Some of the more familiar recent innovations that are starting to pop-up include smart electricity meters, electric car charging stations, on-demand bicycle transport depots, aspirations for vertical farms, and in public transportation: mobile apps with on-demand schedules, journey-planning, and real-time transport information. As another sign of the times, the Oxford English dictionary added the term Internet-of-things in August 2013.
Extreme Urban Data
The biggest trend reshaping all aspects of our lives, the Big Data Era, is driving a whole new tier of Future Cities and Smart Cities apps connecting big data, open data, statistical processing, and machine learning to user-friendly apps, web services, and other consumable front-ends. Killer Apps could focus on practical improvements to daily life and resource-use: adaptive lighting, smart waste, pest control, hygiene management, eTolls, transport and traffic management, smart grid, asset tracking, and parking. Killer Apps can also be political – using crowdsourced data and social media scrapings to create tools that are the bottom-up sousveillance antidote to top-down surveillance as envisioned in David Brin’s Transparent Society, for example, companies using social media-sourced data to predict country instability in real-time like Cytora.