The concept of the smart city is one that exudes fascination and curiosity. Our minds are compelled to think big and futuristic, largely thanks to being drip-fed images of grandeur by popular culture – from the dystopian societies projected in Minority Report and Blade Runner through to the somewhat friendlier, idyllic world of The Jetsons.
But the real-life smart city is less iris recognition scanners and flying cars, and more sensors and real-time data that drive applications and innovation. Truly smart cities, in a few short years, will be permeated with sensors tracking open data by the millisecond; the ability to handle, understand and act upon that information in real-time will be crucial.
The key to being ‘smart’ is connectivity, which helps ensure connected, integrated information can flow freely between devices, people, systems and organisations, whether they are geo-located in the same city or anywhere else in the world.
London mayor Sadiq Khan recently revealed he wanted London to be the world’s smartest city by 2020. It’s an ambitious goal, but London’s infrastructure can more than keep pace. Urban data centres like LON3, Interxion’s soon-to-launch data centre in the heart of East London, will play a significant role in helping the city not only meet this challenge but become a magnet for ‘smart tech’ businesses to position themselves at the heart of the action.
City dwelling swelling
The sheer scale involved in turning a city completely ‘smart’ is not to be underestimated, however. The world will be home to 9.8 billion people by 2050, according to the United Nations, but the number of devices we collectively own will dwarf this number, with Gartner predicting 20.4 billion connected devices to be in circulation only two years from now.
At ‘smart city’ and London level, this translates into escalating demand (and competition) for the fastest connection speeds, greatest access to connectivity and the ability to instantaneously scale data and workloads up into the cloud. Everything the smart city promises, from traffic management and driverless cars to self-managing pollution systems and eliminating queues forever, will hurtle towards the trough of disillusionment whenever service providers can’t deliver real-time value to consumers. Connectivity, it seems, is ultimately king.
Smart community for a smart city
London’s tech scene supports the capital’s march towards leading the world as a connected smart city. More than 58,000 technology firms now call London home and it boasts a growing global reputation as the intellectual epicentre of the emerging Artificial Intelligence innovation wave.
Inside the Interxion London Campus too is a thriving community of every kind of digital service and innovative tech company. This community is forging new alliances and business collaborations fuelled by the same industry-leading connectivity options and cloud platforms, and directly hooked in to LINX, the UK’s largest internet exchange.
With 2020 looming large and London poised to take its place as the leading global smart city, now is the time to join Interxion’s connected community in the heart of the capital. This is the prime location to reap the benefits of data centre infrastructure that can enable business development in the digital economy.
Discover how colocating at LON3 will provide the data and connectivity requirements to succeed in the hyper-connected future.