International Data Corporation (IDC), a world-renowned information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology consulting organization, has released its white paper, “The Next Stop for the Smart City”. The white paper addresses how city-level operation platforms, such as the Terminus AI CITY Operating System (TacOS) from Terminus Group, can support the cognitive urban capacity framework become a part of the “new infrastructure” of the smart city. It also highlights how such cities will provide key support for the long-term iteration of the digital economy and become a platform for driving the upgrading of the world’s urban digitalization.

The Smart City concept has evolved exponentially over the last 10 years and continues to develop rapidly, with “cognitive ability” becoming the next stage or “next stop” of smart city development.

Through its analysis of current developmental trends of smart cities, IDC’s white paper highlights that with the advancing development of digital technology, the construction of smart cities around the world is also accelerating. However, while the paths selected for smart city construction may vary from place to place, most of them follow the three-point transition and iteration of “infrastructure driven scenarios, process driven scenarios, and then space-driven scenarios.”

IDC categorizes infrastructure driven scenarios as those having the characteristics of universality and criticality, process driven scenarios focus on the efficiency of specific services, and space-driven scenarios pay more attention to the experience and interaction of people.

IDC believes that smart cities are in a period of rapid diversified development and are now in the transition phase heading towards process driven and space driven smart scenarios. The white paper details how following trends are relevant across the dual track approach of low-carbon and digital development:

  1. Digital technologies help achieve low-carbon goals in cities

Digital technologies play an irreplaceable role in the accomplishment of low-carbon and carbon neutrality. This includes the digital infrastructure foundation represented by cloud technology, the digital perception application represented by the Internet of things and connectivity technology, and the digital experience and decision-making technology represented by artificial intelligence. As a gathering place for digital applications, smart cities can contribute to the implementation of low-carbon goals in multiple areas.

  1. Space-driven benefits people’s scenarios incubate digital innovation

Digital technologies have been accelerating the emergence of a new industrial ecosystem. Fully developing the digital industry and seeing digitalization as “new energy” is an important means to change the dependence on natural energy to achieve economic growth. Essentially, by focusing on the combination of digitization and people’s livelihood needs alongside the combination of digitization and energy-saving and low-carbon technologies, there can be an effective promotion and rational utilization of urban resources. Space-driven scenarios are also essential towards people’s everyday needs,energy-saving and low-carbon emissions. This includes smart communities, smart business circles, smart industrial parks, among others. All of which are an opportunity to incubate the digital economy.

  1. Developing digital economic ecosystems with sustainable operation mode

The construction of a smart city is gradually being separated from the experience of testing the results of just a single project. Instead of taking the number of business applications and collection of data as the results, it tracks the performance of economic growth and the promotion extent of ecological expansion, as well as aspects of sustainable development models such as whether the data elements are effectively transformed into assets and release values.

According to the IDC white paper, one of the key elements of sustainable operation is to clarify the operator. Additionally, a key element of operation is to test the cooperation of various smart city operators and build a sustainable digital business ecosystem – based on an integrated smart city operation platform – while constantly attracting and including new and relevant users to join the open ecosystem. This is the most significant difference between the emerging operation mode and the traditional project system construction.

  1. Build up a new top layer of smart city architecture with cognitive ability

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being introduced more and more. With the increasing number of unseen smart scenarios coming out of process driven and space driven concepts, smart cities are now evolving to cognition and, indeed, cognitive ability is increasingly seen as a new top level of its architecture. The core value conveyed by urban cognitive ability is “people-oriented”, which is dynamically adjusted and sustainable in its development pursuit, as well as supporting the most common pursuit of different groups – within the urban ecology.

A smart city with cognitive ability is the future. Cognitive ability is a high-level ability for smart city development.

TacOS next-generation city-level AIoT operating system gives a possible way to realize “cognitive city”

Based on the the white paper’s analysis, IDC recognizes that a city-level operation platform can support the cognitive urban capacity framework will become a part of the “new infrastructure” of the future smart city. Moreover, it can provide key support for the long-term iteration of the digital economy and become a platform-driving force for the consecutive upgrading of governance management, people’s well-being, as well as business program promotion in the fields of urban governance, industrial development, well-being services, ecological livability, and other relevant and interconnected areas.

The white paper cites TacOS (a next generation, city-level AIoT operating system) created by Terminus Group, as an example of the “cognitive” operation of the new infrastructure platform of the smart city.

IDC’s white paper indicates that based on the original cloud foundation, TacOS can methodically integrate various intelligent units and coordinate the management of various tasks in the city in terms of “cognitive development at the city level”. It has the value of comprehensive three-dimensional opening, continuous evolution, realizing the closed-loop value of cognitive intelligence, and a new interactive experience upgrade, among other functions.

Taking Chongqing AI Park as an example, this leading pilot project of ‘AI CITY’, again, created by Terminus Group, the white paper introduces the practical application scenarios of TacOS, in detail.

Chongqing AI Park

AI Park takes TacOS as the operating system, implementing the integration of AI Park digital resources and opening through the construction of cloud digital infrastructure. In doing so, this allows it to comprehensively manage all kinds of digital scenarios solutions across the location. Among them, AIoT platforms adapt to a variety of IoT communication protocols to practice the access and operation control of building automation, environment tracking, passing management, energy metering, robots, buildings, and other AIoT terminal equipment. The platform then collects, manages, analyzes, and develops digital services in the AI Park and promotes its digital management in combination with the voice/OCR/vehicle/building energy conservation and other algorithm models of the AI algorithm module. This provides digital support for the AI Park operators and enterprises. In addition, by applying Terminus Group’s TacOS, AI Park will accomplish the unified access and management of standardized and modular native and third-party ecological services (APIs, tool components, application components, etc.) such as IoT management, AI algorithm scheduling, GIS, streaming media, building environment tracking, visitor services, energy and robot services. These would be opened through the developer platform and accomplish the two-way empowerment of native services and (developer) ecology.

TacOS also supports the configuration and integration of native and (developer) ecological SaaS applications, based on application management capabilities. Here, it implements the free combination of applications and the interaction of multiple terminals through a unified user service interface, bringing digital twin park operation to park operators, enterprises, employees and visitors. It also helps provide carbon neutralization, energy-saving, low-carbon, robot-friendly and other cross scenario services and business collaborations.

IDC’s conclusion is that it considers the integration of TacOS in AI Park is benchmark of characteristics for a smart city’s cognitive development. The introduction of intelligent units, driven by AIoT technology and component PAAS + SaaS services, allows for an agile promotion of sustainable operations across the AI Park, with an open ecological and developer platform and also paves the way for the development of an ideal cognitive city operation platform.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

With more than 1,200 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives.

Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG, Inc.), the world’s leading tech media, data and marketing services company.


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