Video-conferencing and chatting are already familiar in private use. So why not use the technology to enhance services for a city’s citizens? Doctors could treat patients before they reach them; schools could work together without leaving their buildings.
But although video-based communications systems already exist in the market, video calls are still far from being as easy, reliable and ubiquitous as phone calls are today.
A core priority of current European policy is to support internetbased innovation that improves citizens’ living standards – and to create real “smart cities” – as part of the rapidly-developing Internet of the Future. To achieve this, a critical challenge is to find out how to deploy effective, high-quality video-to video (v2v) networks that support facilities, applications and services for modern cities.
Five major European cities – Athens, Dublin, Luxembourg (city), Valladolid and Greifswald – are working with the LiveCity project to help develop such networks. Creating a city-based “Living Lab”, the project will pilot-test live v2v applications on ultrafast wireless or wired internet infrastructures to see how applications work with real user communities.
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
By modelling and then trialling specific cases, LiveCity aims to show that a real-time v2v internet connection allows citizens to interact with each other and their city more efficiently and productively.
Some of the services being trialled with city v2v networks are:
- video-provided municipal support and tourist services, which allow citizens to avoid spending time travelling to city offices
- shared education and learning capabilities for pupils and teachers from different schools, for example around selected domains such as literature, sports or arts where they can work on joint projects
- extended cultural, educational and artistic experiences for visitors to video-connected, networked museums within or between cities, through joint exhibitions or supplementary input for displays
- support for patient tele-monitoring and e-health medical applications, so that medical support personnel can give better, more convenient and more cost-effective support to patients
- ambulance-emergency room v2v connections to improve a remote doctor’s input during an emergency, improving the treatment outcome … after the ambulance arrives with the patient.
To achieve these networks, LiveCity uses a wide internet ecosystem made up of public service providers, network infrastructure operators, technology providers and experts. The partnership of providers supplies services that the user communities access through shared service platforms.
So that any potential user, in any involved city, can experience live high-density v2v as efficiently as possible, the federated network aims to include a Right of Way (ToW) throughout to cancel out interference from unwanted traffic. Wireless networks will be based on WiMax, HSPA and LTE standards, while wired networks will be xDSL-based.
LiveCity is a pure “technological incorporation trial” that provides modern internet-based services to over 2 750 users in the cities involved .Along with the time and transport fuel savings it can provide, it also hopes to support the acceleration of v2v mass-market start-ups across cities in Europe.