IoT in action: A look at smart city Calgary

The IoT ecosystem continues to grow with homes, buildings and stadiums, for example, having many connectivity points for several different products and implementations. This has opened up the door for several different connectivity systems for enterprises and organizations — and many of those not meeting the needs of the intended implementations. The system cities choose to use for communication is crucial to the long-term affordability of an IoT system.

With many organizations focusing on bringing 5G to life, LoRa technology is already enabling companies to become smarter and more efficient. The scale and scope of long-range LoRa wireless communication is being used to deliver real-time metrics combined with low installation and operational cost around the world. Everyday operations can be made more efficient with LoRa technology’s long-range, low-power, secure and GPS-free geolocation features.

Cities that are using LoRa technology for their IoT deployments are saving on two critical factors for success: time and money. Increasingly, the market is witnessing more cities selecting LoRaWAN-based networks and LoRa technology for their IoT systems, a promising display that the technology and protocol are gaining momentum, and widespread adoption is a very real possibility in the near future. Some of the most frequent use cases for LoRa include occupancy monitoring, lighting, parking, waste removal, utilities and more.

In 2016, the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada became the first city in North America to deploy LoRaWAN-based networks. For 20 years, Calgary worked to build a strong infrastructure with internal city business units, civic partners, educational institutions and the broader industry. The smart city approach helped the city become more sustainable by bringing openness to data sharing and technology, as well as building trust and transparency with our municipal government and citizens.

With a strong infrastructure in place, Calgary was able to build the first city-owned LoRaWAN-based network, which provided an efficient, flexible and economical system. Calgary set a goal for a comprehensive smart city initiative through the LoRaWAN open protocol to accelerate the adoption of IoT and IIoT services, to positively impact the services supported and delivered to over 1 million people.

LoRa technology is continuing to make businesses and citizens’ lives better every day in several different ways. Let’s explore how the city of Calgary deployment is making lives better:

  • The Urban Alliance is able to measure noise levels to address issues and improve people’s quality of life. With help from the University of Calgary, the Urban Alliance was able to use LoRa-based sensors to characterize noise and initiative a pilot use case on Calgary’s LoRaWAN based network.
  • The Shaganappi Golf Course uses LoRa technology to help the course maintain focus on what is important to ensuring the game is entertaining its players. The course is able to track the pace of play, improving operational efficiencies to ensure the overall experience is enjoyable for customers. Location sensors embedded within golf carts share real-time information to course marshals to avoid anomalies in pace of play. Once detected, these oddities can be swiftly addressed making for a seamless golfing experience.
  • Calgary’s Devonian Gardens utilizes LoRa-based devices to measure soil conditions for urban canopy maintenance and water valve status remotely, which saves time, conserves resources and provides more accurate and timely data. By utilizing LoRa-based devices to gain an understanding of fundamental characteristics, such as air, water, light and humidity, Calgary can provide more efficient predictive care to these plants.

The collaboration between Semtech’s LoRa technology and the city of Calgary has led to an ongoing partnership of technology, learning and innovation between the city, educational institutions and local businesses. Calgary will continue to use this technology to meet the ever-changing needs of the city and citizens. It will be encouraging to see the financial, productivity and environmental impact connectivity will have as more smart cities go live throughout the world.

More details on the deployment can be found here.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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