IBM Showcases Tools For Smarter City

IBM and the city of Minneapolis are partnering for a research and development project that might make Minneapolis a ‘Smarter City’.

The $1.65 million collaboration will allow IBM to study who citizen generated information can be used to provide better services. The company is putting up $1.5 million while the city of Minneapolis is shelling $150,000.

The city automation project will allow companies to come with ways to enhance municipal functioning specially when it comes to public safety, transport and planning public events.

However, the project is in its early phases and it would take atleast 18 months before the benefits of the program start to emerge.

According to the company, one of the first avenues it would look into is the use of Smartphone apps for allowing people to engage with various city departments. As of now, the city receives an average of 1,800 to 2,000 phone calls from people every day asking about various kinds of information. The apps are expected to replace the phone calls.

IBM will also attempt to come with a centralised way of monitoring the cameras at parking lots and traffic video cameras in order to make savings.

"A lot of cities are doing something with the police or something in transportation. But from our perspective Minneapolis is the first city that's taking a cross-cutting look across all the city's domains." said IBM’s director of public safety solutions, Mark Cleverley.