Cisco partners up with City Government in an effort to transform Rio into a living urban lab and digitalization milestone

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 6, 2016 – Today, after 18 months of research and development, Cisco and the City Government of Rio de Janeiro present a technology platform installed in the “Porto Maravilha” region, turning the area into a living urban lab and an example of a digital neighborhood. As part of Cisco’s Urban Innovation Program, Cisco is delivering a connected city platform with 15 smart urban services on top. This platform will also allow for experimentation and fast implementation of new services, including those created by citizens and entrepreneurs. Hence, driving entrepreneurship and social innovation. The overall solution is also providing a secure connection for government officials working in the area, including the Municipal Guard.

The connected smart services on top of this platform will allow citizens and visitors of Porto Maravilha to connect, innovate, feel and engage more with the city, as well as offering the city more and better tools for its operations, planning and decision making. This whole variety of services and applications, focused on mobility, collaboration, tourism, environment, accessibility, promotion of innovation and urban planning, was enabled through the installation of an urban Wi-Fi network, a dedicated datacenter and a Citizen Collaboration platform in Porto Maravilha. The region’s free public Wi-Fi network, whose first phase was announced in May of this year, now covers an area of approximately 100,000 square meters, including area between warehouses 1 and 8 of Orla Conde and several hot-spots in Praça Mauá.

This platform was designed to connect the government, citizens and visitors, to create a virtuous cycle of innovation and to improve the region’s urban operations. As a result, Porto Maravilha will have state of the art services, adding even more value to the unprecedented process of transformation driven by the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Citizens are becoming the protagonists in a digital and integrated city. An example of a human smart city is one that enables the creation of services allowing citizens to connect to their neighborhood, the government, different communities and the city’s infrastructure. Through these urban innovation initiatives, we want technology to allow Porto Maravilha’s visitors, residents and entrepreneurs to explore the area’s whole potential. We want the experiences people have here to serve as an example of urban innovation for cities across Brazil and the world,” says Laercio Albuquerque, president, Cisco Brazil.

“Connectivity is key to drive collaboration between people and paves the way for the creation of solutions to further the lives of residents and promote the development of business. The transformation that Porto Maravilha has been undergoing will position our city as an example of a smart and the technology provided by Cisco is fundamental to this process,” said the mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes.

Innovative apps and services benefit residents and visitors

Four interactive kiosks, installed by Cisco in strategic locations around Porto Maravilha, provide a citizen collaboration platform. This is an effective way for residents and visitors to engage, involving information about location of main attractions, mobility, public services, and cultural events among others. These kiosks, which have touch screens, also offer interactive experiences to help explore the region and its attractions, such as a “Happiness-O-Meter”, which shows a real-time ranking of places with the highest “happiness level” in Porto Maravilha, by monitoring messages posted on social networks. The Port Guide also describes the area’s accessible routes, using data supplied by Livrit, one of the startups that won the Cisco Urban Innovation Challenge.
A mobile version of the guide can be downloaded onto smartphones through “Smart Walking Guide”, an app that can generate customized itineraries for visitors to Porto Maravilha. This solution is created from information supplied by users regarding their preferences and interests, and fed by data collected through Cisco’s platform.
Tourists and residents are also benefiting from smart stations called “Rio City Info”, which connect people to the specialized service center run by the city’s department of tourism, RIOTUR. Through Cisco Remote Expert solution, they can interact and exchange information with the RIOTUR agents, reproducing the experience of a personal assistance. The stations enable voice, video and data communication. A camera, a tablet and a printer where the users can share documents or content controlled by the agent are also embedded into the station, enabling an enriching experience. Cisco solution allows visitors to interact with it in Portuguese, English and Spanish, and automatically redirects them to appropriate RIOTUR agent.
Besides the “Rio City Info” station at Praça Mauá, other 3 stations will be installed at Santos Dumont Airport, Novo Rio bus station and Rio Sul mall by August. “Through this solution, RIOTUR centralizes all the city’s tourism services to provide a more comprehensive, innovative and sustainable experience for tourists and to promote responsible tourism during and after the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” says Nina Lualdi, Cisco Innovation Sênior Director Latin America.
Technology working in favor of urban planning
The Porto Wi-Fi network will feature presence analytics tools, which will provide information on the flow and concentration of people, as well as demographic data about users. The analisys of trends involving visitors to the regionwill help improve Porto Maravilha’s management and decision making. In addition, every service delivered on the Cisco platform is generating data that can be used for various purposes including the creating of new services for the city and citizens.

Seven environmental sensing stations have also been installed, featuring 11 types of sensors, which will send real-time environmental data collected in the region to the Rio Operations Center. With these, the city government will have access to more accurate information in order to track and mitigate risks in the area based on different indicators. All the sensors are powered by solar panels, making them environmentally sustainable.

To help with the city’s management, Cisco, in partnership with the Rio Operations Center, has also developed the COR Mobile Unit (UM-COR), which was announced in April. This versatile solution brings together innovative technologies never before implemented in Brazil to extend the capabilities of the COR to where crisis/emergencies and large events are happening.

Promotion of innovation and development of smart solutions to benefit society
Cisco believes that in order to create a digital city, it is not enough to offer technology solutions. It is also necessary to harness the power of the technology now available to create an environment of innovation and collaboration, enabling citizens to become transformational agents rather than mere consumers of the city. This is the objective of our partnership with the Museum of Tomorrow, which involves creating a program called “DataSensing: Experiences in the Internet of Things (IoT).” This partnership will allow digital artists, app developers, engineers, students, researchers and other professionals to have access to Cisco’s connected platform and real time data in in Porto Maravilha. Through Cisco’s development kits, it will be possible for anybody to create and experiment with solutions to transform citizens’ lives in urban environments.

Porto Maravilha also has various smart services created by startups that won the Cisco Urban Innovation Challenge. These startups went through an acceleration program for five months and with the mentorship of Cisco’s Innovation Center Rio. As an example, the region now has 28 manholes equipped with NetSensors’ volumetric sensor solution connected to Porto Maravilha’s monitoring system. More than 21 kilometers of disability accessible routes mapped by the Livrit app. Two audio and video alert surveillance systems have also been installed, to detect unusual sounds and send alerts to the Porto Maravilha’s monitoring systemAnd Nearbee geo-social interaction platform, which enables nearby peopleto help and interact with each other is now available to download. For more information about the Cisco Urban Innovation Challenge visit http://www.cisco-inovacaourbana.com.br/solucao/startup-challenge/.

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