Building “Smart Communities” in India
We are all aware of smart homes and smart cities. The Indian govt has also made some noise about building smart cities although anybody familiar with the chaos of Indian cities will find this laughable.
I am not sure if this concept of smart homes will take off in India. A lot of people seem to be working on smart phone controlled lights, fans, ACs etc. Not sure if there is a big market for this in India.
How about “smart communities” where actual pain points are addressed by IOT and related technologies ? We have a lot of problems in Indian cities. Too many people chasing too few resources. We have too few livable cities for such a big population. Can we use IOT to mitigate these issues at the community level ? Smart communities will enable the smart city.
I live in a residential community of about 400 independent houses. Some of the major issues we face are water scarcity, load shedding (electricity), security etc. Suitable technology can help a community like ours tackle these issues and also make life more convenient.
Many of these issues are specific to countries such as India where good governance has never been a priority. Things are getting better but at a very slow pace.
We have realized that there are many use cases of a wireless mesh sensor/actuator network outside the home at the community level in India. We propose a community wide low power wireless mesh network which can be used to connect any device within the community. Let me give you some examples –
- Smart street lights which can be individually controlled and monitored for faults
- Monitoring of the water level in individual and common water tanks
- Monitoring of borewell production / water provided by tankers
- Continuous water quality monitoring of water (hardness etc) in the common water tanks.
- Smart watering of parks
- Connected water meters and electricity meters
- Back up generator health monitoring (diesel tank level monitoring)
- Air quality
- Tracking waste bins
- LPG cylinder usage monitoring
- Detecting speeding vehicles within the community
- Security using motion sensors
- Keeping an eye on the effectiveness of security personnel especially at night. Are they sleeping or making rounds ?
- Monitoring the health of solar powered street lights.
- Preventing unauthorized persons from entering the community
- Control of outdoor lighting for sports (tennis courts for instance). These lights are very power hungry.
Home owners associations want to save the effort and money required to run communities effectively. Communities bring economies of scale.
Can we build an ecosystem of companies which can build products and services for communities in India ?