Skip to main content

Cell phone towers might be getting replaced by Philips' new streetlights

philips-la-4g-streetlights
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Philips has announced it will launch its SmartPole Street Lighting in Los Angeles, capable of outputting 4G LTE connectivity inside an energy-efficient LED streetlight. The city has contracted for Philips to install 100 units, with more to come if the venture is successful.

The partnership is part of Philips’ Internet of Things expansion, a project that looks for more ways to turn objects into a connected hub. Swedish networking giant Ericsson has itself been contracted by Philips to fit the 4G LTE wireless technology into the streetlights.

philips-la-streetTurning streetlights into wireless beacons could improve connectivity in public areas, and would also be a way for carriers to cut back on networking infrastructure. Philips has made sure that all 4G LTE bands in the U.S. are supported by the streetlights.

“The analog light pole has evolved right here in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “L.A. is a world leader in LED street lights and has more poles than any other city in America.”

Los Angeles was one of the first cities to adopt Philips CityTouch, an asset management system for controlling street lighting across the city. The smart streetlight looks like an extension of this partnership, as Los Angeles looks for more ways to be efficient.

U.S. carriers are struggling to provide adequate networking for everyone in the country, and Ericsson expects data traffic to grow ninefold by 2020. Philips believes its SmartPole technology is the answer to the lack of networking, but Artemis and Nokia see a whole new type of networking as the real problem solver.

One thing is certain, the networking infrastructure that has been pushed for the last 100 years is too large to fit inside a connected world. New futuristic ideas like SmartPole and LinkNYC offer smarter ways to connect to the Internet, without having to pipe fiber optic wire into your home or connect to a large cell tower that struggles to offer high performance to hundreds of thousands of people.

David Curry
Former Digital Trends Contributor
David has been writing about technology for several years, following the latest trends and covering the largest events. He is…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more