Ever since “smart” became an adjective you could attach to anything, people have been connecting more and more objects to “the Internet of Things.” Before you could have a coffeemaker you programmed to make your coffee at the same time every day, but now you can order an extra pot for the afternoon by sending it a message on your smartphone just before you start your commute. Plus your refrigerator can tell you if you need to stop by the grocery store on your way home.
Now that gigabit internet is starting to spread through cities like San Diego, Austin, and San Antonio, communities on the whole are starting to connect. A smart connection with gigabit internet speeds can accomplish a lot for a community, including ideas on the following list.
- Air quality monitoring. Urban air pollution is a problem that causes or worsens respiratory diseases across the globe, and while limiting emissions at the source is important, it also helps to identify what’s causing the most problems and how pollution spreads throughout a city’s neighborhoods. A smart community can set up air quality sensors throughout the area to create a real-time map.
- Smart classrooms. Computers and online connections have been spreading through classrooms for a long time, but in the classroom of a smart community, you can get things like live connections to research labs as they investigate microorganisms and discover new things about the world around us.
- True self-driving cars. Automated traffic needs more than just cars that can see around themselves and make decisions about where to go, they need smart streets and stoplights that can coordinate all the vehicles on the street. With gigabit internet, this coordination can take place fast enough to keep cars safe and on course.
- Trash collection. Smart dumpsters can use volume and weight sensors to alert trash collection companies when they’re full, and smart trash bins can alert homeowners when it’s time to put them out by the curb.
With gigabit internet, the Internet of Things will enter a new era of connectivity. More aspects of our lives will be able to talk to each other at real-time speeds, making things more convenient and letting people understand more about the world around them. Smart community technology has applications in safety, education, organization, and more, and there’s no telling just how different our lives will be once true high-speed internet spreads into all our cities and metro areas.