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Changing The Way We Live: Big Data Transforms The City Of The Future

Posted on: December 23rd, 2013 by Walid Abou-Halloun
Categories: News and Technology. Tags: Future. Releted Products: Mobile Websites.

Changing The Way We Live: Big Data Transforms The City Of The Future

In the future, there’ll be no such thing as waiting 40 minutes in the rain for someone somewhere to realise that there aren’t enough buses scheduled to handle the additional commuters after a football game. Self-driving buses will respond automatically to the movement of tens of thousands of people standing up from their stadium seats and heading for the exit.

A future of automatic responses to citizen needs is possible for our cities all thanks to Big Data.

Big Data is fundamentally changing the way the world operates. Big Data is the label applied to any function that runs massive amounts of data generated by consumers through complicated algorithms to pick out patterns and trends and then apply that information to the real world. The growth of smartphones and applications providing information about a user’s location and behaviour habits mean massive amounts of data on who is doing what and where is generated every day. This information can be used by cities and organisations to understand what people need and want and how best to give it to them. The uptake of smartphones assists in the gathering of data and communication of the ‘city’ with its citizens. According to IBM’s top 5 predictions for the next 5 years, here’s how Big Data will change your life.

  • The City Will Work With Its Citizens in Real Time

    Citizens will use a smartphone to photograph a pothole and send it through the City for fixing and then receive a text message in response that it has been fixed. Town Hall Meetings will become a thing of the past; voting through an application like MindMixer provides far richer detail and encourages more people to do it. The city will know when it needs to schedule buses not by prior research but by real-time communication with the phones of people currently waiting to use them.

  • The Classroom Will Learn Your Child and Adapt Teaching Programs Accordingly

    You read right – the classroom will ‘learn’ your child. Rather than teaching in a ‘one style fits all’ approach, smart classrooms will be able to automatically tailor learning programs to the skills and talents of your child and – later – their career aspirations.

  • Doctors Will Rely On DNA To Keep Your Health

    Not just DNA but huge repositories of information about other people with similar DNA structures and ailments; the comparison will help them determine a diagnosis in minutes or days rather than weeks or months. You may even communicate with your doctor primarily over the internet, saving the dreaded wait in the doctor’s reception.

  • Your Phone Will Be Your Personal Shopper

    As online sales grow – they topped $5 trillion worldwide last year – local stores will merge the two points of contact for the ultimate shopping experience. Customers can share what they’re looking while they’re in the store, be guided to it, have suggestions of how it could work with the other products they own and be automatically alerted if it contains materials you’re allergic to.

  • Your Data Will Protect

    YouAlready banks automatically shut down activity on a card when suspicious behaviour occurs – they do this with an algorithm asking a computer to alert them for known unusual behaviours. As a computer begins to understand your personal shopping habits, it will build a profile of your behaviours and jump in in real time when something looks suspicious.

While the idea of the city knowing where you are and what you’re potentially up to at any time of the day may seem a little ominous to those raised on Big Brother type stories, the information transmitted to The City would be anonymous and used in aggregate. What do you think? Do the benefits of providing data outweigh the privacy concerns?

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