The coronavirus pandemic is forcing a lifestyle change also triggering a greater use of technology. Everyone, from architects to tech startups, seems to be working to adapt to the new lifestyle and technology needs for smart cities. Private spaces in homes are increasing while the use of smart energy consumption and electric vehicles also seems to be a rising trend.
All aspects of smart homes and cities, from smart energy consumption to smart electric vehicles, were discussed in this week's Venture60 event. Permanent changes in designs, 5G infrastructure, smart energy solutions of talented startups were also among the main topics of discussion during the event. Among other concepts discussed were the developing concepts in new homes, offices and cities and increasing use of metal collar robots.
Speaking about the transition to hybrid digital life culture with the pandemic, NGN Business Development Manager Cem Lale said despite the increase in the number of metal collar employees, the need for people will continue, adding that manufacturers and retailers can access the data from anywhere.
"Actually, we learn from each other. We can make better use of the data we collect over the cloud," he said and continued: "For example, we can offer a ship's captain the route preference we learned from others as a suggestion. In other words, we can produce more suggestions and solutions with the big data we have. The solutions we call metal collars will be used more, but it should not be forgotten that people will still make the final decision. Employing more people on artificial intelligence (AI) platforms increases efficiency. On the contrary, it allows people to focus more on their own work. People can turn to more enjoyable and creative works. Machines will increase the comfort of people."
Melkan Gürsel, a managing partner at Tabanlıoğlu Architecture, stated that the understanding of comfort has begun to change, private spaces in homes are increasing, ventilation systems are changing, hygiene solutions have come to the fore and smart solutions are beginning to be used.
"There was no need for that much private space in the past," she said. "However, parents who work permanently at home now need their own private spaces. Central systems that consume a lot of energy were used for ventilation systems. Now, the solutions that we provide will make use of natural airflow by opening a window. Again, as with the use of ceramics in the past centuries, different materials will come to the fore. Smart solutions will come forward."
Those who think that only giant platform companies are building smart cities are wrong. Speaking at the Ventures60 event, Cerebrum Tech Founder and Chairperson of the Board Erdem Erkul explained how he combined entrepreneurial intelligence in projects.
"Smart city, home and office concepts are not an ecosystem that a single platform or brand can handle," he said, further stressing: "We bring the agile and fast solution-developing structure of startups together with large transformation projects. For example, when they see how artificial intelligence comes into play for low energy consumption, many institutions see that they can save some investment costs in a few years. We call such solutions entrepreneurial intelligence. We focus on a data-based approach in all our projects."
Fatih Türkoğlu, product and service management director of one of Turkey’s leading information and communication technology companies, Türk Telekom, says that they prefer to use the term “new generation cities” to describe the transformation to smart cities.
“Seeing the increasing need during the pandemic period, we changed our plans. As people’s need to be connected from homes increased, we rapidly increased our fiber investments to meet the demand," Türkoğlu told the Ventures60 event.
“We made the investment that we planned to make over a few years during the pandemic period. Changing needs have become permanent due to the need for distance education and working from home. Smart home and smart office were a definition shaped by the old perspective. That is why we find it appropriate to call the transformation 'new generation cities.' We started transformation studies in nine cities on this subject. We will continue to carry out more studies.”
Türkoğlu said that the support of public authorities, local administrations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) was essential in the transformation.
“We believe that it is essential for the state to think holistically and to take action for investment by local governments for the transformation that will build new generation cities. We are ready to do our part,” he added.
Türkoğlu also explained their plans for using renewable energy in their transformation.
“Turning toward alternative sources such as solar energy and wind energy with new generation communication technologies, the company also contributes to clean and national energy,” he continued.
“Türk Telekom, which systematically reduces its carbon footprint, is gearing up to announce its performance in environmental and social benefit generation periodically with its sustainability report, the first of which will be published in 2021. We aim to reach everyone, not just cities. One of the goals of the institution is to popularize the solar-powered base stations that have started to be installed in villages that do not have continuous energy opportunities and therefore have difficulty in access.”
Having started in cities with electric skateboards and scooters, the use of electric vehicles (EV) is becoming increasingly widespread.
Speaking at the Ventures60 event, Batuhan Özdemir, chairperson of Limak Energy, said there is a need for new generation electricity distribution projects.
“If you are an active vertical player in the field of distribution and retail like Limak Energy, you must continuously develop and offer innovative solutions to your customers. E-mobility is part of the ongoing energy transformation. Our strategy is to be actively involved in this transformation and to develop our own business models in this direction,” Özdemir noted.
“We see the e-mobility area as one of the important opportunities for this. E-mobility is a topic that needs to be handled multidimensionally. It is an area where commercial and technological developments have been very intense in the last decade. Most of us only think of electric vehicles when it comes to e-mobility, however, this ecosystem is quite complex.”
Özdemir underlined that as with the world of energy, they have been on an important curve recently.
“Innovations brought by distributed production, digitalization and decarbonization have become the three most important trends shaping our world. The dizzying development, especially in the distributed generation and solar industry, proved the need to create different customer solutions and new business models,” he said, listing the examples as storage technologies integrated solar systems and related new clearing mechanisms.
“Now we can say that the consumer has become a serious player in the system. All these have brought in new ideas in the field of play that e-mobility will create,” Özdemir continued. “Most electric car users charge their vehicles at home and at work. However, charging stations will be needed in cases of long-distance trips and intercity travel. There are certain companies in our country already investing in this field. Considering the increasing trend of the electric vehicle market and how quickly it is expected to expand, it can be assumed that business volume will be created for new players in the operation of the automobile charging network.”
Underlining the development of 5G applications by taking advantage of the expertise of vertical sectors at the Ventures60 event, Etiya 5G Product Manager Fahri Kerçek emphasized the importance of network slicing by operators in 5G.
“The smart city will stand out with guaranteed bandwidth entirely thanks to smart shared network slicing. In our work on network slicing, the expertise of vertical sectors in different fields is important,” Kerçek noted.
“Numerous devices will be used in the Internet of Things (IoT). This bandwidth that these devices will use in the 5G network infrastructure is very important. The ecosystem is not actually included in the operator network. We are working on network slicing and artificial intelligence. We are working on 5G with an operator in Europe on delay. We think augmented reality and virtual reality games will create a different gain with guaranteed speed and guaranteed lag rate.”
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