What’s holding smart cities back

Smart cities have been growing rapidly, but the growth seems to be declining. Find out why:

What’s holding smart cities back
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What’s holding smart cities back

When we think of a futuristic world, cities with skyscrapers, high-end technology, and superior connectivity come to mind. We are progressing towards a future that resonates with this ideology and thinking, but there are some things even we have not figured out yet, that might hold us back from truly progressing.

Here are the four areas of concern that could be holding us back from smart cities and a real sense of urbanisation. 

Privacy concerns

A truly connected world requires people to know others and the availability of information that might be sensitive and private. Privacy has raised question throughout the globalisation process as to how much data should be shared and how much be kept to oneself.

Satellites consistently collect data of physical environments around us apart from landforms and including sea and air. This data is used in various forms and with geospatial technology advancing by the minute- more and more data can be collected through technology.

Contrary to this, there is also a shortage of data in spheres where development is needed. With tech giants using a multitude of data for dynamic purposes such as navigation and artificial intelligence, the demand for data exceeds its supply. 

As much as we want to keep our data secure, privacy concerns will always be a deciding factor in development until a balanced solution is found.

Incomplete Data

Data has created value for itself over time. There is also a shortage of data supply over its demand, causing decisions to be made on incomplete data and arbitrary factors that have no scientific backing. 

For example, visual data for navigation is being collected by satellites and monitored closely to ensure all changes are captured. But there are occasions where these changes are so minute they are missed by systems as there might not be enough resources to fact check the global geospatial data. 

Intelligent control of data and using this data to control certain aspects of technology requires reworking and remodelling of individual schools of thought that might have existed for decades. For instance, a self-driving car cannot understand road sensing such as seeing potholes, lane changes concerning traffic, and weather, as well as a human, could.

More efficient communication systems

Communication has boomed in the last ten years. From text messages and phone calls, we have reached a stage where 3-D holographic video calls can be made. The communication sector is doing exceedingly well and projects to perform well in the coming times. 

What comes to question here is how authentic the whole “5G” concept is — Telecom giants are working towards the least response time and the fastest connectivity. Powerful and sophisticated satellites and technology are working around the clock to monitor, assess, and analyse the utility and potency of communication technology. But only with time can we improve in all spheres, and this is one where we might take a while. 

Data Storage

Data is of value, and valuables should be stored carefully. Data storage seems to be a projected issue in the near future. While the Silicon Valley roars with a cheer for Big Data and its development, cloud storage and the availability of data intersectionally might be an issue in the future.

It could be because of one of the two reasons. First, technology advancement could go beyond data storage, leaving it redundant and finding new ways to preserve and study information. Or, there could be a crash of cloud storage worldwide due to pressure and the amount of data. That could lead to losing data worth billions of dollars that could not be brought back even with the most advanced technology.

As a world, we are growing. But there always will be new problems that sprout with growth coming in different sectors.

It is how we deal with these problems, minimise impact, and maximise effectiveness- that will decide our future.