Fun Innovations Friday: The World's First Smart Island is Here!

Nov. 17, 2023
Paros, Greece now holds the title of Europe's first smart island, owner of its very own IoT network. Their first order of business? Making parking a breeze.

Actility, a leader in low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), and Cicicom, a Greek ICT company, have decided to transform Paros, Greece into Europe’s first smart island.

What makes an island smart? And how is it even possible?

Well, the duo introduced an all-encompassing LoRaWAN IoT network to the island to transform it into a smart city. What's a smart city? Well, I imagine it connects pretty much everything: parking, housing, businesses, utilities, etc. I'm honestly still trying to wrap my head around it.

The lucky island in question, Paros Island in Greece, is now the proud owner of its very own autonomous LoRaWAN network, connecting all digital devices for ongoing as well as any future smart city projects. 

The digital infrastructure, created and backed by Actility's ThinkPark Enterprise, provides real-time data directly to each citizen. From available parking spots to home water consumption, and ambient metrics like temperature and air quality, Paros plans on being the frontrunner of digital transformation for islands and cities.

“This collaboration will catapult Paros into the forefront of smart cities globally. With real-time parking details made readily available, our traffic management will improve significantly and our endeavors for environmental sustainability will achieve a new benchmark. This solution will streamline parking, thus enhancing overall user experience while reducing congestion.” — Samios Thanasis, Paros Deputy Mayor

ThingPark, an IoT connectivity management platform, helps build network infrastructure by managing gateways, adding new devices, and monitoring network operations. With secure connectivity, it provides efficient data management from sensors to cloud applications and offers modularity and scalability.

So the island has IoT. Big deal. What makes it so smart?

To start this smart transformation, they started with one of the biggest challenges for any urban area: Parking.

Yes, parking. As in "I'm going to be late because I can't find a damn parking space anywhere" or "I'll park 5 blocks away because I am definitely not going to pay $20 to park." Or if you're like me and get so frustrated that you just decide you're not doing this anymore and you go home.

You know, that kind of parking.

Because of the aforementioned parking examples, the companies wanted to figure out how parking could become a hassle-free experience as well as if parking spots could be monitored in real-time.

The solution? Cicicom’s Smart Parking.

Kickstarting with 150 parking sensors around the port, the vision is expansive, with plans to incorporate more utilities. A key component, Cicicom’s parking sensor S-LG-I3, has a 99% detection rate by using what's called triple detection technology—magnetic sensor, motion sensor, and radar.

All sensors and algorithms are tuned and optimized for ultra-low power consumption, providing continuous vehicle detection, have a long battery life, and the ability to identify the parked vehicle via identification tags.

The benefits of this system include streamlining the parking process with real-time information on available parking spaces, navigation to open parking spots, alleviating traffic congestion, effective management of special-use parking areas, gathering parking data for strategic municipal decisions, and cutting down administrative costs for the city.

“Partnering with Cicicom to transform Paros showcases the future of IoT in reshaping communities. It’s more than just smart solutions; it’s about enriching the lives of residents and visitors. As we advance with LoRaWAN technology, Paros sets the gold standard for European digital transformation.” — Olivier Hersent, CEO of Actility

These smart devices are available on ThingPark Market and have gained traction across Europe and the Middle East, with plans for expansion into the U.S. market.

Fun Innovations Friday

Created by the editors of New Equipment Digest and Plant Services, Fun Innovations Friday is a feel-good blog that showcases how advances in science, math, engineering, and technology are making our world more whimsical. Here’s another post that is guaranteed to brighten your day.

Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie MilliMobile Robot Runs on Light and Radio Waves
What if you could deploy a microrobot no bigger than a coin to investigate issues at your facility and wirelessly transmit data from attached sensors to help you make more informed decisions?