NYC Smart City Test Projects: Do they work?

New York City is running a few pilot programs around new smart city technology. A few of these test are worth keeping an eye on to city how they improve city life. Some of the test in action are the city WiFi stations, smart park benches, smart buses, and shotspotter. Keeping an eye on how they help New Yorkers will be the city’s way to decide on whether or not to implement them further.

WiFi Stations

If you live and work around Manhattan, you probably noticed the big signs with free city WiFi. This is the most obvious and largest of the smart city projects that you can see. However, the original criticism is that they are suppose to be for the poorer areas, so New Yorkers with low income can get WiFi. Now that most of the streets of Manhattan have free WiFi. This has been successful in most part. This allows New Yorkers and tourist to use free WiFi while strolling the city, and saves on your data plan.

Smart Benches

If you hang out in some parks in upper Manhattan you will have seen some smart benches. These benches are solar powered stations for your smart phone. The also track the amount of wifi connected devices to measure foot traffic in an area. Then park officials will determine what is needed in the area. It would be nice to have a place to charge a phone while spending the day in the park. No opinion on the device tracking yet.

Smart Buses

A few city buses have been equipped with a GPS in a route down in lower Manhattan. This will hope fully allow them to be guided through traffic, and be faster and more efficient. However; how this can work if they have to stay on a decided rout. All it will do is say where the traffic on the route will be,and there is now way around it. There has to be more to this experiment, and hopefully it can help easy the city’s overworked transit system.


The city is testing out a technology that will allow the police to identify individual gunshots around the city. This is a rooftop technology that help triangulate and track the acoustics of a gunshot. So far the technology has worked well. Police found that 73% of shots identified by shotspotter were not reported to the police. This will help police respond to shootings, without relying on citizens to report gunfire.

What is the future of these and other programs?

The future looks bright for these pilot programs, and hopefully the will expand them. At the same time, hopefully the city will look to continue to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers through technology.

The Robots Take Over in Japan

A Japanese insurance company Fokuko Mutual Insurance will lay off 34 white collar workers and replace them with robots. The company says it will increase efficiency by 30 percent and would save the company 140 million yen ($1.2  million US). In a bare essence the company hired the perfect subjugated worker.

Robots are perfect if an employer is looking to save money, increase efficiency, and keep an office running 24/7. You don’t have to pay them a salary, or benefits. They won’t take days off for sickness, vacation, and family. They won’t talk back to the boss, ask for raises, or cause conflicts. However, what robots have in efficiency, cost, and obedience, they lack in passion, drive, innovation, and initiative.

Human employees, for all the problems they cost greedy employers, they offer so much more. When a person is working for a company that treats them well, and allows them to grow as professional, they bring a lot to the table. Passionate and dedicated employees work to improve their job and company’s success. Also an enjoyable work environment, increases productivity. Bottom line, when an employer takes care of employees, treats them well, and has a good environment, they work very well.

One things employers like Fokuko Mutual seem to forget, is that human beings are social animals. We like to have that personal human interaction, that’s why some companies did away with automated phone systems.

Hopefully this is not a trend that will catch on, it will not be good in the long run. It is disheartening to see hard working people replaced by cold unfeeling robots. This was not about efficiency so much as money. The took the Watson AI from IBM and put it to uses to replace human, not help them. How long until a CEO replaces their entire workforce with obedient robots, just to save a few extra bucks.     

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Smart City Technology on The Rise

One of the technology trends that will be looking to grow is technology designed to build smart cities. The goal of a smart city is to make all its essential functions better, and help the day to day running of a city. This will help cities better manage things like traffic, water, air quality and more. According to some of the big tech companies, cities are already looking to start pilot programs for these types of technologies.

What does it take to build a smart city?

It takes a lot of money, time, and advanced technologies. The technology is beginning to be built more and is becoming more effective, but of course coming up with the money and time take the longest. You need technologies that help build the Internet of Things (IoT) and massive networks that can handle the big amount of data that needs to process. Essentially cities need a massive wifi network to handle smart city technology.

What would a smart city look like?

That is a good question, but for starters it will help improve daily functions. For example a traffic grid will be programmed to generate the least traffic it can. You ever wonder when your driving and sometimes you get caught between a light that goes from green to yellow, and soon red. More than likely that state of limbo will be eliminated. Traffic lights will be coordinated to measure multiple factors in traffic, not just traffic around the area.The timing of the lights will facilitate an easy flow.

How can a smart city benefit me?

Once cities have perfected their infrastructure on smart technology, they will provide technology that you can use to interact with it. You can have an app that can show you when a bus is close to arriving, not relying on schedules. Use an app to see what the wait time and an emergency room is nearby. The ability to see what the response time is for emergency services from an app. Who knows, but the possibilities are endless.

What comes next?

We have to wait and see how this works out with pilot programs in cities. If they become successful then cities will slowly implement the technology more and more. Of course this all takes time, because the wheels of government move slowly. Read more about smart cities. Click Here 

Best Tech To Be Shown At The Consumer Electronic Show 2017

So the annual Consumer Electronic Show will take place in Las Vegas Nevada, and there are some very impressive products that will be on display. We choose 5 of the best that we think will make a big splash in 2017. So make sure you keep a lookout for these products.

Kurri Robot Nanny from Mayfield Robotics-This little robot will act as your in home monitor and security system. It will roam your house and keep an eye on kids, pets, and everything else. It is due to go on sale this year for $700.

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate GT- This is a new flash drive that will carry 2 TB of memory space. There is no price but it will be on sale sometime this year. A perfect little flash drive that can hold more than most hard drives.

Lenovo Miix 720- Is a 12-inch Windows 10 tablet with a keyboard dock, much like Microsoft’s Surface Pro series. Another tablet that looks to replace the laptop, and may be more affordable than the Microsoft Surface Pro with a price at $999.

Moen’s new smart shower- Is an app that you can use to set the perfect temperature and shower duration in advance. You can do it from your smartphone or other devices. Next there will be an app that runs a bath for you before you decide to take one.

Asus VivoPC X- Is a fully-fledged desktop gaming PC that’s VR-ready and smaller than most games consoles. The days of making room on your desk for those goliath towers are gone. It is a great sized desktop gaming PC and is priced at $799. This is a great deal in many ways.

There are many other innovations that will make a splash in 2017 like Lenovo’s Smart Assistant, The Kerastase Hair Coach, Lego Boost, and more. Look for 4K HD T.V.s to become the new standard. Also companies are build new tech to serve their customers like Carnival’s medallion, which serves as an all access pass. It will allow you to enter and exit the ship and your room, and will be used to make purchases. Keep an eye on the CES to see what else will be coming in 2017 and beyond.

Read More about these products
Weekly Blog Series Cyber Security Trends To Watch in 2017

Welcome to our weekly blog series on cyber security and business. So we did a little research on what will be some of the biggest cyber security trends that could impact your business. Keep an eye out on these trends as we move into the new year.

Cyber Offensive and Defensive Capabilities will Increase

We can consider 2016 the year hacking went mainstream, and because of that both hackers and defenders are going to step up their capabilities.  So be aware of new innovation in hacking and what innovations are made to counter. The top cyber security firms and companies will develop new technology to combat the changing cyber landscape.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will become a target

So many devices connect to the internet at a given time and these devices will be vulnerable to hackers. Many IoT devices are not built with security in mind. There are different ways to attack a company through IoT. The can deny your service and take control of your device, or they can use it for more sophisticated attacks.

Businesses will spend more on cyber security

You’re going to see large companies build department dedicated to cyber security and even a new board position in the field. They are going to spend lots of money on the latest measures and services as well. If you’re a small business the best thing for you is to have a cyber security specialist on staff to help you and outsource to a cyber security firm. Make sure you find what is appropriate for you.

Hackers will improve and innovate

Hackers will continue to get bolder and find new ways to attack their targets. They won’t always attack the biggest names out there. They may just try to find a way to steal from hundreds of small business, who don’t have great cyber security.

Best Tip for You

Stay informed on cyber threats and make sure you are active in conversations around the topic. Make a smart investment in you business and protect it. There are some links to helpful articles, and there are plenty more out there. 

Links to Helpful Articles
Keeping an eye on the Cloud and IoT for 2017

As we bring 2016 to and end, there are two major technology trends to keep an eye on for businesses and government. We will keep a lookout for innovations and advancement in Cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT). Especially in how they work together to tie together more low power technology. This will change the workplace IT infrastructure and and software.

We know things like smart homes where everything from lights to appliances are connected to a home’s network. Soon the same might be in the average workplace. You won’t just have your computer, tablet and, phone connected. Everything in the office will be connected from lights, coffee makers, doors, security and more.

This is exciting to see how this continues to play out as we move forward. Now the one drawback is that it makes your network more vulnerable by making more access points. If you address this with the proper security scale, you will be just fine.

Imagine your breakroom coffee make sending a notification when your pot of coffee is done. You would be able to lock your office from your phone when you leave. As we continue to make cloud and IoT better, this could one day be a reality.  

Compulink Technologies is an MBE Certified Firm that has been bringing top-notch IT Service solutions to businesses and government agencies across the nation since 1986.

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