London’s pioneering smart city project has teamed up with tech giant Intel to help start-ups turn Canary Wharf into the UK capital’s smartest neighbourhood.
Announced at the RE.WORK Future Cities summit in London, the partnership will see Intel providing mentoring as well as access to its cutting-edge Internet of Things technologies to participants of the Cognicity Challenge.
The challenge invites tech companies from all over the world to pitch their ideas for the use of smart interconnected technologies for the benefit of residents and workers in the business district.
The challenge, divided into six streams, offers a £50,000 cash prize for the winner of each group plus the opportunity to implement their technologies in Canary Wharf turning the neighbourhood into a smart city test bed.
The final two challenges – Connected Home and Virtual Design & Construction – have been announced together with the Intel partnership at the Future Cities event.
“This collaboration demonstrates Intel’s leadership in smart cities and the Internet of Things, and affirms their commitment to supporting the start-ups,” said Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and CEO of Canary Wharf Group. “The access Intel is providing to their technologies and expertise will help Cognicity create leading products that will be essential to building a truly smart and sentient city here at Canary Wharf.”
According to Intel’s general manager Rod O’Shea, London is the ideal place to pioneer and test smart city technologies. “Initiatives like Cognicity with Canary Wharf Group are laying the foundations for London to unlock the smart city potential for all its residents,” he said
The two-day RE.WORK Future Cities summit brought together researchers and entrepreneurs at the forefront of various fields from 3D imaging and visualisation, to biodiversity, self-driving cars, drones and interactive design and architecture.
Going beyond just the smart city concept, the summit’s attendees agreed that future cities should increase the citizens’ involvement and participation through the use of interconnected technologies, to make cities friendlier, healthier and more resilient.
Interconnected smart trees or architectural structures with responsive lighting reflecting changing levels of air pollution enabling inhabitants to make informed decisions about the environment, or wearable technologies helping disabled people to find their way through the chaotic city safer and faster, were just some of the ideas discussed.
“The idea of smart cities was sold on the big data concept, which frankly doesn’t say much to most people,” said Dan Hill, executive director of the UK’s Future Cities Catapult. “But future cities should be about making practical things more convenient for normal people. They should focus on what problems city-dwellers face in their everyday lives. Future cities should be about using technology to make cities work better for everybody.”