Trust and the Smart City

Every day the smart city draws closer as manufacturers embed sensors into more and more devices, start-ups create services that streamline our urban lives, and governments commit to city planning projects and citizen services that strip away the old ways of getting things done.

At the very center of the smart city and our increasingly interconnected lives is trust. Smarter technologies are everywhere to see, from new passports that can get us through border control in a matter of seconds, to fingerprint technology that means our smartphones are ours alone. Imagine life without your bank card or contactless transit card – no one would dream of going back to the days of queuing for money or tickets.

Everything about the smart city is frictionless, hassle-free and engineered so that in all of a city’s hustle and bustle, we can focus on what matters – our friends, colleagues and families.

But all of this only works because we trust those who design everything we rely on to keep our data and identities secure, and it is this trust that is always under threat. We’ve all seen the recent high-profile hacks of businesses and government agencies, and the reasons for these attacks as the same as they’ve always been – infamy, strategic advantage, or plain and simple financial gain.

We need to make the Internet of Things secure by design, and that means that new services need to factor in:

  1. Authentication: so you always know you are talking to the right person
  2. Confidentiality: so no one can access information that isn’t for them
  3. Integrity: so that no data can be manipulated or tampered with
  4. Availability: so you can connect whenever, and to whoever, you need to.

For the technical among us, that means securing both the edge and the core of our networks. The Internet of Things holds such promise and one of the most impressive characteristics is that it is open and inclusive. Everyone is invited to create this new smart world – and it’s already showing results. The sharing economy is booming because of technology, and we’ve only just scratched the surface.

Here at Gemalto, we’ve been working with developers to play our part in creating the Internet of Things with our Cinterion Concept Board. Earlier this year, our IoTMaker Challenge asked the global community to come up with the next big thing for the Internet of Things. The winner was Jason Mitcheson, a Java developer from Australia, who came up with an idea for a 3G Bushfire Alert system. Given how much damage fires cause each year, and the very real risk to human life, Jason showed how simple it could be create an early-detection system that could have a real impact.

Today, you’ll find us in Nice at the next stage of the 4th Annual IOT/M2M Innovation World Cup, where we’ll be helping developers and start-ups make their vision for the Internet of Things, and new M2M services, a reality. The Innovation World Cup is taking place throughout the year and there’s still time to register your interest, and win a share of $160,000 worth of prizes. So if you know any developer who has the next killer idea for the Internet of Things, put them in touch with us and we can help get them started with a Cinterion Concept Board free of charge when they register for the event.

We’re convinced that if we continue to build trust into the Internet of Things from an early stage, adoption will be faster, people will see its value and the smart city will be of real benefit to our lives. If you’re attending the Innovation World Cup on Thursday, our own Reza Houdjal’s will be talking more about the subject at 1:45pm. Hope to see you there!

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