intelligence hub with IP-based public safety systems for use with CCTV and advanced video analytics.

Also, there are plans to use the platform to help with traffic and parking management, easing of congestion, using the IoT to help monitor improve air quality, and to help manage energy better and bring down consumption, thereby reducing costs and helping the environment.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

It has taken a long time for many of the potential benefits of the IoT to be realised, or for the IoT to be deployed in a more meaningful and beneficial way than in smart household gadgets. Using technology for the benefit of a whole town / city in this way represents a new kind of rapid regeneration which has the potential to benefit many more citizens and businesses than individual physical projects. Improving a whole town, and how efficiently it functions and how effectively it serves those who work and visit it in terms of experiences and opportunities can only be of benefit to locally based businesses, and can create an environment where businesses are better equipped to compete nationally and globally.