Cate Lawrence How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Tags:#agile#automated transport#biotope#citizen data#featured#helsinki#open API#open data#robobuses#Smart Citizens#smart city#smart kalasatama#smart transport#solar energy#startup#top#waste management Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities There are few capital cities around the world that are not directing finances and energy into connected technology. Every year local neighborhoods, suburbs, and cities incorporate technology into their infrastructure, transport systems, housing and local services.From Jaipur to Seoul, what makes each location unique is how they respond to challenges specific to their location, landscape, and community.I visited Helsinki recently for the annual Biohacker Summit and was intrigued to learn more about Helsinki’s smart technology. Much of Helsinki’s strengths seem to lie in their efforts in not only integrating smart technology, but creating a platform where agile innovation can flourish.What is a BIoTope?Helsinki is involved in bIoTope, an EU-funded initiative that lays the foundation for open innovation ecosystems. Companies can – with minimal investment – innovate by creating new Systems-of-Systems (SoS) platforms for connected smart objects. To achieve this goal, bIoTope provides the necessary standardized Open APIs to enable the publication, consumption and composition of heterogeneous information sources and services from across various platforms, including FI-WARE, OpenIoT, city dashboards and so on.The intention is to foster new forms of co-creation of services ranging from simple data collection and processing, to context-driven, intelligent and self-adaptive support of consumers’ everyday work and life.bIoTope also establishes a governance roadmap for ecosystem orchestration to properly maintain, grow and sustain the socio-technical and business-wise bIoTope ecosystem. Helsinki’s involvement has included the creation of an interoperable charging facility for electric cars: an integration of charging stations, car navigation systems, and payment systems.Big data is also an issue, and making it open and available. In Helsinki, the state, and large cities have open public data repositories for anyone to use including Open Data Tampere, Oulu, Open Data and Open Data Jyväskylä. It’s machine-readable, in a structured format, with an open license, available free of charge. The data includes information on the local living conditions, infrastructure, public services and transport. This information is valuable for city organizations but also businesses, health organizations, learning institutions and citizens.A Petri dish for smart city living lab experimentsSmart Kalasatama is a former industrial precinct that houses the Suvilahti Power Plant. It’s gradually being turned into an experimental platform to co-create smart infrastructure and services. When I visited, I found a lot of the area to be building sites, a testament that the best is yet to come. By the 2030s, the Kalasatama district will offer a home for approximately 20,000 residents and jobs for 8,000 people. Currently, 3,000 people live there in homes that are part of connected trials for future technology.The philosophy underpinning the efforts is to save one hour a day for local residents to enjoy as free time on their desired hobbies and socializing. This is achieved through a range of strategies including improving the flow of traffic and logistics, add remote working facilities, increase local smart services, and reduce the need for excessive red tape and queueing.A number of infrastructure services have been automated. Hima Smart metering and home remote control service allow residents to connect and operate their appliances with mobile devices. A unique waste collection system involves a series of bins color coded according to a waste category. The waste collection points are usually located in connection to the exits in each block. The residents sort out the waste then the waste collection points empty themselves.Sucked by a vacuum into underground pipelines, the waste whizz into the local waste management facility at a speed of up to 40 miles per hour. Trucks pick up the full containers from the station and transport the waste for further processing.Local residents have invested in sustainability with a crowdfunded solar power plant that provides solar power to people living in apartment buildings and to those who do not have the possibility to invest in their own solar systems. Residents can get solar electricity from their own panels and monitor production in real time and the yield of the panels is credited directly to their electricity bill. IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Agile piloting for startupsStarting small can lead to something bigger. The Programme for Agile Piloting procures small startups that provide new innovative services for people living in the Kalasatama area.New services are tested with residents and local companies for a period of six months. One example of such projects is Foller, a startup that use IoT to address the issue of food waste. Individual products in local supermarkets and cafes are fitted with RFID sensor tags. The sensor detects the gas build-up inside packaged foods such as fruit, fish, and meat. When products are nearing the end of their shelf life the price is automatically reduced and ads/notifications sent to customers. The corresponding store smart shelf also knows when products need to be refilled. The sensors can also be used in the home with a RFID reader.One of the contributions to Helsinki’s smart city successes is the collaboration across stakeholders. They include more than 30 city departments, residents, citizen organizations, industry, small and medium enterprises, startups and academia. A Smart Kalasatama Innovators Club meets four times a year helping participants to regularly share news and build their community.The new age of smart transportationUnlike most of the rest of the world, Finnish law does not require vehicles on public roads to have a driver inside the vehicle. This has given Finland a competitive advantage in developing and testing driverless transport. One example is the robobuses, part of The Sohjoa project, aimed at creating new types of automated transport as well as increasing local understanding of the changes transportation is going through.The shuttle buses transport up to 9 people and are designed to operate on routes where traditional buses have difficulties to operate or in regions where passenger flows are very small. They will be gradually expanded to additional locations.These are just a few of the innovations that demonstrate the technological innovations of Helsinki. Despite being a small country with the challenges of competing with international conglomerates, Finland has a highly skilled workforce. The demise of Nokia is a case in point: the closure of Helsinki operations has been a boon to the local start-up scene. People are ready and willing to innovation and it will be the local communities in the case of Helsinki that will reap the benefit.
Chelsea wing-back Juan Familia-Castillo: I want to sign permanently with Ajaxby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea wing-back Juan Familia-Castillo admits he wants to sign permanently with Ajax.The Dutch youngster is on-loan with Ajax this season, with his deal also having the option to buy. Familia-Castillo only signed a new agreement with Chelsea last summer, extending his contract by three years.But despite seeing so many of his former academy teammates now getting their chance under manager Frank Lampard at Chelsea, Familia-Castillo says he’s now happy where he is in Amsterdam.”Ajax has signed me with an option to buy. If I do well, I hope that I get bought and that I get more minutes in the Eredivisie,” said Familia-Castillo to Voetbal International via Voetbalzone.The youngster is currently playing for Jong Ajax, but is pushing for a place in coach Erik ten Hag’s first team.Familia-Castillo also revealed he had the chance to join Juventus this summer. It would have meant the chance to play for former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, who is now in charge at Juve.Familia-Castillo admits the Juve option was his first choice, but terms couldn’t be settled. He added: “Things have happened so I finally chose Chelsea. Chelsea is a big club, so I’m happy with my choice anyway.“If I can be loaned out to Ajax, that is absolutely beautiful. I would actually go to Juventus, that was the number one. This was canceled due to certain reasons and transfers. Now it’s up to me to continue.”- updated October 14 TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say read more
I was in Bhiyalgaon, a small village nestling in the Central Himalayan ranges of Uttarakhand, India, recording life stories of women from this region known as the Kumaon hills. Amma, as the women of her age are called, had just finished plastering her house with cow dung for the upcoming festival of Diwali. Once she began narrating the story of her life, her face projected myriad emotions. She had unravelled the quilt of her memories. Her childhood was without play, her youth was without a husband and her old age was full of longing. Her life story was a poignant narrative of women from the hills – married by the age of 15, mothers of five to six children by the age of 25 and dead by the age of 55. Also Read – Remembering Sudhir PhadkeI finally asked her what her dream was. She joked, “I see ghosts in my dreams, ghosts.” Twisting the question, I asked what she would want to be reborn as. “Queen, I will reborn as a queen,” she said and laughed aloud, conscious of her missing teeth. “I will be the Queen; my man will be the King. We will eat, sing, dance and have a great time.” Queen symbolised beauty – a life of comfort and leisure. It is this life that Amma desired after a life clogged with hardships. Also Read – YOUR HEALTHY FESTIVE PALATEShe was only a child when she was married to another child. She still remembers vividly the day she was married. “I had worn a bright red sari with a saffron-coloured pichora. From head to toe I glittered gold – maang tikka upon my forehead, nath on the nose, jhumka in my ears, rings upon my fingers, bangles on my wrist and anklets on my ankles. I looked nothing less than a forest goddess.” Teasing me, she said in a hushed voice, “That’s how a woman is tamed, with jewellery. It’s the tintinnabulation of her jewellery with which the man tracks her movement.” Amma’s daughter, Asha, is 37 years old. She weighs 40 kg, has one husband, four children, two cows, four goats, two dogs and hens to feed. Of the ten odd working hours she has in a day, six are spent on chopping firewood and gathering fodder. Her life is no different from that of her mother’s or from that of any other woman’s from the region. It is but a miracle that her thin, undernourished and anaemic body sustains such hardships day in and out. “I was only 12 when I would accompany my mother to the forest to chop wood. As a little girl, I had a smaller sickle. It’s the sickle which is a woman’s true companion. It is given to her as a girl and it stays with her until death,” narrated Asha, sharpening her sickle upon a stone. Women walking up and down the precarious slopes of mountains, carrying a head load double their weight, is a sight no one visiting these parts can miss. Men migrate to cities or work as daily wage labours. It is the women who manage the household, the cattle and the fields. Owning a cow defines ones status, hence, it is imperative to have a cow or two in ones backyard. Tending the cow, feeding her, bringing fodder and milking are all a woman’s task – her life revolves around her cow, while her own has little worth. “No one will think twice before spending thousands if a cow falls ill. But a woman of the house can die without proper medication. One can always get a second wife – younger, prettier and stronger for free,” Asha said. A cow has to be bought. The labour provided by women allows the mountain economy to survive and sustain itself. Farming is subsistence, with little to no marketable surplus. It is the fruit orchards which bring the cash. Fruit plucking is done by women and children. Half crate has 7 kg fruits and full crate, 15 kg. The wooden frames required to make these crates are left by the road with the fruit contractor. These are piled in bundles of around 50 kg and are carried home by women. Once the crates are packed with fruits by men sitting under a tree, the women carry these crates on their head up the hill. On an average, the household saves Rs 15,000 to 20,000 on labour, each fruit season. It is but a miracle that these malnourished, anaemic women sustain these hardships. Weight, energy, strength do not influence the load one can carry here. This is not to say that men here are not trained to carry weight. The difference is that men are paid for carrying weight and women aren’t. The life of a woman is tough, dangerous and short in these mountains. On an average, women in these remote parts carry weight which is nothing less than 50-60 kg, when they themselves weigh not more than 40 kg. The average haemoglobin count of the women here is 6 gm. Irrespective of the season, women move up and down the slopes, almost mechanically, carrying loads of firewood and fodder. Death due to falling off a tree or down the hill is common. Firewood is required all year long. With depleting forest covers and increasing restrictions on lopping in reserved forest areas, women now have to walk more than what they did before. Like women’s labour, firewood is free and preferred over gas stoves which cost money. Interestingly, going to the forest, is something the women look forward to. It is a space they can escape to from their nagging husbands and in-laws. Deep in the forest these women sit, gossiping and puffing beedi. “Ban ko mat de gari, ban ko kutch na bol. Ban hai mera mait” (Don’t abuse my forests; don’t say anything to my forests. The forest is my friend), sang Amma. Going to the forest is a socially acceptable pretext for a woman to step out of the confines of her homes. It is important to understand the social and moral dimensions which justify the current distribution of work. A woman who doesn’t keep a cow is a ‘bad woman’. Mol lana, (buying) and udhar lana (borrowing) implies that the woman of the house is not hardworking. “The woman must work hard. The fields must not remain fallow and there should be at least one cow at home. Running to shop for every little thing is not right,” says Asha. For women here, there isn’t a concept of leisure. During menstruation, the woman is relegated to the cowshed for she is considered impure during those days. Other than cooking and milking the cow, the nature of work remains same during menstruation. The work doesn’t change during pregnancy either. “The day Ravi was born; I went to the forest to bring firewood, chopped fodder and fed the cow. I cooked food and then walked up to the midwife’s house, asking her to come home in an hour. But before she arrived, I had delivered the child,” recalls Asha with an immense sense of pride. A woman is respected for her endurance, strength and chastity. Even today, there are stories of women delivering in the forest, returning home with a baby after burying the placenta in the woods. The prevalent ideas of ‘good woman’ and ‘bad woman’ weigh heavily on their minds; ideas they conform to in order to fit in. Women are glorified for performing this back breaking work. The women here are strongly held by social and moral obligations of conforming to established practices, expectations of others and societal norms, diminishing their ability to overcome the constraints they face. The women here do not complain of hardships. They feel disheartened by a life devoid of loving care. Their malnourished bodies have no way of expressing frustrations, fatigue and fears. It manifests as numbness. Beneath the numbing acceptance of drudgery as a way of life, however, is a dream of becoming a Queen – of soft hands and supple skin. read more