His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced last week the launch of the Smart City initiative focusing on 6 different areas – Life, Transportation, Society, Economy, Governance and Environment. On the announcement event an Augmented Reality (AR) application was used which indicates that AR technology will enter the highest circles of Dubai – and we’re ready to be part of it.
At ARworks we’re convinced that this initiative will turn the daily life of UAE into a fully mobile, connected experience. We’d like to be a part of this digital transformation since our Visually Impressive Technologies (VITs) like Augmented Reality, 360 panoramic photo and video and Kinect based virtual reality could make the otherwise not so spectacular content of mobile applications into a real visual experience – like we did for the Dubai Customs Office on the Gitex, 2013. Apart from this the strong front end app-back end server know-how will help us to built robust, fast data storing and data representation systems – like we’re doing for a government legal institution at the moment.
As a result of the initiative, visitors of the 2020 World Expo will feel that they are really entering a Smart City – the city of the future.
To show, how we think a smart day in the world’s first Smart City, Dubai, will look like already in the near future, we’ve prepared an imaginary diary entry – or a Facebook post – of a day in Dubai. Let’s see the experience:
11, March 2015
7:30 I’m waking up, checking the weather on the live 360 panoramic camera feed from the Burj Khalifa in my bed – sunny day ☺. Preparing kids for school, then leaving the house. On the go my app tells my road toll balance as we’re passing by the toll gate – and congratulates for not overspeeding for 3 months.. Arriving to school, dropping of the family – then booking on my phone the parking spot for today at the office.
8:30 Arriving at work. First scrolling through the new pitch/purchasing announcements from the Ministry of Infrastructure on my iPad – we will actually apply for one of them then approving our numbers for the last month to be automatically send to the authorities. My first meeting is about a real estate project – I’ve just updated the full 3 dimensional model of the new buildings so I can present it to my clients on our interactive 3D projection map. Besides the living 3d model of the new Free Port Zone, I’ll show them how the development is going on with a 360 panoramic video – the video was recorded by the automatic system on site yesterday. They are satisfied with the progress, so I’m happy to leave for lunch.
12:00 My app proposes to go to the new restaurant about 10 minutes drive – since I can see in the app, that my friends will be there as well, I’m going there. While waiting for the coffee my app alerts me that my driving license will expire – I check my connected personal datasheet at the Ministry of Interiors within the app – I have one more month to renew it. No problem, I’m booking immediately a time with the app for the next week.
14:00 I’ll have visitors from abroad for the afternoon to show around so I’m going to DWC to pick them up. On the road I just check the interactive real time statistical menu point of the Dubai Tourism app – there were another 5% increase in this month of tourist trips to Dubai. I can understand why ☺.
15:00 They’ve arrived and we are going to the Dubai Creek first, to walk through the virtual tour of Dubai in 1900 – we pick up the necessary Google Glasses in the booth – as we can do at many places of the World’s First Connected Smart City. A kind of time travel, it is. The virtual, otherwise non-existing 3D buildings of the ancient city impresses them very much – so they make some images in them, and share it.
16:14 My son just sent me a mail that he managed to collect all of the virtual characters on their historical augmented reality treasure hunt game in school. Finally, he enjoys learning.
17:00 Since we don’t have time to visit the 2020 World Expo site, we check it through our app, again. A virtual walk within the 3 dimensional, 360 panoramic model of the Expo city is downloaded to the app, and we can discover together the fantastic location, like actually being there.
18:27 Another alert from the app – my medical test are ready, they just came in from the hospital to the app. I check them on the screen. I have to log in first for this info – and there are so many passwords but finally I succeed. I also see the doctors recommendation – a bit less stress, sleep more and eat more fruits to make my cholesterol level right.
19:30 Since we haven’t agreed on anything for tonight, I’m checking the interactive GPS based camera view of the programs tonight in the city. There is one just across the street – and I can book within the app one of the last seats.
22:00 The guests are in the hotel, I’m at home, children are sleeping. It was a pretty intense day in Smart City.