Estimating the Staggering Scale of a Smart City

With smart city initiatives, governments and utilities aim to reduce costs and resource consumption, more effectively engage with citizens and generally improve quality of life in their city.

With this in mind, consider the efforts of Manheim Germany, a city on the leading edge of smart city energy management. They use broadband over power technology to send continuous status updates between homes, businesses and the systems the power company uses to manage the supply and distribution of electricity. It’s kind of like smart grid meets smart home in one system. This data helps them allocate power where and when it is needed and also implement demand-based pricing and tariffs. The system is bidirectional so, for example, if you wanted to do a load of laundry your smart house could let you know it will be 20% cheaper if you wait a couple hours when tariffs are expected to be lower.… Read the rest

Gartner Cranks up the Hype (Cycles)

Once a year, industry analyst firm Gartner publishes wide sweeping set of reports they call Hype Cycles. Each one of these reports takes a typical area of IT investment, for example Big Data, and provides commentary on that topic, as well as the various technologies, IT methodologies and management disciplines that comprise that topic. Hype Cycles highlight overhyped areas and estimate how long technologies and trends will take to reach maturity. The “hype” in hype cycle largely refers to the media’s short attention span – the majority of IT press is focused on new and emerging technologies  while tried and true technologies are deemed passé (as a news story). It’s the same reason that Justin Bieber gets more headlines than Neil Diamond.

In this year’s edition of these reports, Solace is listed as a sample vendor for two important technology trends:

  • Event-driven architecture – Event-driven architecture (EDA) is a design paradigm in which a software component executes in response to receiving one or more event notifications.
Read the rest