USC and Los Angeles Internet of Things Consortium Moves Forward


Through the Intelligent Internet-of-Things Integrator (I3 Consortium) formed by the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business and Viterbi School of Engineering, along with the City of Los Angeles, USC will act as a test bed for smart city initiatives.

According to Jerry Power, Executive Director for the Institute for Communication, Technology, Management (CTM) at USC Marshall School of Business, “We’re using USC, the campus, as sort of a little test bed, because the campus is like a little city. But once we show that it works, in a confined environment, then we’re working with the city, and the city has said that then we can use the entire city as a test bed.”

The city hopes to develop and more fully test interactive public kiosks, which could be programmed and provide information about services for various audiences, such as tourists or the homeless. The kiosk project could benefit from the small-scale development and testing done on a university campus. Power points out, “Our definition of ‘test bed’ is a bit more expansive than the normal definition of test bed. A lot of times when you say test bed to someone, they think of an engineering test bed where you show that it works or doesn’t work. We want to provide real operator feedback. So, if it’s an application for smart buildings, the facilities people will actually provide feedback into the process. So you have real, live feedback within the process.”

Los Angeles Deputy CIO Joyce Edson notes, “It’s utilizing information about the location, and what people would be interested in when they go to those locations. You could go to a kiosk in a location and decide, ‘I’m hungry. What’s around here?’ And the kiosk could give you geo-sense information about the restaurants that are in the area. A kiosk, for example, that’s in an area with a high volume of homelessness could actually go ahead and push digital services that are around homeless assistance. So every kiosk could have a little different narrative, depending on where it is and what the purpose is.”

The consortium also offers an opportunity to test and develop smart city applications specific to a neighborhood or shopping district. Another example is aggregating security camera footage and how it could eventually lead to reducing the city’s technology costs. “If everybody starts giving their data feeds to the police department, that means now the police department and the city don’t have to fund putting video monitors on every light pole,” Power says.

For additional information on the IoT Consortium, visit them online. 

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