In the not-so-distant future, all of our smart devices will be seamlessly connected. “Intelligent connectivity,” as we call it, is the sum of the underlying data and communications technologies connecting everything from smartphones to driverless cars, to urban infrastructure, and more.
This invisible system of connected people, places, and “things” will greatly improve daily life, especially in dense urban areas. By opening everyday devices up to the rest of the world, intelligent connectivity helps give context to all the digital information and services that surround us, making it easier for city dwellers to navigate the subway, shop for groceries, or simply plan their day.
Qualcomm is working to intelligently connect the next generation of devices and things, and our vision is outlined in our “Intelligent Connectivity for Seamless Mobility” report, co-written by Qualcomm and Arup. It jumps through time to explore the look and feel of the intelligently connected city of tomorrow.
Here are five takeaways from the whitepaper that show how intelligent connectivity will alter daily urban life, maybe as soon as the 2030s.
The mobile Internet will be totally inclusive
The mobile Internet is extending to more people worldwide. According to GSMA Intelligence, at the end of Q1 2015, there were approximately 3.1 billion 3G/4G mobile connections and expected to reach approximately 5.8 billion 3G/4G mobile connections by the end of 2019.
Our smartphones will connect us to all kinds of smart city services
We’re already using our smartphones for a myriad of everyday tasks ranging from texting, to browsing the Internet, to paying for bus tickets or even our frozen caramel lattes. But with near-universal smartphone penetration, our mobile devices will be a gateway for ever-more advanced use cases.
Public transit systems will be smarter & greener
In the future, when you go to work in the morning, your pocketed smartphone will not only pay for the bus fare as you pass through the door, it will alert you to the number of rides still left in your account.
There will also be more environmentally friendly travel options. Say you choose to ride an autonomous electric bus that runs along a wireless charging route within the city. You’ll be offered smartphone credits to use for future connected rides in exchange for reducing your carbon footprint.
And if you are driving your own car, you can use IPS Group smart meters that accept credit cards and notify you before the meter is set to expire using 3G technology from Qualcomm Technologies.
Roads will be safer for bikes, cars and pedestrians
You’ll be safer biking or walking around the city thanks to the intelligent connectivity embedded in every car. Taking advantage of dedicated short-range communication (DSRC), nearby vehicles will detect you and other pedestrians—and stay clear. All this connectivity and communication will be happening behind the scenes, invisible to pedestrians, fellow bikers, and the drivers of the cars you encounter along the way.
Smart, connected services will better serve patients When you need to visit the doctor in the future, your insurance company will arrange for an autonomous car to pick you up—it will be so commonplace you won’t have to ask. As the car drives you to the doctor, the on-board health care system collects basic medical information, such as your temperature, and shares it with your doctor before you arrive at his office.
Vacation travel will be less stressful
Imagine that you and your family are visiting Rome for the first time. As you take the train to the hotel, your phones point you in the direction of open seats, and your smartwatches translate the passing digital signage into English to read on your screens. Transiting through the buzzing city will be easier than ever.
Those are just a few examples of how mobility networks could transform our urban lives. Intelligent connectivity ensures that these experiences merge into the flow of everyday life. No fuss, no muss. And it won’t be long before we can tap these capabilities.