Expert: Data is the key enabler in smart cities

Khaled Charif, director of technology and innovation at NXN, reveals how data is the main ingredient when it comes to creating smart cities

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Khaled Charif, director of technology and innovation at NXN.
Khaled Charif, director of technology and innovation at NXN.

Khaled Charif, director of technology and innovation at NXN, reveals how data is the main ingredient when it comes to creating smart cities.

According to Charif’s understanding of “smart”, data is the key enabler, be it a smart building, smart car or smart app.

He says: “We see data as what puts the smart in a smart service. When we talk about data, we talk about relevant and contextual data; data when we need it, and where we need it.

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"We are talking about both historical and real-time data. So in that sense, a smart building will have relevant and contextual data readily available when it comes to a specific service such as to avail a concierge service, to book a parking spot or to manage a security alarm.” 

Charif continues: “The best solutions in my opinion are those that do not disturb existing environments. So smart solutions are important for greenfields as well as brownfields. It’s important to be able to retrofit existing buildings with smart technologies. 

“The goal is to integrate IOT solutions with existing building systems rather than to replace them. And as much as possible, be able to tap into the data of these systems in a non-intrusive way. Now, one of the advantages that IOT is bringing is the ability to augment existing building systems with non-intrusive, cost-effective sensors that can be plugged in the building and augment the data that can be extracted from that building.”

To read Charif’s entire views, check out the issue #1210 of MEP Middle East, which will be out in the first week of October 2017.

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