AT&T and GE are working together to monitor and mic up our cities. It’s not quite as creepy as it sounds — rather, the two technology companies are hoping that their new collaboration will “help accelerate the digital era of urban development” by connecting cities throughout the U.S. and Mexico to the Internet of Things. With this connectivity, AT&T and GE hope that cities and their denizens will be able to better operate, communicate, and meet one another’s needs.
With the new collaboration, AT&T has been named the exclusive reseller of GE’s “Current” technology, which ought to help the telecommunications company further its Smart Cities services, which have been operational since 2015. For example, AT&T will now have access to GE’s Predix-powered IoT platform, which will allow for the implementation of outdoor LED lighting in a city to help establish digital infrastructure that could assist in a variety of issues: traffic, parking, gunshot detection, air quality monitoring, and weather alerts.
Current brings together energy technology like LED and solar with various sensors and software to help users (which include cities, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities) cut down on their energy costs and make for more intelligent environments.
“Intelligent lighting plays a huge role in a smart city,” said Chris Penrose, president, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “Our collaboration with Current will enable us to use a city’s existing lighting infrastructure to more securely connect sensor-enabled networks. This will put them on the path to becoming a smarter, more sustainable city.”
Just a few days prior, AT&T and GE worked together to equip 3,200 street lights in San Diego with cameras, microphones, and sensors, making San Diego a large-scale smart city. But clearly, that’s just the beginning of the partnership between these two companies.
“We are thrilled to expand Current’s relationship with AT&T to help cities redefine the civic engagement model—our digital network is based on an open platform, which allows entrepreneurs, incubators and students to get involved in the future development of smart city applications,” said John Gordon, Chief Digital Officer of Current, powered by GE. “Our goal is to bring the combined power of GE and AT&T to municipalities in a way that pulls from the best of both worlds.”