Streetlights and lampposts are good for more than finding your way home and singin’ in the rain. Tech firms Cisco Systems and Sensity Networks plan to help Kansas City roll out smart lighting that can broadcast and share data with city agencies and private companies.
“Cisco’s and Sensity’s intelligent lighting platform transforms each lighting fixture into a sensory node in a powerful, broadband wireless network, creating a light sensory network for municipalities,” reads a Cisco press release.
As part of a planned public wifi network, the smart lights could potentially gather and share data about public safety, traffic, and even retail analytics, although the release doesn’t detail any specific programs.
Lux magazine put the announcement in context:
Other cities embarking on similar projects include Los Angeles, San Diego, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Bristol, England, among others. In Denmark, the Danish Outdoor Lighting Laboratory is testing many of the principles. Hamburg, Germany is using smart streetlighting to help it more efficiently run Europe’s second largest port.
Kansas City is no stranger to high-tech experiments. Google‘s pilot program for high-speed, fiber-optic broadband infrastructure kicked up the terms “fiberhood” and even “Silicon Prairie.”