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Smart Phones Make Smart Citizens in the Smart City

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The IoT Evolution Expo is coming up fast, and we interviewed our speakers to get a bit of a preview of what to expect from the conferences.

Here, we spoke to Lisa Brown, Senior National Director, Local Government and Municipal Infrastructure for Johnson Controls, who will be a featured speaker in the following session during the week of education:

Smart Phones, Smart Citizens and the Social Good: Social networks, like Facebook, Wayz and Yelp are de facto word of mouth engines that people use to guide and avoid issues. How can a city build solutions that take advantage of citizen connectivity to alert, alarm and appreciate the concerns and communications needed in a city? Is “there an App for that” or do we need to augment apps with other things? 

Here is a little preview of her thoughts:

IoT Evolution: What will be some key points you plan to hit in your session?

Lisa Brown: I will highlight how it’s possible for any city to work towards becoming a smart city. The session will touch on current smart city trends, where most city’s priorities are when it comes to smart city integration, the challenges many face, best practices for achieving smart city efficiencies and, of course, tips on how to get started. For cities already planning towards integrating smart, connected technologies, this presentation will give them ideas on what to do next. I’ll be sharing stories from some of Johnson Controls customers to help provide a little motivation and proof that it is possible to overcome common pain points.

IoTE: What new insights can attendees expect to take home from your session?

LB: Attendees will get the chance to hear real-life success stories of cities who faced similar challenges and were able to overcome them to enable smart technologies and energy and cost savings. For attendees who believe a smart city is beyond their reach at the moment, this presentation will show them how they can get involved – and more importantly, get funding.

IoTE: Can you identify a few important trends influencing your sector of the IoT which will shape the path of the industry? Why these?

LB: Sustainability and safety are two major trends influencing IoT adoption across major cities. We are seeing many cities implement energy efficiency requirements, so cities need to come up with ways that they can reduce their carbon footprints quickly. This is encouraging city leaders to invest in technologies that are more energy efficient, like smart lighting.

Safety is another big trend for cities all over. To improve safety as well as operations and emergency response time, cities are incorporating more video surveillance and working with private entities to share those video feeds to improve public safety. IoT opens up the realm of possibilities for protecting those who work, play and live in cities.

IoTE: What are the biggest challenges facing the IoT? What are some important tools needed to overcome them?

LB: While the presentation will address some additional challenges, funding is a consistent problem for IoT across every industry. Few cities have excess money to spend and most cities have a well-planned out budget that may not allow for new ideas. Investing in technologies that provide pay-back, such as an Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI), is one way to do so. Money saved on water and energy can reimburse the city for the technology implemented. Also, a strong partnership with an energy service company is a guaranteed way to ensure your city has the money to make important infrastructure changes to better life for citizens and visitors.

IoTE: Which vertical markets have the most to gain from IoT implementation? Which are leading and which are still behind the adoption curve?

LB: Well certainly, the government sector. It is the center of everything, from schools and hospitals to transportation and correctional facilities. A strong connected infrastructure at the core will help enable change and innovation throughout each industry.

IoTE: What session(s) (other than yours) are you most looking forward to attending at the Expo? Why?

LB: I am looking forward to attending the Women in IoT panel. It is always inspiring to hear from other women on their thoughts and experiences working with IoT, and the panel is comprised of some impressive peers. I am also interested in hearing more from Terry Yates on “The Smart Cities of the South.” It is important to hear from end users on what has worked best for them and what challenges they faced.

To join Lisa Brown and all our other speakers at IoT Evolution Expo, January 22 to 25 at the Disney Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida, click here to register now.


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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