Today, everything aspires to be smart: from the ubiquitous—the smartphone in your hand—to sometimes the ridiculous (Google Glass, Fitbit for dogs, Lily the selfie drone). But, if we want our future to be smarter, we need to start thinking beyond "smart for smart's sake" now.
Cities are complex ecosystems that must be run efficiently to function well—and they are growing fast. According to the United Nations, by 2050 the number of urban residents will reach 6.2 billion, 66% of the projected global population.
A shining example of how a private-sector partner can illuminate future urban development in collaboration with local leaders took place in Sweden's fourth largest city at the start of 2015.
As Rio de Janeiro's mayor since 2008, Eduardo Paes has run Brazil's most iconic city through times of triumph and tragedy.
Digital technologies are re-engineering how industry works, channeling the power of the cloud into the Internet of Things (IoT), and revolutionizing how we experience and interact with everything around us.
Today, Philips Lighting is the undisputed leader in sports, providing floodlighting for 55% of the world's largest soccer stadiums, 70% of the UK's Premier League clubs, and a host of other major venues.
Eric Rondolat, CEO: "To make a city smart, you need connected streetlights, smart homes and smart buildings with connected lighting, such as offices, industry, retail environments, and hospitals."
Mike Simpson, Global Application Lead: "Clubs can add entertainment to the stadium experience, which is stunning. LED is flicker free."
For WEF participants gathering in the glittering conference halls of Davos it may be hard to imagine, but over one billion people around the world still do not have access to electric light.