A Virtual Tour of a Cleaner, Safer, Stronger City
Recently I found myself riding in a virtual helicopter looking down on a city of the future. Flying through the skyscrapers, I enjoyed a 360 degree view of a beautiful Tron-like cityscape. After checking out a sensor report from smart light post, I hopped into a self-driving car and zipped back to cybersecurity headquarters. All the while, my corporeal self was actually sitting in the AT&T Smart Cities booth in Austin, TX at the Smart Cities Innovation Summit.
The summit was co-located with the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) and the US Ignite Application Summit, which made for an exciting roster of speakers, panelists and attendees all focused on making smart cities a reality. Along with a diverse set of representatives from more than 200 cities around the globe, there were technologists large and small, NGOs, VCs, academics and futurists.
The conversations in the sessions, along the hallways and on the convention floor ranged from defining what exactly a smart city is and what technologies are available, to how the many stakeholders can come together and get something done. But, what resonated most with me was that the conversations all essentially came back to the question, “How can we build a better tomorrow?” How we can improve the quality of life for the citizens of our cities? How can we make the air we breathe or the water we drink cleaner? How can we make the streets and roadways safer, or the infrastructure stronger and more resilient?
AT&T is addressing these challenges through a Smart Cities framework we’re bringing to spotlight cities, which brings together secure connectivity, strategic alliances, platforms and integrated vertical solutions. Next to the virtual helicopter ride, the AT&T Smart Cities booth had solutions that are very real. But if you ever get the chance, take the virtual tour – and be sure to take the scenic route.