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Peter Bordes: the irresistible rise of smart cities

From travel to tech to retail stores, everything is going smarter – even cities. Smart solutions help deliver valuable insights to decision makers while simultaneously engaging audiences in search of seamless, relevant content personalized to their interests and needs.

The needs of today’s consumer, an increase in high-tech options, and the pandemic-driven surge of contactless technology have led to a dramatic acceleration of personalized advertising and consumer traffic across the board, but namely in stores and in airports this quarter. These opportunities are ideal for harnessing the potential of out-of-home (OOH) and digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, which is projected to reach $24.9 billion by 2024.

With more dynamic solutions available for personalizing consumer experiences and enhancing efficiency, smart cities have started investing more in smart technology and data analysis. OOH and DOOH offer scalable options for delivering personalized content to the right people at the right time.

By combining powerful tech tools with real audience insights, smart cities can effectively optimize societal functions, boost economic growth, and improve the overall quality of life for their citizens.

Data Hubs

With issues driven by geography, the use of geospatial data – also known as geographic data or geodata – can be analyzed to help solve complex issues at a high level. Geo-enabling data allows smart cities to collect a great deal of business intelligence, streamline infrastructure and workflows, enhance communication, and expedite problem solving.

Problem solving at a city-wide level becomes far easier with the application of geographic data. This comes in handy in cases of urban planning, airline routes, risk assessments, telecommunications, and even weather-related evacuation alerts. Information gathered from the community can even highlight shared issues and contribute to overcoming challenges and reaching common goals.

With the use of smart tools like digital signage, better options exist for enhancing both the experience at a consumer and community level while providing an incredible amount of beneficial business intelligence for companies and cities alike. DOOH’s mapping and spatial analytics capabilities can then help marketers better understand a community’s makeup, behaviors, needs, and sentiments.

Advanced Analytics

In an effort to improve efficiency and quality of life, many smart cities have opted to use OOH. Beyond enhancing the experience of its citizens, these units leverage data aggregation technology to provide decision makers with comprehensive, real-time analytics about car and foot traffic, movement, and more.

Local residents and city travelers have apps that offer access to useful city services, reports of outages, accidents, and crimes, along with helpful tools for completing tasks like paying taxes and fees. This is so energy efficiency and sustainability can be emphasized and prioritized.

According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, smart city technology could accelerate emergency response times by 20-35%, shave 15-30 minutes off the daily commute, and reduce fatalities from homicides, road traffic, and fires by 8-10%. It also showed that predictive policing, real-time crime mapping, and home security systems could reduce crime by 30-40%.

Overall, smart cities have the potential to improve quality of life indicators by 10-30%. The key to ensuring smart city growth is in uniting the city via collective data from different technologies and systems.

Civic Participation & Inclusion

The goal of real-time data collection is for governments to improve their communities. To do so, they must use this information to better gauge the makeup of their communities and provide citizens with an understanding of local events, policies, and processes, along with a better context of the areas in which they live.

Educating citizens allows them to be more involved in the community and connected to channels where they can make a difference. OOH technology can help citizens understand what they can do to keep issues on course, while providing city officials with vital intel for future courses of action.

The Bottom Line

Expect the continued proliferation of DOOH options as digital spaces become more widespread in smart cities. Additional digital forms like interactive video walls, 3D wayfinding, and other mobile solutions continue to pop up for even more customized consumer brand messaging.

About Alfi
Alfi is an AI enterprise SaaS platform. Its cutting-edge computer vision with machine learning technology identifies humans and their behavior at high levels of accuracy and provides real-time metrics to allow content publishers and brands to deliver interactive, intelligent information in a privacy-compliant manner. Alfi aids in the measurement of DOOH advertising via data-rich reporting functionality that informs the advertiser that someone viewed their ad, how many people viewed the ad, as well as each viewer’s reaction to the ad.

Today, you can find Alfi’s technology in digital displays in retail, airports, and rideshare settings around the world, such as AI-enabled kiosks in Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and in rideshare services in 16 major U.S. cities. Alfi has incorporated its computer vision and machine learning SaaS platform to enhance 22Miles’ content management platform and is currently running pilot projects with Hammersmith Mall and Belfast International Airport.

Peter Bordes is interim CEO of Alfi, an AI enterprise SaaS advertising platform.

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