Evolution has brought humankind a long way from nomadic living to the current world of microprocessors, laptops, email and Internet. However, development has come at the cost of the environment and the human quality of life.
Sustainability or the optimal use of resources today for the sake of tomorrow is the number one priority for many cities and governments all over the world. The development of smart cities is a key initiative being pursued globally and involves the creation of a space that aims to provide a better experience for its citizens in term of cleanliness, safety, sustainability and efficient services.
Electronics design and technology play a big part in creating these smart cities. Smart cities take a holistic approach to improving the overall quality of life with medical services, electric grids, urban planning, crime prevention, education and transportation among others being taken together as parts of a whole, each one being improved so as to produce a city that is truly sustainable.
Better Health Services
Access to medical care, especially for the elderly is a key issue even in the developed world. Those who need care the most are often the ones who are out of reach, living far away from the nearest clinics and requiring home visits.
LX has created a wireless telemedicine system primarily aimed at elderly people, wherein the individual wears a device to measure body functions such as heart rate and blood activity. The system will alert the user if and when something wrong is detected.
Driver Fatigue and the iCone
The iCone is a range of smart traffic cones designed for better traffic management in urban areas. Designed like a supersized traffic cone, each iCone has sensors and GPS receivers inside, which collects data for traffic flow, temperature and vehicle speeds.
The data is then transmitted to the main office where analysts can determine the flow of traffic in real time, allowing the city to prepare for heavy traffic jams, reduce congestion and even use the data for planning future roadways.
LX has also developed a driver fatigue safety system, an innovative electronics transport product designed to monitor the position of a car relative to the road in order to detect signs of driver fatigue and dangerous situations. The system gently alerts the driver via a vibrating seat cushion.
Masdar: A True ‘Zero-Emission City’
Masdar City, just 17 kilometres from Abu Dhabi city is leading the smart city race with its development as a truly ‘zero-emission’ city. Masdar City will be powered 100% by renewable sources through solar power plants, photovoltaic modules installed on the rooftops of city buildings, a wind farm outside the city and a geothermal plant in addition to a proposed hydrogen power plant.
Waste and water consumption is reduced through a solar-powered desalination plant, which will provide 60% of the water to the city. Most of the wastewater will be recycled for use in irrigation and similar purposes. Biodegradable waste will be used as fertiliser by creating compost while other wastes will be recycled and repurposed.
Smart cities and electronics design
Electronics design and technology allow solutions to be found for issues created by the human race in its own environment. Smart electronics design will allow the cities to think and live smartly for its inhabitants, eliminating their worries about tomorrow.
LX Group is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia specialising in embedded systems and wireless technology design.