Posts from the ‘Smart Farms’ Category

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

Check out initiative on Clean Tech manuf

Check out initiative on Clean Tech manufacturing Jobs.

Smart City Building using Fun Theory

Today I was introduced to Fun Theory. Well 2010 will be a great year for me as I explore the applications of this wonderful tool to enrich our every day life.

Watch the excellent videos at the Fun Theory site and Design Think your own

Let me see where we could make this work?

  • In the local gym where I could see how many watts I have generated during my exercise. Of course the watts generated would be displayed as statistics for all to see and establish some healthy competition.
  • You can see how dumping empty cans, bottles is encouraged as shown in the video. Of course the novelty value can be energized by changing the effect on a periodic basis.
  • At your Health Care Provider we could have the receptionist dressed with a theme and help break the ice. I know doctors do this with children to make them comfortable.
  • We could do this at work when we get too serious at a meeting or when we are brain storming. I believe this is part of Tim Brown’s (IDEO) arsenal at presentations.
  • This could be used in factories to encourage best practices.
  • This could be used to build good civic habits.
  • This could be used during exams and tests to encourage creativity.
  • And who knows even at your local DMV office

I am now going to invite readers to let us know of areas where they have successfully used this as well as new ideas.

Smart Farms for Smart Cities – Turn the American recession into an opportunity

Reference :

Today is our first day into 2010 and the first blog I read compliments of Twitter and smarterplanet is by Joe McKendrick on the last day of 2009.

This made my day. What an interesting concept. Returning to farming with all the surplus Real Estate lying around the USA in places like Detroit and others.

And it is Smart City hi-tech farming using Hydroponic, Aeroponic technology with Compost Heated Green Houses and other neat ways the Citizens of the Smart World are bound to come up with in this media enriched world.

We are talking about opportunities in farming on abandoned high rises, super markets, parking lots, factories and land fills.

We are talking about tapping the vast skills available with product design, manufacturing and service design using a hybrid of Design for Six Sigma and Design Thinking which I have christened as Extended Design Thinking.

Think about having fresh produce grown on the 10th floor piped directly to the super market on the 1st floor using JIT (Just in time) with automated farming product mixes derived from user preferences.

The same building would house wind turbines, solar panels and waste recycling systems. The 2nd floor would have the on demand Smart Transport systems.

Lean seasons at the farm could produce biomass for fuel or oil distillation.

Parks could be designed to produce wind, solar and renewable forms of energy with restaurants serving fresh food produced from park produce.

Look at savings in transportation costs of goods and transmission costs of energy.

What do our readers think about this?

We are talking about turning the recession into an opportunity for growth.