Thursday, 3 November 2016

You Don't Have To Live in a Smart City To Live Smart -Engr. Osaz’ ENOBAKHARE

Since signing an agreement with the City of Dubai by the Lagos State Government in June, 2016 on the development of the Lagos Smart City, many people have been wondering what a smart city would look like. 

Ironically Lagos itself is believed to be one heck of a smart city where only the ‘smart ones’ survive –you have to be smart to get on a bus and even when you are on a BRT queue as we have it today, you could still be outsmarted by a crafty lone ranger in a split of a second; On top of that you have to be pretty smart to earn a decent living in this ever-buzzing city; Other times you have to turn your gear to smart if you must beat the crazy traffic in the shortest possible time, else you spend long hours ‘snailing’ down the road with puckered brow and lest you forget, you have to be extremely smart to find your way around without getting lost. But Smart homes/cities are not restricted to Lagos alone. So what then makes a smart city in an already ‘smart’ city an interesting concept?

Here is why. The smart city concept is one that thrives on intelligence, sophistication and automation. It’s not the typical hustle and bustle kind of ‘smart’ some of us are already used to. It’s smartness with ease, flexibility and simplicity. 

With the magic of a small device on your hand, your building is almost entirely under your control even when you are nowhere near. Perhaps the only thing you still may not be able to do is to physically move the house to your friend’s place. 

Simply put, Smart City consists of Smart buildings and Smart infrastructure. Smart homes/offices used to be the exclusive privilege of those in the top echelon of the society but as it is now, there is something for the low and middle class.

Technology is for the benefit of everyone, irrespective of class, gender and race. In fact technology may be threatened with extinction if it is only restricted to a set of people. By building smart cities, the options are opened to people of all status to have a stake, even if it’s just as little. 

A square-Metre of space in a smart home/city is generally safer and comfortable to live in than 1001 square-Metre of space in a dull or boorish home/city.

 Are you pondering what I am pondering? Apart from the automation side of smart homes, they are often very elegant, exquisitely finished and customized to suit individual preferences of taste and lifestyle.

Never mind, I perceive you are thinking about power issues. In a country where public power supply continues to make a false of people’s high hopes, I very well understand your fears. But come to think of it, you would be surprised that for smart home concepts, even power respects technology. 

Smart home devices are often designed as low-power consumers and can be powered by off-grid solutions. Most of these devices can power themselves by relying on simple solar radiations.

In a typical smart home, with a press of a set of buttons or clicks on wi-fi enabled hand-held or virtual remotes respectively, you control all windows and doors within the building, including opening and closing of the gate and skylights in the roof from virtually any location. 

Users can also monitor and control activities within the house on their mobile devices; making it easier for working class parent to keep tab on their kids at home while they are away. Smart homes can be customized to recognize the occupiers of a building and their pets and automatically allow them gain access at any time while denying access to strangers and even blowing an alarm when there is an intruder. 

Smart building can welcome you in with your favorite song playing in background mood and bid you goodbye by responding with a go-come tune. The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system can be automatically adjusted to suit your desired temperatures and humidity levels using the same simple device. It can help control taps, switches and security alarm system; you can turn the entire space to night mode at night and even switch off all devices when you are away.  

So don’t wait till the Smart City is fully built. Go smart already. 

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