Are Smart City Prospects Limited Without Open Source Collaboration?

IEEE member warns against closed approach to smart cities

As the world’s most advance cities shift towards adopting IoT infrastructure, the benefits of an open approach to becoming ‘smart’ are becoming increasingly apparent.

Many municipalities realise that being restrained by vendor lock-in while the technology and use cases are emerging could lead them to a dead end investment. Yet currently there the implications of adopting an open standards approach are unclear.

Will the standards, platforms and technologies be interoperable and enable adopters the ability to harness the commercial and intelligence benefits smart cities promise? Are open standards as secure as their opposing closed practices?

“There is a danger of developers becoming vendor-locked by using closed-source  or exclusive software, which will restrict the development of their initiatives to what that vendor has to offer,” says Rahul Tomar, IEEE member & CTO and Co-Founder of the Smart Cities Lab. He believes that developments are destined to be limited in their scale and capabilities if more is not done to create open-source infrastructure.

When developers aren’t using open-source software then the technologies can, in some cases, be incompatible which can hinder interaction and, on the whole, slow down development.

We recently spoke to him in depth about the benefits of adopting an open approach and why municipality leaders need to act with caution now as the adopt the latest smart city technologies. Listen below