This undated photo shows the Hong Kong Science Park in Sha Tin, home to a cluster of startups in the city. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
The Internet of Things (IoT) provides good solutions for Hong Kong’s transformation into a smart city, the world’s leading telecommunications company Cisco says.
“Hong Kong is still in baby-steps in smart city,” Garrick Ng, chief technology officer of Cisco Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, said.
Cisco has launched its first visionary smart-city program, “Digital Living Lab”, in Sha Tin. The program features the firm’s new IoT operations platform Cisco Kinetic, which helps extract, log and move data from connected devices to IoT applications. The platform could shorten the development time of IoT applications from months to days, representing a big step forward, Ng said.
Demonstrating how IoT can help create a more connected and digital community, Ng showcased a mouse trap at a conference held in Hong Kong Science Park on Friday. The sensor installed in the trap will send a signal to the IoT application. Once a mouse is trapped, users can see a real-time update through the dashboard: “caught”.
“Even a mouse trap can be IoT,” Ng said.
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IoT can be deployed in a wide range of forms. From water sensors in buildings’ drip trays that send signals for maintenance to detectors installed in debris-resistant barriers that give important information for landslide prevention.
Around the world, a host of devices such as water meters, gas meters, oil tanks, street lights, parking lots, and trash bin detectors are being massively deployed in cities. These devices had not been connected to networks in the past because of constraints such as power supply availability at installation sites.
Cisco has also introduced Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWA) technology intended for use by wireless battery-operated devices in a regional, national or global network.
Such low-energy consumption wireless batteries can last for years, Ng noted.
In Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s maiden Policy Address this week, she announced an immediate HK$700 million investment in several projects to develop Hong Kong into a “smart city”.
“I think Hong Kong is well prepared to move into smart city with all the IoT-based solutions at hand, we need to gear up to a truly digital smart city,” Ng said.