The future of smart city technology is here. The opportunities presented by grassroots public infrastructure movements should be enough evidence for the work to be done. So let's start doing it.
The best smart cities are data-driven cities. The best data comes from the Internet of Things. The best Internet for those things is driven by connectivity. Connectivity is what integrators do best. Technology companies should be integrators. Sensor technologies can provide cities and citizens greater understanding of their surroundings by creating connections that propagate change. Small cell technologies enable robust, mobile connections more quickly and with greater ease of operation. Any company that can excel in this area will see the benefits.
Though I speak highly of the smart city potential, it is not without caveats. There are bureaucratic entanglements that tie up so many possibilities for partnerships between integrators and utilities companies. But the crowd can source its own way, too.
The Internet of Things opens up the doors to so many great features for families. Imagine automating a small garden to keep fresh food close to home. Think about setting up a mesh network along the path between your house and your beehives, about a 10 minute walk through the woods; reporting back could be a scale to measure the hive weight, or a thermometer to track the temperature. A small camera could be used to train a model to track the total population of bees.
All of these use cases are within reach, if only we are courageous enough to put in the work.