After IoT, Smart Cities Are The Next Bollox Market.

Imagining new applications for transistors has been the driving force of the semiconductor industry since its creation.

Pervasiveness is the semiconductor industry’s watchword. Without new applications the industry’s growth would stall and, without growth, how could the next generation of Moore’s Law be funded?

Early examples of  new applications driving pervasiveness were TI’s Regency transistor radio which attuned the world to the benefits of transistors and TI’s pocket calculator which showed the world the benefits of ICs.

Some ideas are better than others. The 5th generation computer project, robotics, virtual reality and wearable computers have, until now, turned out to be fruitless.

The PC, mobile phone, STB and DTV have been fruitful.

On IoT the jury is still out.

But what about a new prospective application – smart cities?

This is a great potential application for the IC industry  because cities are controlled by local bureaucrats with huge budgets and small brains. Selling cities the opportunity to become ‘smart’ is as easy a sell to a local government manager as selling IT to an NHS paper-shuffler.

Compounding this is local bureaucrats’ love for  projects which involve spending money – it gives them power, control and kick-backs. Dangle a money-splurging  idea in front of a local apparatchick and he’ll take to it like a politician to a brown paper envelope.

Now IHS defines a smart city as one that has deployed, or is deploying:  “The integration of  ICT solutions across . . . . mobile and transport, energy and sustainability, physical infrastructure, governance, and safety and security.”

Under this definition, IHS says the world has 21 smart cities but this will rise to 88 by 2025. It also reckons that smart city spending will rise from last year’s $1 billion to $12 billion in 2025.

After IoT, smart cities looks a no-brainer to be the next tech bollox marketing ploy – unless some imaginative marketeer comes up with a better one.



  1. Edinburgh? A Smart City? The Baron. I’d have thought the Jocks too hard-headed (and tight-fisted) to waste their money on such rubbish. Of course our own ideas-tart of a government has set up the Smart Cities Forum would you believe. I expect their meetings are pretty bolloxy

  2. “If it means the council can collect the bins once a week like the old days that will be an improvement.”

    I think the most likely outcome will a new invention: the corrupt, jobs-for-the-boys-FET. This will ensure that automated local government/council services are run as dreadfully, with as many massive over-spends, bad ideas, white-washes and cover-ups as before.

    (Surely this can’t be a purely Edinburgh thing?)

    The Baron

  3. I think the Internet of Trash is only too true, Silverman, I once heard a distinguished academic say that one day Coke cans will have URLs. Think of all those squashed, empty discarded cans chattering away and clogging the networks.

  4. Perhaps my bin will get onto the internet and ask the council to empty it?

    Internet Of Trash!!! :))

  5. Ah Yes, SilverMan , I’ve also heard the IBM smart city pitch instancing Singapore as somewhere where IBM systems have automated road traffic flows to minimise congestion and provide tiered access systems to different parts of the city based on your status.

  6. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    I have heard high ranking IBM consultants talking about smart cities for a few years now so this sounds like they found their mark, shall we say.

    The presentations were all sleek, professional, voluminous and sparse. Apparently a wired citi would be able to do “stuff” but I never saw much in terms of concrete solutions proposed.

  7. Unfortunately, SilverMan, I think it’s more likely to mean that the Council will say: ‘We’re investing so much in our project to become a Smart City that everyone will have to empty their own bins.”

  8. If it means the council can collect the bins once a week like the old days that will be an improvement.

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