Addressing the World with Three-word Phrases

Screenshot 2017-10-17 21.58.27

Sustainability Problem: Mobility, Public Administration and Service

An estimated 4 billion people, close to 75% of the earth’s population, have no address for mailing purposes, making it difficult to open a bank account, get a delivery, or be reached in an emergency. In addition, global addressing in different languages can be inconsistent and ambiguous, which often leads to errors. While GPS coordinates are more accurate, they are also too complicated and cumbersome.

Sustainable Technology: what3words assigns every 10-square-foot block of space in the world a new name

what3words is a simple way to talk about location. The idea is that a series of words is easier to remember than street addresses and the strings of number that make up GPS coordinates.

  • It divides the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigns each one a unique 3 word address. It means anyone can accurately find any location and share it more quickly, easily and with less ambiguity than any other system. For example, the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, becomes sulk.held.raves. The service can be used via the free mobile app or online map.
  • Mongolia is changing all its addresses to three-word phrases instead of house numbers and street names. The country is switching to the What3Words system because there are too few named streets and it’s sparsely populated.
  • NGOs including the United Nations have used the app for disaster recovery.
  • Pollinate Energy, an Indian solar lighting company, has used the service to delivery solar lights to people in remote areas who don’t have street addresses.

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology

  • Government postal agency
  • Emergency service organizations
  • General businesses
  • Individuals

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology

  • Building on the success story of Mongolia, offer the technology to developing countries with incipient address systems.
  • Encourage adoption of the free mobile Apps to individuals by social media campaigns to make it the standard for social mapping.
  • Continue to expand its functions in serving populations without formal address/settlements by partnerships with more NGOs.

Sources:

https://what3words.com/

Mongolia is changing all its addresses to three-word phrases

This Startup Is Renaming Every Place On Earth

Comment:

“Turning Climate Pollution Into Fish Feed”

Internet of things for better decision making

  1. Although most environmental challenges are blocked due to a financial reasons (prices for corrective measures), there is a handful of environmental problems that are due to poor decision making, unnecessary waste production with no secondary markets, energy waste due to a bad control on the thermostat, electricity waste due to a lack of information of consumption of devices, water consumption for irrigation in an unnecessary setting ( high humidity/ after rain), etc. If we analyze the decisionmaking process we tend to see that either there is not enough information at the time the decision had to be taken, or the person in charge to take the decision, did not react to that information.
  2. The Internet of Things allows to have a direct communication between things and the controller, to harvest real-time information, to allow a better decision making. There are 4 major components to the IoT:
  • Hardware: Data collectors or sensors ( temperature, movement, distance,etc.) connects physical items to digital objects.
  • Data: Serves as parameters and metrics for performance. It can be seen as a universal language of things.
  • Software: Once we have the information we need the software to interpret, analyzes the information, and to finally control it, to send out information to react.
  • Connectivity : Enables the communication between the sensors and software, and sends orders.

3. There are multiple applications for the IoT, on a state level, on an industry level, and on a personal level. In my opinion city governments should be the first to deploy these technologies, since it provides a direct financial benefit and a clear reduction in operational cost, furthermore the fact that it’s used at a city level with its main propose is to know either climate conditions ( light, humidity, temperature) or quantity of people ( traffic, public transportation usage, etc.) rather than information of a precise citizen. This is important regarding privacy issues.

4. I think that the early adopters of this technology should be large organizations that can have a large efficiency impacts. Once the technology is mature and has sufficient success stories, the adoption will come naturally.

Policies regarding privacy should be created, establishing in clear terms who owns the collection of the data, and who can use it. This is very important since until now this information has been mainly used to create personal advertising. In my opinion, this should not be the ultimate goal of collecting data.

 

Sources:

http://datasmart.ash.harvard.edu/news/article/how-smart-city-barcelona-brought-the-internet-of-things-to-life-789

Internet of Things – Jordan Duffy

 

 

 

Can Technology Help in Gun Control?

sustainability problem: Safety

Issue: With more and more school shootings happened in the past few years, people are now more aware of the risks of having a gun in the home. In the state now, there are more than three models of personalized handguns could be bought by the public. Therefore, making sure that commercial guns are carried by the registered owner is one of government’s critical task regarding gun control.

Technology:

  • Protector XT was developed by Ben Tomb whose son was shot by another adolescent 25 years ago
  • Protector XT is a locking station that secures a firearm and provides access to authorized users with biometric fingerprinting technology.
  • It aims to provide “peace of mind” to firearms owners by designing products that enhance the safe storage of guns
  • Assures a quick and reliable access to a firearm in 2 seconds or less

Stakeholder:

  • State government that aims to improve gun safety and decrease the gunshot accidents
  • Gun owners who want to ensure no one else can have access to their guns to commit a crime
  • Gun manufacturers who want to be a more socially responsible company

Deployment:

  • Have a partnership with government’s gun control project
  • Attend SHOT Show such as the one held in LV annually
  • Launch gun safety program in communities, schools etc.

Source: 

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/could-technology-be-the-gun-control-2014

https://www.protectorxt.com/

Comment on Solar-Powered Toilet That Treats and Recycles Water:

When a toilet is out of order, the Seva Sustainable Sanitation automatically directs users to other nearby sanitation systems. And in the next three years, Seva team will develop and test its maintenance system in which the embedded sensors will be able to determine if there is a failure and then an operator will be notified and come to fix it.

Internet of Trees – When You Give a Tree an Email Address

Screenshot 2017-09-29 21.24.50

Sustainability Problem: Public Safety and Comfort, Civic Engagement, City Maintenance 

Urban forest has been identified as one of the most cost efficient and effective strategies for mitigating the urban heat island effect and adapting to climate change. However, maintaining good tree canopy cover can be expensive and dangerous tree branches sometimes present public safety concerns.

Sustainable Technology: Assign trees with ID numbers and email addresses

  • Ranked by the EIU as the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row since 2011, Melbourne suffers from extreme weather conditions like strong heat and flashfloods. Urban forest can help to reduce urban head island effect and improve stormwater retention.
  • To help to improve the city’s canopy cover, every tree in the city is catalogued with an individual ID email address, and can be seen in an open dataset with details such as life expectancy.
  • Citizen can also report problems like dangerous branches by the email-a-tree service. People ended up doing more than just reporting problems, but sending messages such as greetings and love letters to the trees via the emails.
  • “Internet of Trees” not only helps with city maintenance, but also encourages civic engagement.

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology

  • City officials who oversee maintaining and improving the city’s tree population
  • City officials who oversee public engagement and safety
  • Citizens

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology

  1. Identify large metropolitans that lacks tree cover and can benefit from it, such as New York and Beijing. Work with city officials to get approval and funding for the project.
  2. Conduct pilots in selected parts of the city: tag trees and educate public about the new service.
  3. Roll out the project to rest of the city; build a database and map of the trees, and share them with the public.

Sources:

City of Melbourne –  Urban Forest Visual

Internet of Trees: Melbourne Uses Smart City Tech To Stay World’s Most Liveable Place

When You Give a Tree an Email Address

Comments:

“IoT powered by wireless signals” – This is a great technology that once commercialized, the application could be limitless! Not only it will conserve energy, it also provides convenience – imagine you will never have to change the batteries for smoke alarms and security cameras. According to the article, “The researchers believe that tiny passive Wi-Fi devices could be extremely cheap to make, perhaps less than a dollar”. One version of the passive Wi-Fi technology is already being commercialized through a spin-off company called Jeeva Wireless.

 

Disaster Planning & Rural Communication Challenges: adhoc networks between mobile devices in the absence of Internet and cellular services

Natural disasters, community events, festivals, and gatherings are increasingly driving the need for hyper-local communications.  The growing high standards of expectation that cellular and Internet technologies will persist, even in the face of such unusual circumstances has been difficult to satisfy.  In fact, in many rural areas of the world there is a lack of this communications infrastructure in the first place.  These village-like social environments are the foundations of sustainable communities for without them chaos rules.  As any city or community planner knows, communications are critical in planning for disaster mitigation, well ahead of solutions based on “hardening” infrastructure (build bigger walls, flood gates, stronger buildings, etc.).

Why?  It’s well documented that the potential for a resilient city to rebound when impacted by natural disaster or a for a community in isolation to become more productive they are tied to the need for improved communications.  Further, the movement to make cities more resilient is well underway and solutions such as FireChat are within a group of new generation mobile apps that allows users to communicate with other nearby iOS devices without Internet or mobile phone coverage.

Download it: iOS and Android

Adhoc mesh networking solutions such as this fall within a set of technologies that can be used in a variety of ways.  Again, most aide those who seek to further enable capacity building at a citywide or community scale.  Recently ranked as a top 10 among social networking apps and already in use within 124 countries, this is a niche solution for sustainable cities seeking to support their communities when in most need.

Use case examples:

  • Floods in Kashmir (April 2015) and Chennai (October 2015), a volcanic eruption at Cotopaxi in Ecuador (August 2015), and in Mexico during hurricane Patricia (October 2015).
  • Event use such as during pro-democracy protests in Taiwan (April 2014) and Hong Kong (September 2014) or the anti-corruption movement within Bersih, Malaysia (August 2015), or the Pope’s visit to the Philippines (January 2015).
  • Elections such as the ones in Venezuela (December 2015) and Republic of the Congo (March 2016).
  • Festivals in India, Canada, and throughout the US; think Burning Man.

Stakeholder analysis is simple here for the requirements to use the technology are minimal; users with mobile devices in need fill the whole bucket.  If a city or a community seeks to scale this technology, then local disaster shelters, hospitals, care centers, event and festival information booths, etc. can weigh in to provide their own wireless WiFi networks and in turn grow their reach of how to communicate with those in need.  Deploying this technology is simple: educate, promote, and as needed support.

Hyperloop who? Introducing T-Flight

Environmentally Inefficient travel options such as buses, trains, and airplanes not only end up leaving a large environmental footprint but are not doing enough to address the problem of sustainability. For a city, such as Dubai, the daily turnover of aircraft is over 1,000, which means over 1,000 aircraft are burning fossil fuel to move passengers and cargo from one place to another. A more environmentally sustainable solution to this problem needs to be found, that addresses the use of fossil fuel, the emissions, all the while maintaining the benefit of traveling long distances in a brief time.

#Energy #Transport

Using the concept similar to that of the Hyperloop; using frictionless technology to achieve fast speeds over a long distance, the Chinese concept of T-Flight achieves speeds of over 2,300 mph, overshadowing the “mediocre” speeds of 745 mph of the Hyperloop. It proposes to make travel more convenient, affordable, and accessible to a larger audience. One of the future problems that scientist predict that aircraft will face is increased turbulence due to global warming. T-Flight hopes to eradicate most of these issues.

Being powered by renewables, T-Flight promises to bring a cleaner and more efficient solution to long-distance travel compared to the traditional air travel.

The stakeholders that will be using the technology would be the intercity transit, national transit, and cross-country transit departments.

T-Flight is a project of CASIC which has 150,000 employees, support of the Chinese Government, and some deep pockets.

The deployment of this technology will begin with research. Already 200 patents for T-Flight have been registered, and the final research is said to complete by 2020. This will be followed by the construction of a national network of tunnels where speeds of 1200 mph can be achieved starting 2027, connecting major cities within China, followed by Stage 3 of constructing 2300 mph tunnels for cross-country travel.

The next stage is to build a national network of 1,200-miles-per-hour hyper loops across China beginning in 2027. This Phase 2 network would in theory link cities like Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing. The final stage: Mach-3 flying trains around the world.

The interconnection of cities is vital. However, the fact that the technology can be small-sized to intercity at relatively slower speeds (Much lower: 50 mph), shows that the future towards sustainable transport not just cross cities or across countries, but within cities is taking a huge leap forward. Underground inter-city and cross cities connection is the final goal of the T-flight. Something every commuter can look forward to.

China’s looking to one-up Elon Musk’s hyperloop
http://www.popsci.com/china-hyperloop
#china #technology #transit #transportation #innovation #hyperloop #hypersonic