#SmartME: innovatively making the city of Messina "smart".
The #SmartME project was born from a wish of a team of researchers in the Mobile and Distributed Systems Lab (MDSLab) at the University of Messina who, in collaboration with the Industrial Liaison Office and the Center for Information Services of the University (CIAM), are eager to encourage, in an innovative fashion, a “conversation” with the municipality of Messina, based upon the paradigm of the Internet of Things (IoT), in order to spur the creation of a novel, virtual, ecosystem. The project is also going to involve the university spin-off DHLabs, active in the production of innovative solutions for advanced sensor-based systems, and is sponsored by the Municipality of Messina.
At the foundation of #SmartME thus lies the belief that research can and should yield benefits for the community. We are therefore talking about a novel way to play the role of a University with regards to technology transfer, a more “open” one, as it is aimed even at laymen; a “smarter” one, because it enables anyone - citizens, researchers, enterprises - to experiment and test new services for the city.
To morph Messina into a “smart” city, it is essential to set up an Open Data platform that demands the employment of boards based on low-cost microcontrollers, such as, e.g., Arduino Yun, installed onto buses, lamp posts and buildings of local institutions. Moreover such a network will be enlarged with sensors and actuators scattered all over the urban area.
Thanks to such infrastructure, it will be possible to collect data and information for building services for citizens, who may take part in this network through the involvement of smartphones and other mobile devices by which it will be possible to interact with objects and may even themselves turn into data producers. For instance, it will be possible to monitor global indices about environmental quality, which will constitute the initial testing stages of the project, yet an Open Data platform will be available to be leveraged for other services too (e.g., mobility management, district area monitoring and safety, tracking of expenses, reporting of acts that may jeopardize maintenance of public facilities and citizens’ safety).
It follows that several services will concur to make the city of Messina “smart” and help citizens to improve their daily life accordingly, as Smarter People. In that spirit, every year, the MDSLab team, in collaboration with ILO and CIAM, will organize a contest that will assign a prize to the most innovative idea by conferring a Digital Innovation Award.
For the scientific community, #SmartMe will represent an interesting case study, that will supplement the FI-ware project ones, thanks to a development, integration and testing platform, that we are set to establish, integrated with networks of sensors, actuators or other smart devices already deployed to the district area, and to this day employed exclusively in specialized domains of application and for a limited number of purposes.
The MDSLab team is, therefore, asking for support on Eppela in order for this project to actually become operational. The estimated budget will be spent buying sensors and boards, in order to establish a virtual community in Messina, where researchers, geeks and citizens may interact and improve city services and develop innovations.
You too may contribute !!!
It’s possible to contribute to the project according to one of the following categories.
First-tier supporter: this kind of contribution is meant for any citizen who would like to support the project without playing any otherwise active role. The name of the contributor will be included in the public list of official supporters of project.
Second-tier supporter: citizens who will opt to support the project this way, apart from being included in the public list of supporters, will receive a thank you postcard.
Third-tier supporter: citizens who will opt to support the project this way, apart from being included in the public list of supporters and receiving a thank you postcard, will get as a bonus a t-shirt with the #SmartMe logo.
User: a contributor of this kind will get exclusive access to data collected by the system during the first year of operation, both in raw form per each sensor, and in aggregated form.
Developer: a candidate of this kind should be an expert in the development of network-enabled applications and services, either in terms of academic research and industrial development, who will get guaranteed access to the infrastructure for a timeframe proportional to the amount of contribution, to be enjoyed within a 12-months time interval, in order to run and test her services.
Adopting a sensor: every citizen will have also the faculty to ask for the deployment of a certain sensor in a given position and to get access to data there measured and collected. For instance, any citizen who would like to find out about noise levels in the residential area where she lives or get any info about outdoor air quality may ask the deployment of the required sensors in order to collect data as desired. Such a possibility will be made available also to organizations or even informal groups of citizens. This way a number of envisioned scenarios may be unlocked, their potential limited only by the imagination of citizens, and driven by passion for technology and their hometown.
Advertising owned brands: this mode of contribution is mainly meant for enterprises. A contributor of this kind, apart from enjoying all the aforementioned rewards, will get her owned brand advertised for a whole month, continuously, on the website of the project.