MAK­ING A CITY SMARTER

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

Peña Sta­tion NEXT will trans­late many ideas from Ja­pan’s Fu­ji­sawa smart city. But there are many tech­nolo­gies work­ing to help us be more ef­fi­cient. A few in progress:

EN­ERGY

So­lar pan­els on homes, car­ports and ev­ery sur­face will pro­vide en­ergy for the com­mu­nity. So­lar-pow­ered street lights and LED light­ing through­out build­ings and streets will also cut down on en­ergy use. While fuel cells at ev­ery house is too ex­pen­sive for the Peña Sta­tion pro­ject, plans to use so­lar pan­els and bat­ter­ies for a round-the-clock en­ergy source are be­ing tested.

CITY SER­VICES

Cam­eras and sen­sors at­tached to light poles will act as neigh­bor­hood watch and help with snow re­moval and traf­fic man­age­ment, such as alert­ing driv­ers to open park­ing spots. Pana­sonic, which has a large avi­a­tion busi­ness, al­ready col­lects weather data by at­tach­ing equip­ment on air­planes. That in­for­ma­tion can pro­vide “hy­per ac­cu­rate fore­casts that it’s go­ing to warm up in the morn­ing so you don’t need as much salt on the roads tonight,” Doyle said.

SE­CU­RITY

Fu­ji­sawa SST has 50 sur­veil­lance cam­eras that act as a neigh­bor­hood watch and mon­i­tors chil­dren and oth­ers “in an un­ob­tru­sive man­ner,” ac­cord­ing to the town’s site. Fa­cial recog­ni­tion could also one day bet­ter track who should be in the com­mu­nity and who shouldn’t. With Amer­ica’s con­cern for pri­vacy, this fea­ture may not be as in­tense.

HEALTH

Step on a smart scale or use a smart blood-pres­sure mon­i­tor and your health care provider can re­motely check on your health. Beds can an­a­lyze sleep pat­terns and let you know if you’re snor­ing. Peña Sta­tion, like Fu­ji­sawa, plans to build a cen­tral well­ness fa­cil­ity to ed­u­cate and en­cour­age res­i­dents. Pana­sonic also hopes to roll out its re­mote health care tech­nol­ogy to serve pa­tients in their homes if they can’t make it to the doc­tor’s of­fice.

PER­SONAL EF­FI­CIENCY

Mo­bile apps al­ready help us check for hot restau­rants or nearby sales. With ac­cess to a per­son’s be­hav­ior and needs, a smarter app could use that data to make sug­ges­tions— and di­rec­tions— based on bud­get and tastes and sug­gest a restau­rant in your price range. Pho­tos cour­tesy of Pana­sonic

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