Intel has opened its latest research center — The Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities — at 10 Downing Street in London. A joint project with University College London and Imperial College, the institute is seeking to develop real-life applications for technology to enhance urban life. Basically using London as a laboratory, it will conduct expansive and comprehensive studies of the city as it pertains to issues like environmental, social and economic factors (presumably to see how technology can advance these areas). Although that’s a pretty vague description, it’s also rather idealistic — and whenever lofty goals meet thorough research, that usually means there’s a chance of success.
What the end result, i.e. Intel’s idea of a “smart city,” might look like isn’t exactly clear yet. But what is known is the center’s first course of action: To collect as much info as possible. Toward that end, the scientists will be hoarding data — via research as well as crowd-sourcing — on factors like air quality, traffic and water supply, among innumerable other things.
Talk about a monumental workload. And the task list is about to get even crazier: There are only 12 researchers staffing the new center, and they’re taking on a widescale and comprehensive city study to measure the impact of the upcoming Olympic games. Yikes.
Good luck, mates.