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“NON-TECHNOLOGY BASED STRATEGIC ASPECTS OF SMART CITY IMPLEMENTATION”

PRESENTED AT LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION SMART CITIES 23 JULY 2019 FORUM IN ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA


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“If we accept the proposition developed over time with dozens of cities for whom LVX has developed strategies, frameworks and roadmaps, the accepted definition of ‘Smart City” is no different from what cities have been trying to do for thousands of years”

“A Smart City provides a safer, more beautiful and usable environment in which to work and play, at the same time delivering economic and environmental benefits to all.”

The Smart City process, now as it was historically, should be people-centric, data driven and sometimes technology enabled.

In this context, its really important to emphasise that “Smart” does not automatically mean “Tech”. In too many cases the Smart City discussion (and realm) has been hijacked by vendors looking to sell high cost equipment, when there are so many opportunities to make meaningful smart city progress without spending a whole lot of public money and taking on a whole lot of risk.

To access the full presentation, click the button below


LONMARK INTERNATIONAL BOARD MEETING,

SILICON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA 30TH & 31ST MAY, 2019


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Last month, our CEO, Corey Gray, spent 2 days in Silicon Valley at his first LonMark International board meeting. 25 years ago the industry was focused on creating a vendor agnostic open protocol environment, and Lonworks led the charge, later to be joined by the likes of BACnet and Modbus. In today’s IoT age the new challenge is to create an environment that is vendor AND protocol agnostic, as well as vertically and horizontally configurable.

“It was a privilege to be invited to the LonMark International Board. As a person working in strategy, advisory and project design, I bring a very different set of eyes from the usual tech developers and manufacturers, and it’s a testament to the vision of the incumbents to realise that getting closer to project owners and designers to demonstrate the value proposition is critical in today’s world of Industry 4.0. For Smart City and Smart Building advisory and design firms like LVX Global, this is the new game changer, and Lonworks is the only protocol and vendor agnostic solution for both cities and buildings. In Industry 4.0 Lonworks is leading the charge just as it did 25 years ago.”

 

LVX INVITED TO SHARE INSIGHTS INTO SMART CITY RESILIANCE OPPORTUNITIES AT THE UNITED NATIONS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION, 24 JUNE 2019, VIENNA

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Corey Gray - “It was a great session here in Vienna with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation team managers sharing our thoughts and experiences on what Smart City has to offer third and developing world communities. I’m really please to have been invited back to address global leaders at the UN E-mobility forum in September and then speak at the UN in New York on sustainability and Smart Cities.”


LVX GLOBAL USA LAUNCH EVENT, 13 JUNE 2019, LOS ANGELES

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On Thursday evening, we held our LVX US launch event, in conjunction with our LVX Community event, Eschaton, at the ‘Riot House Gallery’, at the infamous Andaz Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood.

The event was a great success, and it gave our attendees a flavour of who we are, what we do, and what we are all about. There was a wide variety of attendees, such as representatives from the City of LA, Smart City consultants, vendors, as well as people who have an interest in art, comedy and wine. It was a great way to celebrate the opening of our US office, and to meet many people involved in the Smart City sector.

Our ‘Eschaton’ Global Art Project is a collaboration with CEO, Corey Gray, artistic photographer Peter Hall and fine art model, Amy Heather. The project’s aim is to produce an evolving body of work exhibited in 12 countries before being consolidated in a final exhibition in Poland in May 2020.

It was an entertaining evening, and we must say thank you to all of our attendees. We look forward to our projects ahead in California, and to helping improve cities across the world. If you are interested in hearing more about the kind of work we are doing in the United States, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


LVX COMMUNITY’S “ESCHATON” GLOBAL ART EVENT LAUNCHES 1 MAY 2019, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA 

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On the 1st of May in Adelaide, Australia, the Eschaton Global Art Project kicked off in the Cellars of the Lion Hotel, in front of over 100 invitees.

The Mazi flowed, the food was amazing, music played and the first work of this global odyssey, “Metaphysical Graffiti” was officially unveiled ahead of its journey to the Andaz Riot House “Salon” Gallery in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Renowned comedian, Jamie Hill, MC’ed for the evening and held everyone’s attention as he interviewed project partners, Amy Heather, Peter Hall and Corey Gray about their personal artistic journeys, the conception of the Eschaton project, and the journey ahead.

The International Event Launch is in Los Angeles on 13th June at the Andaz Hotel’s Riot House Gallery, West Hollywood. Places are still available so reach out via the “contact” page for more information.


“SMART SRI LANKA - GLOBAL TRENDS & LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES”

ICTA ASSOCIATION OF SRI LANKA, 22 MARCH 2019, COLOMBO, SRI LANKA


The 3-hour workshop session run by LVX was coordinated by ICTA and attended by over 50 Smart City industry stakeholders that provided global and local context for key challenges in Sri Lanka including economic activation, environmental protection, public health, traffic congestion, pollution and water/waste management, all of which affect millions of community members daily.

“Smart Cities start with the people, their needs and wants. Once these fundamental elements are understood, smart technologies are built around them, with a focus on providing a better future for the community.”

LVX Global looks forward to continuing our work with ICTA and improving the quality of life in Sri Lanka.

“KEY PRINCIPLES FOR SMART CITY IMPLEMENTATION”

SMART CITIES COUNCIL EUROPE STAKEHOLDERS’ ASSEMBLY, 9 NOVEMBER 2018, AVIVA STADIUM, DUBLIN, IRELAND

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On Friday 9th November our Managing Director - Europe, Grainne Flynn, and CEO and Gobal Smart City Lead, Corey Gray, presentated an overview of ‘Key Principles for Smart City Implementation at the inaugural Smart Cities Council Europe Stakeholders’ Assembly at the AVIVA Stadium, Dublin. Topics included, cybersecurity and data protection, organisational change management, procurement, funding, risk, masterplanning and roadmap development and an overview of current technologies.



OUR CEO, COREY GRAY, REFLECTS ON WHAT IT MEAN TO BE A SMART CITY AFTER VISITING THE SMART CITY EXPO WORLD CONGRESS IN BARCELONA, NOVEMBER 2018


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  1. Smart is a way of thinking. Technology is not a solution, but it is occasionally an enabler.

  2. Cities are still not 100% sure what products they can buy, because the market is still fluid in terms of actual product offers, because vendors are still not 100% sure what they are selling.

  3. Procurement policies, cyber-security, organisational structure & legislation are major constraints to project activation, not funding.

  4. Smart City is a horizontal, not a vertical: it touches all verticals of a city or department, it does not run parallel, and its role is to solve problems, not create them.

    Above all, focus on the needs of your people. That is the purpose of a city. From that starting point everything will become clear.

THE "SMART" IN SMART CITY DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN "TECH" - TAKE HOME MESSAGE #2 FROM SMART CITIES WEEK IN SILICON VALLEY, MAY 2018

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Many organisations entering or approaching the Smart City question and/or market presume that it is a given that Smart City is about technology, and must therefore be for the good.

At LVX our Scoping, Strategy and Development Sessions with cities that are formalising their Smart City Strategies and Frameworks deliberately start in a very different place and with a series of questions:

> Who are the people, businesses and institutions in the city, (hospitals, schools, universities)?

> What are the needs and wants of these people?

> What resources and processes are currently available to meet these expectations and requirements?

> Where are the gaps and overlaps?

It is at this point that many smart city plans start to derail because people assume that the "Smart" in Smart City means "Tech".

Smart is logically an approach; a way of thinking and some of the smartest things that come out of many of LVX's sessions with cities are ideas and approaches, not tech. This was reinforced in the workshops and discussion meetings with many city managers, mayors and leaders from around the world at Smart Cities Week. 

The city of Seattle this year doubled its painting budget. Why? Because if all of the road lines are made 6 inches wide not 4 inches, and a new paint is used all autonomous and connected vehicles can be guided by them.

Sometimes smart is identifying things that should no longer be done or simply be done differently: ceasing paper handouts or letterbox drops or using a different language.

Las Vegas passed a law allowing anyone to register an autonomous vehicle so long as it complied with requirements and established guidelines for use.

The City of Santa Monica has created a Wellbeing Index to engage with communities and assess their actual and perceived quality of life in order to baseline and then track the qualitative benefits of their Smart City initiatives. Let's remember that a key remit of Smart City is all about improving the quality of life of citizens so if we don't have a handle on that then we are flying blind. 

The City of Los Angeles has conducted a "Public Space Audit" called "Code the Kerb", cataloging all areas of sidewalk and on street non-metered parking into an asset database in order to come up with innovate uses for this previously unrecognised asset.

By changing the use patterns of its main freeways, (5 lanes each way), Seattle has managed to increase the amount of vehicle throughput and transit speeds by 30% without using any technology or changing the infrastructure. 

The City of Phoenix has signed off on a data sharing agreement with several other cities allowing larger and more aggregated data analysis to allow more informed decisions to be made. The key here is the sharing, not the analytics, as the analytics already exist.

Next time you are looking at your Smart City journey, before you go straight to the technology, really assess your needs and the resources you already have, as there is likely a huge amount of benefit that can be derived from thinking differently - being "Smart" - before you go "Tech". 

SMART CITIES WEEK - SILICON VALLEY TAKE HOME # 1 - CONNECTED & AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES, ("C&AVS"), MAY 2018

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All eyes were on connected and autonomous vehicles at SCW SV and I was pleased to be involved in some really interesting and insightful discussions about the future of this break away sector of smart city.

TAKE HOME MESSAGES

1. Transportation is about getting people or materials from point A to B in the safest, lowest cost, most environmentally friendly manner. It's not about cars.

2. The focus of E-mobility is all about increasing PMV, ("people miles travelled"), whilst reducing VMT, ("vehicle miles travelled"). In the USA the average car has 5 seats and yet the average occupancy is 1.1 people per vehicle. If we could approach 5 people per car then 80% of vehicles could be eliminated from the road. This involves developing strategies and incentives for sharing.

The challenges are:

> People don't like sharing in cars, (although they will share in planes). This is an issue for psychologists, not engineers or technologists. Normally making things compulsory or providing significant financial incentives will change public sentiment. Anyone who has ever caught the Tube in London will agree. It is not a pleasant experience.

> For some people cars are more than a means of getting from A to B. They are about status, recreation, and sometimes investment.

> In car sharing 3 is better than 2, (the idea of "the witness").

> Cars need to be redesigned. They are currently driver focussed and in future this critical design feature/(constraint) will be redundant.

3. Cybersecurity is critical. People need to know that their vehicle will not be hacked or receive hacked inputs. In simple terms the question I ask is, "Would I put my kids on an autonomous school bus?" When the answer is "YES!", as is now the case with online banking, there will be an avalanche of movement in this direction. 

4. There is a huge legal void around C&AVs that needs industry leadership and engagement with the legislature in every region if it is to be implemented. Further, people need to decide how much risk we will collectively accept. We know intuitively that driving a car may result in death yet we consider it an acceptable risk, and do not propose the banning of cars. We need to make the same decision about C&AVs.

5. There are practical constraints as autonomous vehicles are designed above all for safety, and traditional civil infrastructure, (roads), does not support full deployment of C&AVs. For example, a few pedestrians who choose to stand in the middle of a street can shut down an entire city, as cars won't move with pedestrians in the way. the entire urban landscape needs to change to enable large scale adoption of the autonomous vehicle.

6. Will public transport disappear in the future or will everyone move away from private transport to public? It’s completely uncertain at this point. What we do know is that in the second transportation revolution, (after the horse), the industrial revolution in the 19th century delivered the rail network. This started out as being private and after a few major incidents the industry was compulsorily acquired by governments in order to manage risk and set standards for safety.

SUMMARY

What we know now is about 20% of what we need to know, but the key requirements for the future of mobility are to be:

> Autonomous

> Connected 

> Electric

> Shared

in order to:

> Increase People Miles Travelled

> Reduce Vehicle Miles Travelled

> Increase Safety 

> Reduce Congestion

> Reduce the Consumption of Embedded Materials and Energy

> Reduce Emissions

> Reduce Cost

MY TIP

The future of C&AV is the autonomous drone.

Why?

> It eliminates the pedestrian dilemma which is critical path to large scale deployment.

> It optimises spatial mobility, (3 Dimensions, not just 2), which caters for an increase in the urban concentration from 54% to 66% by 2050, (We have to build up, not out)

> The technology exists now, (Dubai is trialling it currently including docking stations on apartment buildings). Just to give me some reassurance, as I was driving back up the freeway yesterday from Santa Clara to San Francisco, straight past the NASA Research Facility, Uber & NASA announced that they have signed a JV to fast track development and commercialisation of this technology.

Watch this space.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM LIGHT + BUILDING 2018, FRANKFURT, GERMANY, MARCH 2018


\As ever there are more exhibitors than is possible to see in only 6 days, but below are a few quick highlights of what we perceive will make an impact in the near future. Here is LVX's top 10 for 2018.

1. Reactive Colour

Guzzini has released an auto-tuning colour system that allows lighting designers to condition the original colour environment of a painting, (en plein air; inside under candle light), and then take inputs of the actual light in the gallery/exhibition space in a given moment and adjust the lighting system to colour optimise the respective artworks. Look out ERCO. This is as magnificent piece of technology for lighting designers of galleries.

2. High Definition Power-line Communications "HD-PLC"

VS Lighting Solutions has released a LON based High definition 24Mb powerline solution capable of delivering video over powerline. This is a great enabler for smart cities in locations where fibre is not an option, (regional transport pick up points and the like). We are really looking forward to seeing what this can do.

3. Wireless Control Systems for Buildings

If you base your business around wired building control systems, (C-Bus, Dynalite, DALI Controls), look over your shoulder because everything is going wireless and the race started a while ago. Finally we are seeing the much needed development of wireless controls that enable systemisation of existing installations. The days of wired controls are numbered.

What may buy the traditional lighting controls companies a bit of time at least is that most new wireless lighting controls technologies are proprietary and as clever as they are, being proprietary and not interoperable with other luminaire technologies will constrain uptake. As we know, it is not often as a lighting designer that a building is designed with only 1 brand of luminaire. We will see how the design industry responds to this in the coming months and years.

4. "Hue"

"Hue" from Philips is a really funky, simple to use small/medium scale lighting control system for fit-outs, hospitality and residential applications that comes with a broad array of luminaire options that are self-discoverable in a geo-zone and is capable of interfacing with all manner of consumer technology from Google Home. It’s great for buildings where cabled control is not feasible, (old homes and heritage fit-outs). It's going into my home as soon as I can find the time.

5. Remote adjustable beam angles and optics 

Targetti has released an optical system that can not only dim and colour change, but can also adjust the beam angle of a luminaire through the control system. This is a very cool and useful innovation for gallery and architectural fit-out applications. No more ladders....

6. Drone Servicing Technology for Roadway and Area Lighting

Swedish company Strihl has released a drone based servicing solution for high access roadway and area luminaires. The drone lands on the luminaire, releases its physical connection and removes the luminaire entirely and subsequently replaces it. A great innovation so long as the legislative framework around drones is not a constraint.

7. Services Integrated Lighting Modules

Italian super-brand, Artemide, & Canadian company, Price Industries, have collaborated to produce a new surface, recessed & suspended system capable of carrying multiple building services: lighting, speakers, emergency lighting, EWIS and even fire systems. A great solution to declutter the ceiling and construction site, so long as the trades can work out how to price it and who does what. 

8. Smartserver IoT

US tech company Echelon has released its new smartserver IoT which is a modular multi-channel, multi-media, (PLC, FT, RF), Linux based and a whole lot faster than its predecessor. Finally there may be a solution for smart city that can aggregate physical infrastructure in the field, reducing points of failure and cost.

9. Smart Camera & Building Mapping IoT Interfacing Technology

Perhaps having realised that once you are as big as Siemens Group it is not easy to change direction quickly Osram have entered into several technology partnerships with startups around Munich. Of extreme interest to us in the building and asset management space is a new piece of technology that is the closest thing I've seen to answer our need for an IoT - BIM model system with visual cues for identification of devices and servicing. The mapping piece still needs to be played out but we look forward to collaborating with Osram on pilot projects for a few of our clients. Camera modules integrated into exterior luminaires is also a great innovation and combined with different visual recognition technology, (people cars, bikes, trucks), is a great enhancement for security as well as traffic counting & parking management.

10. Too Many Lighting Companies & Changing Business Models

The final take away message from Light + Building is that there are simply too many lighting companies in the market for anyone's good. Within market sectors: industrial, commercial, architectural, controls - there are so many companies that offer nearly the same thing that one fears for the market. To that end there is always one great question that no one likes to talk about at Light + Building: "If I specify or purchase your lights, how will you support me?" Being from the antipodes this question is more present than ever and is a key motivator and in fact decision making question that comes well ahead of money or technology when it comes to deciding with our clients what products to use. If you can answer this question in the short term you will survive, and in the medium to long term you may prosper, but you can't afford to stop innovating.

The next big innovation in lighting will be the business model. Particularly the exterior market as it integrates into larger smart city applications the Software as a Service "SaaS" model is taking hold. No one is quite sure how to manage liability currently in terms of service, particularly in the multi-function pole space, and this will be a constraint for the next few years until risk and probity issues can be adequately resolved, but nothing is more certain than the lighting industry is rapidly changing in all areas, with technology being only a small part of it.

That's a wrap.

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