London to test urban operating system

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London to test urban operating system

Warwick Ashford

London is to test an operating system developed to support the smart cities of the future to keep buildings, traffic and services running smoothly.

Developers, Living PlanIT, say the Urban OS is designed to provide an extremely robust digital platform to connect citizens and services such as water, transport and energy. The firm claims that the operating system's highly redundant architecture eliminates single points of failure.

Greenwich is to be the site of the tests for running new technology on the OS to be conducted in collaboration with Living PlanIT's partners, including Hitachi, Phillips and Greenwich council.

"The development of smart cities in future is a crucial commercial opportunity for Britain, and London is the right place to be doing it," said David Willetts, Universities and Science minister.

The Greenwich peninsula was chosen because of local redevelopment plans that include the construction of new homes and offices.

In one newly built office block, Living PlanIT plans to implant thousands of sensors that will monitor external and internal conditions to create smart lighting and heating systems, according to the BBC.

Living PlanIT claims that having a single platform managing the entire urban landscape of a city will enable significant cost savings, implementation consistency, quality and manageability.

"We are entering a phase when everything becomes connected, from healthcare to transportation," said Living PlanIT chief executive Steve Lewis.

The firm also plans to test smart lamp posts that will communicate with each other, produce their own energy, raise lighting levels when vehicles approach, and monitor traffic.

Other technologies to be tested with the Urban OS include smart vests with micro-sensors to monitor the wearer's heart rate and other vital signs.

With 70% of the world's population expected to live in cities by 2050, Living PlanIT estimates that £13tn will be spent in developing and regenerating urban spaces in the next eight years.


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