US carrier AT&T and technology giant IBM are teaming up to create a connected system that will extract data from cameras, traffic technology and utility meters within cities.
The companies said they would combine their analytic platforms, cloud and security technologies to "gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries", adding that they would do this "with privacy in mind".
The partners will first focus on creating solutions for cities and medium-sized utility companies, with the aim of enabling city authorities to "better evaluate patterns and trends to improve urban planning" and utilities to "better manage their equipment to reduce costs".
IBM and AT&T hope to provide city planners with several capabilities including the ability to: better allocate and distribute resources based on information reported; analyse the movement of people to improve traffic management, parking capacity, location and number of first unit responders; identify inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed, and take into account social media updates from citizens reporting bad weather or major traffic.
Details on exactly how they would gather and monitor much of the data is not explained. Rick Qualman, vice president of strategy and business development at IBM, said that the new collaboration would offer insights from "crowdsourcing, mobile applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud".
Chris Hill, senior vice president, AT&T Advanced Solutions, said the partners shared "a vision that the Internet of Things will help companies in a variety of industries rely on their remote assets and connected devices to take their business to the next level".
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