Changing Face of Cities through Smart Poles & Edge Computing

Importance of Smart Poles

Characteristics of Smart Poles

Available Smart Poles on the Market & their Features

Edge-Computing Related Use Cases for Smart Poles

Sensing environment

Drones Use Cases

  • Environment monitoring via Cameras for a number of use cases, i.e.crowd detection, accident monitoring
  • Package transporter (the first tests are performed by Amazon, a couple of years ago)
  • Turning into a Wi-Fi provider (it is connected to Internet with a cellular tech.)
  • Flying Taxis or human transporter
  • And many other use cases
  • Charging place for drones: In case multivendor is thought, a dynamically changing reservation system for the drones would be required, since there will not a single drone, rather many drones from many vendors, like today delivery services. Omniflow does already offer a charging place for drones, however, there is any resource reservation system behind the scene.
  • Position for observing the environment for a period of time: Smart poles can integrate cameras or not, it depends on the decision, however, drone be placed on a smart pole to observe the environment in more detail.
  • Providing extra computation capacity (Integrable Computation Power)
  • Providing a sensor or actuator (Integrable Sensor and Actuators)
  • Expanding network capacity through the additional network interfaces (Integrable or Non-Integrable Wi-Fi, LTE, etc.)

Augmented Reality (AR) Use Cases

Design Criteria for Smart Poles in Smart Cities

  • Modularity: The variety of the streets can necessitate smart poles equipped with different features. A modular structure, i.e. Schredder Shuffle smart poles, can enable the integration of only required features or modules into the smart pole. Furthermore, these smart poles can be later extended in case new features are required due to the varying environment conditions.
  • Sensor & Actuator Variety: Sensor requirements can be different at each street due to the street characteristics. For this reason, the most adequate sensors and actuators should be selected. For example, the necessity of a camera or a wireless digital traffic sign or many other sensors for a street can only be identified based on the prepared use cases for the related street.
  • Connectivity: A smart pole can communicate with either another smart pole or another edge computing powered computer or directly to the cloud in order to transmit its data. As the variety of sensors generates different amount of data, the communication protocol that would be selected does also play a crucial role. The figure below indicates the communication protocols and applications and their suitability for the applications.
  • Services & Applications: The variety of the services depends on the use cases defined for the environment. For example, the following figure shows the functional features of the Humble Smart Pole w.r.t the layers. These services consume the sensor resources in order to represent them in applications or process them to figure out the hidden patterns on the street.
  • IoT Platform: The connection of all these devices and services can be established in an IoT platform. The Humble Lamppost architecture is depicted in Figure 9, which was designed in 2014, therefore it may not consider rich applications, however, its design includes all aspects of a smart pole. In Figure 10, the FIWARE reference architecture for the smart cities is depicted, which is a broader platform that involves not only smart poles but also many other smart city components. Apart from the technological performance, the biggest advantage of FIWARE relies on the context data from multi resources, not only smart poles. Therefore, the contextual rich applications and their quality in the sense of the data accuracy can be more performant.
  • Citizen Characteristics: A street is composed of the residents, and it is structured through their demographic forms, since the street is by surrounding peoples and constructed on their requirements. Considering them, the population diversity, the ratio of the old and young people, the visitors (tourists) to the street would change the requirements of the smart poles on this street.
  • Animal and Plants Variety: Animal and plants are also part of the street and their requirements should be also taken into account. For instance, which animals or plants are available, what kind of protection mechanisms can be applied and how smart poles contribute to them. In addition, the plant ecosystem can be closely observed through the smart poles, thus extracting a blueprint of the street ecosystem for the plants and animals.
  • Street Characteristics: As listed in the previous sections, there are lots of smart poles available on the market. Even they are quite close to each other from the functionality perspectives, one missing point is to have a suitable design for streets. Some streets are composed of ancient buildings, others can reflect the modern buildings. Therefore, during the deployment of smart poles or their generation, street oriented smart poles should play a crucial role to not disturb the street structure.

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