The smart city movement has been picking up steam in recent years, with cities around the world implementing cutting-edge technology to improve sustainability and safety for their residents.
Cities are now competing against one another to attract entrepreneurs who can help them achieve smart goals. Several panelists at the 2022 CES pointed out that there’s still time for business owners to get involved in this already burgeoning industry.
Business Opportunities in Smart Cities
Here are three of the biggest opportunities for business owners mentioned at the recent CES event in Las Vegas.
Freshwater is a hot commodity on the West Coast these days, thanks to droughts in recent years. This has prompted the need for businesses that can come up with creative solutions to reuse water, according to Fernando Ramirez, managing director of Hydraloop Systems in the Netherlands.
Mini Power Grid
Centralized energy sources, including sustainable ones, are vulnerable to wide-scale failure. The smart, localized power grids of the future will enable homes to be more ecologically friendly and resilient.
Residential Energy Storage
In the next decade, companies that design and retrofit houses to store energy will have a lot of growth. There is a growing demand for a variety of forms of home green technology, including solar installers, battery manufacturers, and A.I. platforms that optimize energy use, according to Alex Bazhinov, founder and CEO of home energy firm Lumin. Bazhinov believes there’s a lot of promise in platforms that can integrate these various technologies so that homes may capture energy, convert it into electricity, and utilize it efficiently.
Data management and analytics: One way smart cities improve sustainability is by monitoring energy use and waste generation closely. Businesses that can help with data management and analysis will be in high demand.
Infrastructure: From intelligent transportation systems to smart buildings, there are a lot of infrastructure projects that need to be planned and executed in order to make a city smart. Engineering and construction businesses should look into how they can get involved.
Public safety: In addition to reducing crime rates, one of the goals of smart cities is to create an environment where people feel safe and secure. This opens up opportunities for businesses in security, emergency response, and other public safety sectors.
Public transportation: One smart city staple is the smart bus, which uses sensors to monitor traffic and avoid accidents. The technology behind smart buses can be used in other vehicles like taxis or delivery trucks as well. And of course, it’s possible for entrepreneurs to create their own smart public transit solutions that move beyond trains and buses on fixed routes–think autonomous shuttles designed specifically for a campus environment or neighborhood shuttle service that makes stops at individual residences.
Smart buildings: A big part of making any property “smart” is building-wide connectivity so people have access to information about what’s happening around them whenever they need it (whether they’re home or not). There are many different ways businesses could get involved with this effort from providing the technology itself to creating smart-home features or even just marketing and consulting services.
Environmental sensing: Air quality, noise levels, light exposure–sensors can track all sorts of environmental data that are important for both city planners and citizens alike. There are already a few companies selling sensor hardware and software, but this is still an emerging market with lots of room for growth.
So if you’re looking for your next business venture, don’t forget about the smart cities revolution! These three sectors are just a taste of what’s out there; be sure to do your own research to find additional opportunities in this growing field. Who knows? You might be the one who helps make your city smarter, more sustainable, and safer for everyone.
What is CES?
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. As the largest hands-on event of its kind, CES features all aspects of the industry.
And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) – the technology industry’s trade association – CES attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed head-on.