The present decade opened with several challenges, least of all a global pandemic. In these difficult times, we have learned to increasingly rely on technology to connect with near and dear ones, relatives, and family while we were forced to stay miles apart due to travel restrictions, national and international lockdowns, and social distancing.
IoT and analytics-driven workforce transformation, biomedical innovation, and supply chain optimization, each contributed significantly to the digital revolution.
Zoom has now become a household name. The group meeting app started as a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) web conferencing solution, with less than 100 million daily meeting participants. By April 2020, Zoom recorded over 300 million daily users. While several of these new users were business users working remotely, many others were looking for a better digital connection with friends and family.
While 3D-printed buildings and traffic control for flying cars are still (and will most probably remain) science fiction, there are technologies available today that will enable the future of smart cities.
Let us take a look at three technology trends that are poised to power the smart cities of 2030.
Often called the “Dark Web,” peer-to-peer (often abbreviated as P2P) networks have been part of the technology landscape for more than three decades.
Communities will create and deliver peer-to-peer services, and the government will contribute as a participant and equal peer.
In 2030, P2P-based distributed apps could transform public transportation, access to fresh food, healthcare, energy, elder-care, journalism, policing, and beyond.
Recommendation engines and the filters and algorithms that power them drive our social media feeds, music and film consumption, and online purchases. In 2030, they will likely power many of our interactions with local and municipal government resources and services.
In a P2P-driven smart community where we fully control access to our data and its usage, we’ll opt into services that use our digital fingerprints to engage us with services specific to our needs.
Distributed Ledgers and Blockchains
We are often exposed to Blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) through the lens of cryptocurrency. However, it has nothing to do with finance at all – but everything to do with trust.
Blockchains and DLT keep records of transactions in a decentralized financial model such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. But its potential use cases go far beyond cryptocurrency.
DLTs in 2030 will lack a central authority – all participants in the content will be equal contributors, auditors, and inspectors.
The successful implementation of “smart cities” balances people, processes, and technology. We must consider accessibility as important as utility and realize that these smart city investments are equally critical to an equal and just society as education and access to fresh water and sanitation. We must also consider the maintenance of this digital infrastructure like we do our roads and bridges.