The future is coming to select cities around the world as they work toward renovating their infrastructure with intelligent sensors, apps and machines. Via Inteligente, a Spanish company that installs pavement throughout the country, has debuted its iPavement product which aims to completely redefine how we interact with the landscapes of cities. The approaches being used in Madrid will allow residents and visitors alike to access useful information about the city straight from a smartphone.
City officials have long dreamed of providing a more streamlined approach to tourist information, business promotions and other local specifics and so the collaboration with Via Inteligente comes as no surprise. Some of the “apps” installed throughout the infrastructure allow you to find specialty coupons, while others give you access to public library content and up to date weather conditions.
These sidewalks also have the ability to record information about the people around them, such as the number of people that frequent an area in any given time. This helps city officials plan new street construction and pedestrian areas based on natural traffic flows. Ultimately, systems such as iPavement will give city managers complete and total access to a variety of information and statistics that will give the city a more efficient way of addressing problems while also allowing them to communicate to citizens through these apps.
There are plenty of examples of other cities upgrading their public services and information portals in the Pursuit of creating truly 21st century cities. New York City, for example, recently upgraded its public phones to feature touch screens. While cities will have to make sure to counter any “distraction effect” caused by people using mobile devices in public, features such as iPavement are part of a new approach to making cities more livable and more fun in which to live.