Posts from the ‘Smart City’ Category

Building A Case For Dual Use Facilities

We have to start using our existing infrastructure and get it to optimum use before we think of grandiose schemes for expansion.
Malls are use for only 60% of the time. Schools possibly 50%. Movie theatres 50%
Amphi theatres 35% and so on. You get the picture here



With the miniaturization of the factory space can we think of merging schools and factories
Hotels and homes
Parks and ?
We have to break out of the box and look at outlandish ways of living in this wonderful earth.


NASA’s Puffin: The Personal Electric Air Vehicle – The New Age Personal Emotional Mobile – Go PuffinPOD

NASA’s Puffin: The Personal Electric Air Vehicle.

One step closer to a personal electric vehicle you can take anywhere.

  • Maybe a city without roads with your Puffin taking off from the terrace
  • Maybe even with an Automatic pilot so that you can be on your iPad as you travel
  • Your local sheriff would own one
  • So would your vermin exterminator
  • Who knows, in India sabji wallahs may hover over your windows in a high rise selling vegetables
  • The puffin may spawn new designs in architecture
  • Your personal grand canyon adventure on a Puffin.
  • Your mail man, Fedex man and friendly UPS man may start using it too
  • Dream on

Using extreme conditions to the advantage of the world

We have extreme conditions in the world

  • Hurricanes
  • Excessive Rain
  • Storms
  • Fires
  • Excessive snow
  • Floods
  • Volcano’s
  • Earthquakes
  • Winds
  • Excessive heat

Our predictive technologies are extremely accurate at this point to pinpoint exact locations ahead of time

Can we use these natural extremes to benefit the world?

Can we have towable, floatable or air-liftable structure which can convert this extreme natural energy into storable usable energy?

A few thoughts on these

  • Flying, floating or wheeled  wind farms
  • Ditto the same for Solar Farms
  • Floating tidal power generator barges?
  • Gigantic steam turbines powered off forest fires
  • Novel energy generators from the excessive snow

I am sure some, somewhere is already working on these to bring it to the world someday

Electric Vehicles – A Case for a Modular Approach

The Electric Vehicle is a reality now. We will have many players in the market. We will have many succeed. Many will fail. The time has now come to emulate the PC market in terms of modularity. This will help bring down the cost as well as help after market service for failed brands.

What is modularity in a Electric Vehicle?

  • Battery packs. This could be a standardized pack which could be mass produced.
  • Human Machine Interface. Why not make this a open source tablet. Users could customize their driving experience.
  • Wheels. This could be a motorized plug in component to the chassis with built in brakes.
  • Chassis. This could be aluminum extruded per user configuration. So one could extrude a sports car version or a golf art version.
  • Body. This allows the maximum scope for displaying the emotions of the user. We could use the body to embed solar cells or even ink jet them on to the surface in various color combinations for aesthetics.
  • Electrics could be modular connectors much like the PC to printer cable.
  • LED light clusters could be modular and even ink jet-able.
  • In essence this could be a web configurable version.
  • Orders will be transmitted to the local 3D printing facility for generation and self assembly
  • Media system for the EV could be again a modular plug in component.
  • Virtual manufacturing with virtual companies


Building Smart Railways – From China to USA – Reverse Innovation?

Take a look at China’s High Speed Rail system at

Look at the Ballastless Track Systems pioneered by the Germans

And IBM’s foray into a Rail Road Innovation Center

Classic case of Reverse Innovation. Now look at what can happen if the American’s go and start building Smart Railways all over the country. We could transform our recession into an opportunity.

It would revitalize cities, communities and states. It would give a boost to industry and endless rounds of innovation. No to say about tourism and a new hope for the future.

It was the railways which built the early part of the country and now it may come back and rebuild it again.

Well, did Warren Buffet have a long term plan?

It could be the opportunity of the century and lets not miss it.

Google Smart Railways

Benefits for an end customer living in a Smart City

I have been writing about the technologies to be used in a smart city as well as showing interesting links pertaining to Smart City content.

One of my friends recently asked me a question.

1. Can you name some simple benefits for end customers like me?

2. Where can I find more info on Smart Cities

3. Give me a list of potential applications for Smart cities.

Let me start with the benefits for a Smart City inhabitant.

  • Benefit from a Smart Grid with no black outs, competitive price structure for use of energy during non peak hours, intelligent use and diagnosis with state of the art software, access to Smart Meters. Here is a link to some of my blogs on the subjects.
  • In a Smart City one could benefit from an optimized traffic control system, on demand or intelligent transportation and even a car less commute.
  • Excellent health care where our health providers will be discussing each other prior to diagnosing and prescribing treatment to our ailments.
  • Excellent Education for children and adults based on state of the art research
  • Close to a crime free society with state of the art emergency response.
  • Intelligent commercial buildings, offices and homes optimized for climate control, maintenance and cost
  • Innovative recreation areas conducive to educating children rather than a ride oriented society
  • Educational entertainment

Here is a link to IBM’s Smart City site

As far as potential application go I believe it is up to us and the sky is the limit.

What do you think?

Auroville: Smart City Model?

Reference  articles

My home town is Chennai. I did my engineering education there and on one of my study tours visited the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. The Ashram tour is a great experience and an exercise in Design thinking. It did make a lasting impression on me of the concept sustainable living.  The Auroville project was at its infancy and I was pleased that I made the tour by bicycle and covered about 300 miles in 4 days staying with friends and relatives on the way and spent a total of 10 rupees only 1n 1969. And had a real blast doing it.

Today I am exited about the concept of Smart Cities and the level of technology which will be used in them. I really think Smart Cities today will do well to take a page from Auroville. Take a look at their Solar Kitchen and their model of sustainable living. Thye are not perfect but we should try and take what is good and apply it.

There may be lessons to be learned in education, health, city planning, work ethics and an enriched way of living both in the Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville

A Smart City is not only High Technology and information gathering. It is also about caring for its inhabitants and established a continuous learning pattern in sustainable living. It is about building from the earth. It is about the involvement of the inhabitants in innovative methods. It is also about reverse innovation from indigenous methods.

Google Smart City