Smart city start-ups

The Smart City offers lots of opportunities for the application of new products and services. Many start-up businesses are developing innovative ideas for Smart City applications. We profile some of the latest, most interesting start-ups.

On one wheel

The Onewheel from Future Motion is an electric-powered skateboard which provides a new ride sensation either on or off the road. The system features the latest wheel hub motor technology allied to an advanced self-balancing control. The result is a board which combines the attributes of a fun machine and a practical means of transport. An app enables the rider to keep a check on the battery charge and set various ride modes.

Saving fuel and moving up

Drust has developed the driver assist system Akolyt. It consists of a key which links to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) system and an app which communicates with the key by Bluetooth. The solution provides the user with personalised advice on how to cut fuel consumption. The fuel savings made can then be shared with others, moving the user up level by level as points are collected.

Smarter parking

The Smart Parking service from Parkbob is a free app which signals available parking spaces to its users. The app also collects anonymised data indicating the users’ locations, enabling it to detect via sensors on their smartphones whether they are manoeuvring into or leaving a space. It works out the likelihood of a parking space still being free. Other features include warnings indicating no-parking zones, navigation to identified free spaces and issuing of electronic parking tickets.

Smart City sofa

Soofa is a bench which is fitted with a 30 W solar panel, a power store and two USB ports. The smart street furniture enables users to sit down and charge their mobile devices any time, day or night. The bench also features environmental sensors which upload data including air quality or noise pollution levels to an Internet platform. The bench is connected to the Internet via LTE.

The fastest route from A to B

The free mobility app Ally from Door2Door shows users how to reach their destination by the fastest and cheapest route using the bus or train, on foot, or by car-sharing. The app collects and aggregates anonymised traffic data, which it sells to local public transport operators, for example, enabling them to adapt their routes to forecast user behaviour.

Protection against intruders

Magos Systems develops radar systems for perimeter monitoring which can be easily integrated into existing security systems. The radar systems are a low-cost solution, consuming little energy but delivering high performance. As they have no moving parts, they are easy to maintain and robust. They can also operate in bad weather and in any light conditions.

A green lawn with half the water consumption

The lawn-sprinkler controller from Rachio enables the entire watering process to be managed on a mobile device. It links via Wi Fi to a cloud-based software program which analyses past and future weather and humidity levels. Together with information on the soil type and condition of the lawn, the system uses this data to calculate the optimum amount of watering required, so saving as much as 50 per cent on water consumption.

Connected urban greenery

The City Tree from Green City Solutions is a free-standing vertical island of green which removes pollutants from the ambient air. The plant filter combines special moss cultures with a custom-developed IoT technology to ensure their optimum growth. The technology also records climatic data, and can be expanded to include a wireless hotspot or an e-bike charging station.

(picture credits: Door2Door; Drust; Future Motion; Green City Solutions; Magos Systems; Parkbob; Rachio; Soofa)

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