To Be Smart about Smart Cities, Start Here !

Application Examples, Events, From our labs, Internet of Things, Our products, Smart Home & City Leave a Comment

ST held its Developers Conference on October 4 in Santa Clara, California. In anticipation of this event, we published a series of blog posts to preview some of the sessions’ topics and introduce the engineers, managers or experts that made this day special. Here are the previous posts:

A new cloud is hovering over our cities. It is not an environmental or climate formation, but a computing system that gathers data from smarter infrastructure to shower populations with new opportunities and efficiency. This cloud is brought on by the winds of new technologies that allow bridges, parking meters, garbage bins and other aspects of our urban or rural lives to be interconnected into what we call a Smart City. Many are already taking advantage of these innovations, but unless you and your business understand them, you will be left in the cold.

The Technologies Behind Smart Cities

LoRa Smart CitiesThe first question is: “Where to begin?” Between all the different standards, projects, technologies and edge cases, it is very hard to know where to even lay the first stone of an endeavor that builds on the rise of these smarter cities. This is where Filippo Colaianni, Technical Marketing Manager for Smart City, Smart Home & Building at ST, comes in. He spent the last seven years working on smart grids, smart cities, and IoT, so you know his presentation entitled Technologies that Make Cities Smarter will lead you out of the desert of confusion to dwell in the promised land of engineering mastery. And if you quiz him enough, his scuba diving expertise could probably help you cross the Red Sea.

Countless projects in North America, Europe or Asia are currently using ST’s STM32 microcontrollers (MCU), Nucleo development boards, Time of Flight sensors, among many of its other components. ST’s partnerships with many companies have already pioneered the Smart City movement, like Paradox Engineering that will demo its earthquake detection, smart lights and smart garbage collection systems at the Conference. ST has also found a home in successful products like the ones from Wi6Labs, that help take advantage of the standards available. Indeed, there’s much more to it than slapping a sensor or a MCU onto a lamp post or a bridge. Smart cities require connectivity in often harsh environments and tools to help manage vast and complex networks. Hence, Filippo’s talk will address the new and popular standards of the day like the 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks), LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), SIGFOX, the Wireless Meter-Bus (Wireless M-Bus), and the Power Line Communication (PLC) protocol.

A Lower Barrier to Entry

Filippo will also provide solutions that take advantage of these standards to build sub-gigahertz networks that not only make Smart Cities possible but efficient and reliable. From components like SensorTile that packs a tremendous number of sensors on a 13.5 mm x 13.5 mm board to the use of SPIRIT RF Transceivers that need as little as 9 mA when receiving a signal, and 21 mA when transmitting, ST’s wide range of products enables everyone to join the Smart City Revolution, from big governments to small developers.

Indeed, when people talk about Smart Cities, they often think of gas meters connected to a cloud, bridges monitoring traffic or optimized garbage collection system. However, more and more private companies and small developers are coming up with independent smart parking systems or intelligent lighting environments, among many other things. The cost of entry into a Smart City is much lower thanks to affordable and reliable components as well as simpler development platforms with publicly available APIs, libraries, and documentation.

To Be Ready

Hence, Filippo’s presentation targets a wide audience to allow the maximum number of developers to partake in the Smart City movement. Attendees will only need a basic understanding of RF communications and smart connected applications. However, to make the most out of his session, we highly recommend watching the video above and reading a paper authored by Filippo entitled Technologies that make cities smarter and better to live in, published last July in EDN Network.

Filippo Colaianni is currently scheduled to give the following presentation:

  • Technologies that Make Cities Smarter

You can learn more about the other sessions, get the agenda, or register by visiting the website for the ST Developers Conference.