There has been talk in the past regarding smart cities and ubiquitous sensors, and now IBM and AT&T are joining forces with plans to create a massive city system linking cameras, traffic technology, and other forms of realtime city data that will feed information to cars and citizens, among other things.

Both companies will analyze Big data and realtime utility stats from cities while integrating local social media and traffic reports as well other real-time city information in order to offer better data to citizens and city planners.

As you likely imagined, AT&T will handle the connectivity end of things, with all of the various sensors and IoT devices beaming  data across its network. IBM's M2M Intelligent Operations Center (as well as other things) will take care of the analysis of the data and the system's security measures.

While the two are planning on using more basic data like that from video cameras, mass public transit and utility meters to learn more about things like traffic patterns and the best routes for emergency services, the two plan to take it further than rush-hour analysis and busy parking lots.

The companies plan to collate and factor in comments on traffic, weather, and various infrastructure systems from social media posts and local reports. Although the details on the process are not entirely clear, IBM's Rick Qualman said that these kinds of "insights from crowdsourcing" will allow organizations to respond and react to situations much faster and efficiently as well better predict future occurrences and patterns.

Similar to what Toyota did in Japan when it built a large replica road system that sent realtime traffic info directly to the vehicles, AT&T and IBM have plans to set up prototype smart city areas around the US throughout the year as proof of concept.

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