As part of the TM Forum Smart City InFocus event, in association with the City of Yinchuan and ZTE, the 200+ delegates and speakers were treated to a tour of the Yinchuan Smart Community Project – home to 6,000 houses and apartments.
So what does a smart community look like? It was my first visit to China and to such an initiative so I was excited to find out.
The first thing we saw at the entrance to the residential development was face recognition technology for secure access. There are also smart lockers so residents can have their parcels delivered while they are out. Data is used to assess when peak times for collection and delivery are so the service can be made as convenient as possible. Residents can access these and many other services in the community and throughout Yinchuan with a smart city card.
Connected trash cans are being piloted in Yinchuan’s smart community development, with sensors that remind residents to sort their recycling and send alerts when the bins are full and need collection, reducing wasted journeys and unsanitary overflow. Compacting technology provides better efficiency, and automatic security alerts are sent if the cans are tampered with. The trash cans even have UV cleansing and deodorizing technology for optimum hygiene.
That same UV technology is also used in another of the community’s interesting pilot initiatives – a government-funded water cleansing scheme. In China, it is not safe to drink water from the tap – unless you live in a community like this one, that is. In a building at the center of the community, the water undergoes multiple cleansing processes. This means that in certain taps in their homes, residents can drink the water directly. The water purity is monitored in real-time and published online and on big screens within the community. Smart water meters also mean usage can be measured remotely, with no need to enter the property.
We also visited the on-site medical center, aimed at improving citizens’ health, especially that of the elderly. The center is staffed by one doctor and two health consultants and offers real-time health checks on vital statistics such as heart rate and blood pressure, as well as wearable devices so staff can be alerted should a resident fall, for example, or fail to respond.
The Yinchuan Smart Community is run on ZTESoft’s ZSmart CC (smart city & community) solution, which is based on TM Forum Frameworx and provides grid management, government affairs services and public services through cloud technology. At TM Forum Live! in June 2015, ZTEsoft and the City of Yinchuan were presented the President’s Award for Outstanding Innovation in smart cities. TM Forum CEO Peter Sany said he considered the Yinchuan Smart Community development the most innovative smart city construction to date.
Yinchuan is clearly now well onto its smart city journey and you can feel the change spinning up around you. I hope I can visit again in years to come to see how these exciting smart initiatives develop.