Itron, Inc. announced that Instrumentation Technologies (I-Tech) and Noesis.Network were selected as the winners of the inaugural Itron Smart City Challenge. The Smart City Challenge invited IoT solution providers to compete for the chance to work with Glasgow and the City of London to deploy breakthrough solutions to address specific challenges defined by the cities.
The Smart City Challenge showcases how Itron is enabling cities and technology innovators to work together to solve problems and improve citizen wellbeing. Using Itron’s standards-based developer tools, the winning companies created integrated IoT solutions that leverage Itron’s IoT networks in the Cities of Glasgow and London. As winners, I-Tech and Noesis will continue to collaborate with the cities to progress their breakthrough solution. Itron will continue to support the winners to help them complete development and bring their solutions to market.
As one of the world’s top sporting cities and a major destination for conferences and concerts, the City of Glasgow frequently attracts large crowds of visitors. However, this increased population can create significant challenges for the City, for visitors and residents alike regarding public transit, traffic, noise and safety. For the challenge, Glasgow asked for solutions to help improve the experience of residents highly-populated during events while elevating the City’s profile as a cultural destination for tourists.
The winning solution from Noesis features cost-effective acoustic sensors to address noise pollution and mitigate traffic. Noesis proposes deploying sensors on lampposts in areas with anticipated noise pollution from events and related traffic to identify, localise and quantify noise. The distributed network of noise sensors gathers highly reliable and accurate data, including noise source, location, sound profile and power level. With this data, Glasgow can have unprecedented visibility to acoustic data around event venues to reduce noise pollution. The acoustic sensors can be upgraded over-the-air to support future use cases such as traffic management and public safety.
“Since Glasgow is a major destination for conferences and concerts, we want to reduce noise pollution and traffic to ensure an optimal travel experience for visitors. Through our participation in the Itron Smart City Challenge, we found a solution that will easily connect to our existing network and address our concerns,” said Duncan Booker, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Glasgow.
“As a leading IP Core provider excelling in innovative hardware design, Noesis is thrilled to develop a high-quality product for Glasgow that harnesses the power of IoT. For this challenge, we designed a solution that will utilise wireless networks to create real-time, highly granular sound maps with our acoustic sensors. It is an honour to have our solution selected by Glasgow,” said Kees Den Hollander, Chief Commercial Officer, Noesis Network BV.
Finalists for the Glasgow Challenge included:
• Koya Digital: Utilised IoT and AI to monitor, predict and influence, the flow of large groups of people travelling through urban environments.
• TerraGo Technologies (Glasgow): On-demand traffic signal control to improve mobility around high-traffic events
Due to the life-threatening nature of people entering the River Thames, the City of London sought solutions to improve river safety and address public health priorities. The City of London wanted solutions to protect citizens by identifying entries into the river, ensuring the availability of safety equipment when it is needed, and accelerating emergency response times. London Challenge winner I-Tech designed a two-step solution to allow London to monitor lifebelts and pinpoint the location of a person in need of rescue support.
The first step of the solution suggests the deployment of small, battery-powered devices that will monitor the lifebelts. To prevent misuse, the device will sound a high-pitched alarm if a lifebelt is removed. If the lifebelt is not placed back in its housing unit for eight seconds, an emergency message will be sent via the Itron IoT network to notify emergency services. The second part of the solution is a jumper detection system that uses an optical scanner to identify when people fall from the bridge and to track their precise location to assist first responders in search and rescue. I-Tech carefully designed the solution to operate effectively even in thick fog and uses advanced data processing to ensure the lasers are detecting people instead of other objects such as birds or falling objects.
“The Itron Smart City Challenge gave us an incredible opportunity to seek a creative solution to meet our safety and public health priorities. With I-Tech’s solution, we will be able shorten response times in dangerous situations to improve safety for our citizens. We look forward to implementing this solution, which could be replicated in cities around the world,” commented Giles Radford, Highways Manager, Department of the Built Environment at the City of London Corporation.
“This challenge was a great opportunity for us. We demonstrated our capability to study the problem and then deliver a customised solution that enhances Itron’s IoT networks with our innovative, custom built sensing electronics. Utilising Itron’s developer tools, we developed a solution that will enhance safety for London’s citizens. We are pleased that London selected our solution, which we believe represents the future of emergency response services,” said Uros Dragonja, Solutions Architect at Instrumentation Technologies.
Finalists for the London Challenge included:
– Cyient: 3D GIS platform with data model geotagged to every device, including hydrophones, HD cameras and drones
– Noesis: Acoustic sensors identify and localize entries
– TerraGo Technologies: On-demand search lighting for authorised emergency personnel
– UniqueID: Connected lifebuoys to detect emergency or misuse, and blinking public lights to help the Coastguard rapidly identify the exact emergency location
“The inaugural Itron Smart City Challenge shows how we are applying technology for a purpose. While these solutions were purpose-built to address specific needs defined by the sponsoring cities, river safety and noise pollution are common concerns for cities worldwide. We invite cities from around the world to collaborate with Itron to launch the next set of open innovation challenges,” said Itai Dadon, director of smart cities and IoT at Itron.