Living in a Smart City
Smart cities provide people with a way of life that is more convenient and comfortable, while still being conscious of the environment. Here we consider peoples lifestyles in terms of the different activities they engage in during their daily lives: living, work, study, and travel.
Well-balanced Lifestyles in Tune with How People Live
When linked together via a network, the electrical products in our homes can operate in a way that ties in with our activities and schedule. Wakeup to a room at just the right temperature. Have the TV provide you with just the information you want. Use electricity in a way that is well-balanced with how you live. In our daily lives, being “well-balanced” is synonymous with comfort. This concept of being “well-balanced” is an integral part of what living in a smart city is all about.
Because electric power within the home is managed centrally, along with solar panels and other forms of in-house power generation, it provides a way of life that is kinder to the environment than conventional homes, with lower power consumption.
Dealing with Administrative Procedures Securely and Safely through a One-stop Service
The introduction of national or other shared ID schemes is under consideration in various parts of the world. When use of these IDs is shared by municipal and public agencies or financial institutions, the coordination it enables allows social insurance and other services to be designed to suit the needs of individual citizens.
For example, it provides a way to do away with the complex procedures associated with moving to a different address or during the recovery after a disaster. Similarly, because you can carry forward the information from your previous address to your new situation, information can be obtained when it is most needed and you can get on with your life as if your new home were a place with which you were already familiar.
Meanwhile, biometric authentication is seen as a technology with great potential for protecting against unauthorized access involving fraudulent or other misuse of IDs, and for ensuring that they are used securely and safely.
Hitachi has been undertaking ongoing research and development of biometric authentication practices that use the pattern of veins in people’s fingers. Because finger vein authentication identifies people based on the pattern of veins inside their body, it is not affected by cracked or dry skin and is difficult to falsify. This makes it a very safe authentication technique.
Freedom to Work When and Where You Want
Cloud computing is evolving toward playing a central role in business activity. Because cloud computing provides users with access to only as much IT infrastructure, software, and other resources, such as servers and databases, as they actually need, it is no longer necessary to arrange your own business resources as it was in the past. Most of the services needed to operate a business are already available out there on the network.
However, providing this mechanism requires more than just the provision of flexible network services, it also demands robust security. Regardless of where they are, it must be possible for individuals to exchange information securely over a network used by large numbers of people. If such technology is in place, it becomes possible to conduct business over the network with anyone, regardless of time or location.
Waste-free Manufacturing Conscious of the Global Environment
Factories that use large amounts of water or electric power and other energy resources take a variety of steps to save energy and otherwise improve efficiency. A particularly important aspect of this is the use of factory energy management systems (FEMSs).
For example, FEMSs are used to identify all the different forms of power consumption within the factory and perform centralized management in conjunction with the factory’s production plans to ensure that electric power is used efficiently. Similarly, the FEMS can interoperate with the energy management system for an entire industrial district to coordinate operations with the electric power consumption plan for the overall region.
Hitachi is also working to develop technologies for smart factory operation, such as using a turbine to generate power from the water used at a factory for things like cooling or air conditioning, or generating power at a food processing factory from biogas produced from organic waste.
Study Options that Suit Individual Needs
Children continue to astound adults with the distinctive and rich ideas they come up with.
The ability to foster each child’s individuality and adopt teaching methods that best suit their needs represents a step toward a better quality of education.
An impediment to this, however, is that each time a pupil moves on the next stage of their education, their new school or teacher must reassess their progress anew.
This impediment will be overcome by schools becoming smarter.
This involves using a network to link educational institutions, from elementary school through to junior and senior high schools and university, so that each pupil’s academic records can be shared in an environment of robust security. It smoothes the process of information sharing between educators each time a child starts a new academic year or moves to a new school, and ensures that they can receive a consistent education even if they change schools. This is useful not only when graduating to a new class or school, but also in special cases such as switching to a different school.
It will also eliminate restrictions on where lessons can be received. While classes that bring pupils together in the same place are necessary for creating harmony in society through education in socialization, it is also necessary to create the infrastructure to allow education to be received remotely to cater for situations where a child finds it difficult to attend school, such as during a long-term hospital stay. This is another service that can be achieved through interconnection with a home network.
Because it is possible to create a bidirectional and realtime learning environment by installing TVs, cameras, and other equipment in the classroom and home, this approach can dramatically enhance student understanding compared to traditional distance education methods.
Smart cities will provide an environment in which anyone can receive education tailored to their own requirements, regardless of time or place.
Growth of Learning Opportunities that Transcend Age and Status
Modern cities are becoming increasingly isolating places. Even if they live in the same neighborhood, people have few opportunities to meet unless they attend the same school, work at the same company, or share membership of some other group.
The education networks in smart cities, on the other hand, can overcome these barriers of age or status by matching people who wish to learn with those who wish to teach.
By representing people’s individual needs as data in the cloud, the data can be matched automatically by a program or users can be given the freedom to browse. Once matching needs have been identified, the people can be put in contact with each other securely. They can then choose to meet in person, or they can use a videoconferencing system to conduct lessons virtually.
Even if you have special know-how and skills, they will be lost if you do not pass them on to other people. By bringing together people in the community who want to teach with those who want to learn so that they can pass on skills and other know-how, this approach provides a basis for the growth of both the community and the people who live in it.
Convenient Vehicle Use as Part of the Community
Vehicle use in a smart city brings with it a step up in convenience. Linking vehicles to home and community networks opens up the potential for a wide variety of services. If vehicles are equipped with screens and audio functions, they can deliver all sorts of different information services, including work information and information about the home. By aggregating information about vehicles’ current locations at a service center, traffic congestion can be minimized by sending traffic information back to vehicles on the road, such as which roads are congested and how best to avoid them.
Also, a well-balanced approach to vehicle use and energy consumption can be achieved by introducing car sharing schemes that maintain an adequate number of vehicles in the community for use by people when they need them.
Because they do not emit any CO2 or other exhaust gases, EVs do not place a heavy load on the environment. Also, by connecting them to the local community power grid, any excess power can be used for vehicle charging. In this way, the wider adoption of EVs will create environmentally friendly communities that do not waste energy.
This has the potential to create a car-based society that eliminates waste across the community by making EVs convenient enough for everyone to use.
Trouble-free Transportation Choices that Suit the Pattern of Activity
So that residents can get where they want to go easily and by the most efficient means, smart city mobility involves integrating the operation of different forms of public transportation and coordinating their timetables in response to increases and decreases in passenger numbers.
A smart city also publishes traffic and transportation information and provides the ability to perform route searches anywhere and anytime so that people can choose the best route to travel. Meanwhile, digital signage in railway stations provides users with useful transportation information based on the time of day and other circumstances.
In this way, a smart city combines the advantages of all the different forms of public transportation and other means of travel available in the community, and coordinates their operation for the benefit of users.