Check out the CES 2019 highlights

News update – January 17th, 2019

The yearly Consumer Electronics Show, CES, in Las Vegas is for many companies the ultimate moment to announce new projects, pilots and initiatives. Please see below an overview of some of the smart city initiatives that were presented at CES 2019.

IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty unveiled a model that aims to predict the weather hyper locally based on crowdsourced data. In many regions hyperlocal predictions are already in place in the US, Japan and parts of Western Europe where there is a high density of weather stations. IBM states it can offer forecasts that are hourly updated and have a 3km resolution, while current forecasts are updated every 6 hours and have a resolution of 10-15km. Hyperlocal weather forecasts are relevant to various market segments such as farming, airlines, insurance companies and energy companies.
The model, called GRAF (Global High-Res Atmospheric Forecasting System), tracks barometric data from smartphone users that use the Weather Channel app owned by The Weather Company, a subsidiary of IBM. Besides smartphone data, the technology relies on supercomputing and other devices connected to the Internet of Things. Ultimately, sensors on buildings, automobiles and wearables could add data to the model. Implementation of the model doesn’t come without any challenges. IBM faced a lawsuit from the city of L.A. over the misuse of tracking data from its weather apps. Read more here on Time.com.

The Brussel Times  reports that the Belgium national postal service Bpost is launching a pilot as well in the forecasting of hyperlocal weather by equipping 30 of its cars with sensors. As the postal cars go around the entire city, hyperlocal data can be collected and analyzed, Marc Christiaens, Business Unit Manager at Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium states. ‘The area weather predictions are aimed at can be decreased from 16km² to 1.7km², he says. Read more in Dutch here.

Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash

The city of Las Vegas partners up with AT&T and smart city platform Ubicquia in a smart lighting solution pilot that should improve public safety and reduce energy usage in Las Vegas’ Innovation District. Ubicquia’s Ubicells (streetlight routers) will connect existing street furniture to a platform through wireless connections. In this way the city can keep track of energy usage and outage almost real-time in order to improve maintenance and decrease energy usage. Furthermore, Ubicquia will connect to air quality sensors to provide information on changes in temperature, ozone and particulate levels. The pilot is part of AT&T’s broader Smart Cities Alliance program in which companies as Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, GE, IBM, Intel and Qualcomm also participate.
Another partner the city has embraced is UrbanLeap, a platform that will allow the city to consolidate all of its smart cities projects in one spot. With help of such platforms, cities are able to track data from pilot projects and to simulate how new projects might turn out before they’re implemented, in order to save money and time.  Las Vegas Chief Information Officer Michael Sherwood states that “key for the city of Las Vegas is the ability to gain visibility into our projects, actively monitor their progress, and share the results with other public agencies, stakeholders and the residents of Las Vegas.” Las Vegas’ Innovation District is a part of downtown Las Vegas that since 2016 serves as an extremely busy living lab for smart city solutions and policies.