Life is all about connections. Thanks to technology, connecting with each other and with our devices is easier than ever.
Smart home technology was once reserved for the stuff of science fiction, but is now commonplace thanks to devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Voice control of lighting, temperature and your devices are only the beginning – with smart home technology now becoming a consideration for new build homes.
Manchester, a city that has always been great at fostering talent and embracing new ideas, is now taking notice of the rise of smart homes. The CityVerve project is a collective aimed at redefining Manchester in the context of smart cities. And already, things are looking promising…
Like smart homes, smart cities promise to use the Internet of Things (IOT) to integrate different technologies aimed at making all aspects of life simpler. A full smart city would use data to manage everything from traffic to public services in order to create a more efficient society. In Barcelona, for example, parking spaces are monitored using sensors and drivers can be directed to available spaces.
Manchester is currently beginning to explore elements of smart city technology after it received £10 billion from the government to invest in smart technology back in 2017. From transport initiatives such as creating smart bus stops which allow commuters to ‘check in’ so that drivers know where demand is through to road safety improvements delivered through AI, smart city initiatives will create safer, seamless lifestyles for people who live and work in the city.
However, the challenge of smart cities remains balancing a desire for innovation with realistic spending and investment. Creating a more automated transport system is great in theory, but if it raises prices for commuters, they will be unlikely to use it. Finding the balance between investment in tech and keeping prices down has been a tripping point for many cities, London included.
Manchester is perhaps best positioned to strike that balance. It is the UK’s most liveable city and is forecast to grow year on year for the foreseeable future. As the economy of Manchester booms, so too does its workforce – with younger, more technology-focused audiences moving to the city to seek work. This makes it the perfect hub for smart city technology to be developed and implemented in a scalable fashion.
5G as major driver of innovation
Manchester is one of the first places in the UK to get 5G technology, which is itself an enabling technology for the growth of smart technology. It offers a higher data-rate and low-latency compared to previous technologies, allowing devices to transfer real-time data in the blink of an eye. 5G will allow sensors to collect data and then rapidly transmit them to monitoring locations, which then allows actions to be taken based on current input – these actions may be anything from reducing the speed limit on a certain road, changing traffic lights or using CCTV to monitor a situation.
Crucially, 5G also provides end-to-end security – which is an essential when a city may come to rely on technology. A data breach in a personal computer is harmful, but across a city’s vital infrastructure it may be fatal. 5G helps prevent this and will ensure that smart cities run securely and unhindered.
Manchester was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and now it is set to become the birthplace of the digital one too – with the government’s mass investment into the city a glimpse into its potential as the world’s leading smart city.
As more consumers begin to incorporate smart devices into their homes, the expectations they will have of their cities will change as a result. In turn, this means that technology-minded, vibrant young city workers will flock to Manchester to live and work in a truly smart city.
For investors, this provides an unmissable opportunity. Capitalising on the developments around Manchester now means you can expect high returns in the future as more and more workers seek comfortable living in a future-facing city.
DeTrafford driving innovation
Smart technology improves lives in all aspects from convenience to security. At DeTrafford we’ve embraced this by building a smart android system into the St George’s Gardens development. The android system connects to the DeTrafford app which residents can download to their phones or tablets from there, they can control their heating, answer the doorbell and book DeTrafford lifestyle services such as the concierge service or rooftop yoga sessions.
Contact DeTrafford today to learn more about our investment opportunities.
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