Intel to turn Dublin into world’s first ‘internet of things’ city

1 Apr 2014

The O'Connell Bridge in Dublin city centre

Almost a week after revealing a US$5bn investment in Ireland, chip giant Intel is embarking on a plan with Dublin City Council to make Dublin the most densely sensored city in the world.

The project to make Dublin a ‘Global Demonstrator for Smart City Sensors’ will use Intel Quark-based Gateway platforms.

Two hundred of these sensing gateways will be placed around Dublin City to gather and monitor environmental data, in particular noise and air quality. Each of these gateways can deploy up to six sensors.

The pilot project, an international first, will give Dublin the infrastructure to be one of the most densely ‘sensed’ cities in the world.

Intel will deploy a wide-scale internet of things (IoT) research platform in Dublin, which will facilitate the project. The data which is gathered by the sensors will be made available to citizens and other stakeholders on an open basis, enabling the development of apps which will give Dubliners real-time information about air quality and noise levels.

When combined with the real-time traffic information, which is currently provided on an open basis by Dublin City Council, the project will give citizens the opportunity to shape the way the city develops.

Investment in Ireland

The news comes just a week after Intel revealed 5,000 new construction jobs have been generated through a US$5bn investment in Intel’s Leixlip, Co Kildare, facility to prepare the operation for the future production of Intel technologies spanning smartphones, tablet computers, PCs and servers. The investment represents the largest private investment in the history of the Irish State.

“Cities are the nexus for the explosion of Internet of Things technologies and we are pleased to partner with the city of Dublin on Intel Quark processor based sensor technology to improve the quality of life and help make the city run more efficiently,” said Intel President Renee James.

“We imagine Dublin can serve as a global reference for how these technologies might transform cities.

Dublin was chosen in part because of its demonstrated agility and because ordinary Dubliners have a keen interest in working together to improve the city, said Martin Curley, vice-president and director of Intel Labs Europe.

“At the Open Innovation 2.0 conference last year, over 94pc of Dubliners surveyed said they would like to see Dublin used as an experimental site for new technologies and that they would be willing to participate in the innovation process.”

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn welcomed the decision.

“People cycling to work or exercising during the day will be able to find the most environmentally friendly routes. 

“In addition, there will be the opportunity for smartphones to be used as sensors, giving further real-time information as to how people are using the city to move about and for exercise.” 

Dublin City manager Owen Keegan said the project will facilitate better environmental management of the city, with the potential for pro-active real-time engagement of citizens, all of which should contribute to improved quality of life.

“Dublin will be the first city to roll out environmental sensors on this scale. This will bring increased global attention to Dublin from investors, companies and innovators,” Keegan said.

Intel is a Silicon Republic Featured Employer, comprised of top tech companies that are hiring now

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years