What your life in Dubai will look like in 2020: Science fiction meets vision
UAE’s first smart street lights installed in Dubai Silicon Oasis hi-tech park
By 24/7 News
Published Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Imagine a future where roads, traffic signals, street lights and cars are all seamlessly connected, communicating among themselves and suggesting to you the optimum route to your destination.
That future is now.
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) on Tuesday announced the successful installation of the UAE’s first smart street lights and smart building technologies in collaboration with telecom operator Du.
Using motion sensors provided and programmed by Du, the smart street lights which are now active in Dubai will provide 25 per cent visibility until triggered to full power by approaching vehicles and pedestrians.
This will result in less energy consumption, prolonging the life of electric bulbs and reducing operational costs and carbon impact, the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) said in a media statement.
But it isn’t just that.
Thanks to the network infrastructure that du has put in place, additional sensors can be added to the street lights to collect and share information and data on the surrounding environment, such as pollution and weather conditions – or even relay CCTV, advertising messages and/or safety warnings.
This, says Marwan Abdulla Bin Dalmook, Senior Vice-President of Managed Services and Smart City/Smart Government Initiative Lead at Du, is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg, with limitless possibilities now staring us in the face.
“The new data law that has now been passed in Dubai will open a host of opportunities for private and public companies,” Bin Dalmook told ‘Emirates 24|7′.
Connected devices are here to stay.
Dubai-based telecom operator du says it is participating in the Smart City Dubai initiative and has been adding newer technologies and improving the infrastructure to help bring that vision to life.
“We have deployed a reliable network in eight locations in Dubai, with a radius of about 5km each. This network can support any kinds of sensors with minimal power consumption, and can be installed for a variety of systems – for smart parking management systems, tracking systems, street lighting systems, etc.,” said Bin Dalmook.
The smart building technologies that include installing high-tech sensors within the DSOA headquarters use Du software to allow energy and cost saving through managing electricity consumption and allowing automatic regulation of temperature throughout the headquarters. The high tech sensors will send real time data to insure comfort and safety at all times.
“We have launched several smart initiatives in DSO that went through Proof of Concepts testing ahead of large scale implementation such as DSO smart waste management that proved to be very successful for reducing waste collection cost and environmental footprint,” said Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, Executive Vice President – Engineering Management at DSOA.
We look forward to increasing our collaboration with du on the installation of more smart street lights and smart building technologies around DSO,” he added.
The service is part of a growing list of smart city technologies brought to the UAE by du, including the Middle East’s first successful Internet of Things network and Wi-Fi UAE.
“We already cover Dubai, and are going to extend the Wi-Fi UAE coverage across the country,” said Bin Dalmook.
“Our free Wi-Fi service offers customers very high bandwidth for accessing government websites,” he said, adding that the firm wasn’t looking to make money out of the extended WiFi service.
“We’re not just looking at how we’re going to benefit from it in terms of revenue, but we want to see the customer benefiting and the government benefiting from it,” he said. “We don’t work in isolation, and we can’t grow unless the whole ecosystem grows,” he noted.
By 2020, smartphones will be able to support 5G and up to 10Gbps, he said. “And we are today ready with 5G to support that future development,” said Bin Dalmook. “The technology is there, but it needs to be developed further,” he added.
Dubai in 2020
Asked to paint a picture on what Dubai might look like in 2020, Bin Dalmook said that there will be complete happiness thanks to the analytics afforded by IoT and the urgency to work on those thanks to government’s vision, direction and regulation.
“Everyone from citizens/residents to entrepreneurs to government entities to enterprises will be happy,” he said. “We will have much more information to help us do our daily jobs in a much more efficient way than we even conceive today,” he said.
“As an individual, if I have to go from point A to B, I will have full information at my fingertips – what time should I leave, what mode of transport should I take, what route should I take, etc.,” he said, giving an example.
“If I am a government entity, and I have to decide on building a new road in an area, today it’s done through conducting a physical survey of the traffic situation in that area and estimating the flow. But soon, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of IoT sensors deployed, we’ll know exactly how many people living in a particular area of the city or country travel to which area, how and at what tome of the day. This will be a dream-come-true for urban planners,” he said.
“If I am an entrepreneur, I will have full access to information about my potential customers’ spending and consumption patterns, and I will be able to predict their demand and cater to their perceived needs in a much more efficient and effective manner,” he said.
“I believe in 2020, we are going to give people the amount of data they never dreamed of. Smart is efficient and technology adoption rate in the UAE is one of the fastest if not the fastest in the world,” he said.