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Hong Kong turns on smart lights

Image Credits: HKSAR Government, Press Release

The first 50 smart lampposts under a government pilot scheme are reportedly being installed in selected road sections in Kwun Tong and the Kai Tak Development Area.

They are expected to come into operation at the end of June 2019. 

Equipped with sensors, data networks and related digital facilities, the smart lampposts can enhance city management through the collection of real-time data like weather, environment and traffic.

Multiple benefits

The Senior Systems Manager at the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer noted that the lampposts are suitable for installing microcell stations of fifth generation (5G) mobile communications services and providing Wi-Fi and future 5G services to the public and tourists.

To complement the development of 5G in Hong Kong, the Government has reserved spaces for the mobile network operators to install their microcell base stations into the smart lampposts.

Some of the smart devices are housed within the lamppost’s protective “donut” casing.

The technology was developed locally by the Logistics & Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre, universities, start-ups, and small and medium enterprises.

The technology also incorporates energy-saving features including light-emitting diode or LED lighting with a Smart Lighting Management System.

Senior Engineer from the Highways Department explained that LEDs use less energy and therefore emit less carbon dioxide.

It was noted that compared to the road light, it is about a 30% reduction in energy. Matched with the smart control system, the energy-saving can be further enhanced. Because perhaps after midnight the illumination is not required to be so bright, the lights can be dimmed to a certain degree to save more energy.

Under the Multi-functional Smart Lampposts pilot scheme, the Government will progressively install about 400 smart lampposts in the next three years in four urban locations: Central and Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Kwun Tong and the Kai Tak Development Area.

The scheme’s performance will be evaluated next year.

Hong Kong’s Smart City Infrastructure goals

According to Hong Kong’s Smart City Blueprint, the main aim of the Government is to build Smart City Infrastructure.

This includes fifth generation (5G) mobile networks are the catalyst for smart city development, offering ultra-high speed and high capacity, supporting device-to-device ultra-reliable/low latency communications, and enabling massive machine-to-machine communications for better implementation of Internet of Things (IoT).

Under this goal is Hong Kong’s aim to implement the multi-functional smart lampposts pilot scheme, which has begun, to facilitate collection of real-time city data to enhance city management and other public services.

Upon implementation of the above, people will be able to enjoy a much broader scope of user-friendly and more responsive public services delivered digitally, build more innovative applications and services using open data, and enjoy higher efficiency and innovation.

The Government will continue to explore and formulate initiatives to improve public services through the adoption of technology under a data-driven approach and review legislation and regulations to support innovation.

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