Tomorrow’s cities – nightmare vision of the future?


The connected city never sleeps. The thousands of sensors embedded in roads, sewers, water pipes, streetlights are busy collecting information day and night. Perhaps even your bin, which might also be tweeting.

Sensor provider Enevo offers internet connection for bins in cities in Finland, the Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Canada and the US, and runs a Twitter feed – Trashcan Life.

The tweets aren’t exactly sparkling wit, including insights such as:

  • “I am 26% full”
  • “My current internal temperature is 24C”
  • “I expect to be full on Wednesday”

It is part of a push to make bin collection smarter, cheaper and less frequent and may ultimately mean an end to the early wake-up call of the bins being emptied.


If our cities are getting increasingly plugged into the network, then so are we.

Wearables that measure all kinds of things from body temperature, hydration levels, heart-rate and sleep patterns are commonplace.

And the data we collect can reveal interesting insights about how our lives, day and night, impacts our health.

Fitness band provider Jawbone compared the sleep data of one million users around the US and found that city residents tended to get far less than those in rural or suburban areas.

It also found that people living in the Brooklyn area of New York went to bed the latest while those in Maiu, Hawaii, had the earliest bedtime.

”Our sleep cycles adapt to the pace and lifestyle of the world we live in and the world by which we are surrounded – which can be much more hectic, fast-paced and full of nightlife entertainment in major cities,” the report said.

Meanwhile, a recent study from Microsoft mined data from 75 million keystrokes and clicks on Bing from more than 30,000 individuals wearing a fitness device.

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