Philips Lighting looks at city life in 2035

Philips smart cities forecast

Big companies often put thought into what life will be like in the future. It helps them plan their own development. Philips Lighting has undertaken a complex ‘scenario planning’ exercise to come up with four different possible futures. Its focus is on city life and how the public sector might adapt to meet future challenges.

Connected cities, many futures

In the introduction to its report, Philips Lighting says “As the public sector enters a new era of connected infrastructures and technologies, including connected lighting, thinking about the future of cities is essential. The convergence of digital LED light sources, the proliferation of mobile devices, the exponential growth of data, and the miniaturization of information and communications technologies create a broad set of new opportunities and challenges.”

The scenarios that are the meat of the report have been developed using ‘scenario planning’ techniques. They are broad reaching and wide-ranging – ‘macro’ rather than ‘micro’. So reading the report you won’t find much mention of lighting specifically. But the scenarios can be interpreted to infer implications for lighting. The same goes for other service sectors.

Read more: Smart city of Aarhus uses Bluetooth sensors to improve traffic flows

Four scenarios and an ambition

The ambition from Philips Lighting is that organizations use the scenarios to challenge their current assumptions, and think about how they might respond to them. They’re designed to be used by all kinds of organizations, not just those who are interested in lighting.

Read more: NEC wins contract for Lisbon smart city project

The four scenarios that emerged are:

  • Fablab. Cities where municipalities provide basic infrastructure and citizens create local and virtual communities under their own initiative. Communities ally to innovative local businesses rather than municipalities to bring innovation into their lives. Citizens are attached to global communities more than where they live.
  • Sandbox. Citizens lead, working with the municipality as their main partner. User-centric innovation is important, and businesses are involved to improve city livability and experience. Municipalities make connections between different citizens, and run services and initiatives. Citizens feel attached to their cities.
  • Resort. Municipalities provide a guided and regulated city experience, maintaining quality standards and delivering personal recommendations for leisure, education, work and lifestyle. Businesses are regulated and steered by the municipality, and a balanced business ecosystem that citizens can enjoy.
  • Campsite. A few major platform providers take the lead, and public spaces and city infrastructures are corporate owned. Local and global partners join forces to provide urban experiences. Global plug-and-play services allow a nomadic lifestyle, and citizens aren’t attached to any particular city. People are ‘digital nomads’.

Scenario planning helps to shape future smart cities

Read more: Dutch city of Dordrecht uses IoT for smart city planning

The scenarios – and they are presented in more detail in the report itself – are intended to help organizations think about how they respond to change. So, the latter part of the report offers some ideas on how organisations might use the scenarios to support their own thinking.

Kees van der Klauw, head of research at Philips Lighting, told Internet of Business “In our experience, this scenario planning approach facilitates the engagement of different stakeholders such as mayors and aldermen, city government departments, city planners, suppliers of infrastructure and especially citizens as end-users, in shaping their future smart city.

“We have no doubt that lighting will play a key role in any future smart city, whatever scenario will evolve. But there is a difference in how we work with stakeholders and how much they will be empowered to define their future. This may be different for various regions in the world. We have now created a framework in which we can discuss the implications of each scenario in order to create innovations that are meaningful to all.”

The report includes a fair bit of technical detail on the scenario planning process, and a reading list for those who would like to understand the technique more.

Read the whole report here.

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ARM: One trillion IoT devices by 2035, $5 trillion in market value


The Internet of Things will be the next stage in the computer revolution, this time focused on the “type of data we collect,” according to a whitepaper from ARM.

The British semiconductor firm, recently acquired by SoftBank for $ 32 billion, estimates that one trillion IoT devices will be built between 2017 to 2035, adding $ 5 trillion to the global GDP.

See Also: SoftBank wants autonomous shuttle on public roads by 2020

The estimate follows a comment by Masayoshi Son, the chairman and CEO of SoftBank, who said in the next twenty years that one trillion IoT devices are coming. He predicted that the influx of IoT devices will “redefine all industries.”

ARM sees the advantages of IoT devices in all business areas: revenue, profit, and productivity. In the paper, it sees a five percent potential output boost in food production and distribution, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and healthcare and social assistance.

IoT is expected to become even more valuable as the cost of devices and components falls dramatically, similar to the decline in processors and other computer costs leading to the proliferation of PCs at home and in the workplace.

A whole new world

With the introduction of AI and machine learning, enterprises will be able to embark on projects never thought possible before. These could include hourly diagnosis of how to treat a specific type of cancer or a self-driving network that does not require traffic lights, reducing congestion.

$ 1 trillion will be spent on IoT modules and data services, according to ARM, and $ 750 billion will be spent between 2017 and 2035 on IoT connectivity modules.

Gartner, a research firm, predicts 20 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2020, another research firm Juniper expects 38 billion. Between 2025 and 2035, the industry is expected to start to deploy IoT devices across all channels.

ARM is seen as one of the key players in the deployment of IoT, especially now that it is owned by SoftBank, a company that is betting big on emerging technologies.

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Forrester: self-driving to make global economy “unrecognizable” by 2035


Self-driving vehicles will remarkably change the global economy in less than 20 years, heavily impacting government, insurance, media, security, logistics, and the automotive industry.

That’s according to a new report by Forrester researchers Laura Koetzle and Carlton A. Doty.

Forrester believes that even though more rides will take place every day in 2035, the amount of cars on the road or parked will decrease dramatically. In a large, congested city like London, five percent of the passenger cars will supposedly be needed.

Automakers will look at high definition audio, video, and partnerships with Netflix, Disney, and Spotify as ways of selling the experience, instead of the ‘driving experience’, which BMW, Mercedes, and other premium automakers market heavily.

Cars will become so cheap to run, with electric models becoming the standard, that “large employers will subsidize self-driving commuter services” and entertainment corporations will use self-driving cars as an extension of the travel experience. Forrester uses Disney as an example, picking up the customer and starting their experience in the car.

Insurance rates to rise?

Insurance is expected to rise slightly in the semi-autonomous stage, but rates will begin to reduce as self-driving cars become ubiquitous in major cities. As that happens, the government will need to invest heavily into road infrastructure, according to Forrester, to prepare for self-driving cars.

See Also: Waymo could be a $ 70 billion business, says Morgan Stanley

Forrester sees Tesla’s future as the company that sells batteries and energy to automakers, not as a builder of electric cars. In the report, it projects that Tesla will one day surpass ExxonMobil’s market cap, which would make it one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Most of the report tries to paint an optimistic view of the future, although adverts subsidizing a ride, an inability to drive anywhere in the country without getting questioned, and a loss of more than a million jobs in the logistics industry could sound terrible, depending on your job and love of driving.

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