The world is changing, changing at a fast pace, leaving Africa behind. Africa is still dragging along in its self pity, embroiled in political, tribal and economic quagmire. Poverty is everywhere despite the natural resources, there is so much disunity and hatred. Africa is few decades behind, while the world is braising-up for a new innovative world. The new world that is smart, a world less expensive, less stressful and more economical, leaving behind the old tedious ways of doing things, this new world is starting to take shape on a daily basis. The world is beginning to use imaginative intelligence to create breakthroughs in many areas of human endeavours.
Africa needs to catch the innovation bug if it stands to join the fast emerging smart world. A new world emerging through wireless networks, human and material contraptions, all co-joined to form a conglomerate of innovative thoughts and ideas. These thoughts and ideas are interconnected through wireless sensors and cameras, forming a communication network backed by strong inventions, powered by companies like IBM, Siemens, Ericsson, Google and many more.
Smart Phones are the closest smart gizmos to us, using the power of applications (apps) from Iphones and Android market to make our world easier, faster and economical. These smart phones contains several apps, which are incredibly making communication and accessibility easier. They contain sensors that have the full capacity to measure and track everything from user’s location to controlling equipments in our homes. These apps in mobile phones are capable of unimaginable virtual abilities. You can now operate your microwave, washing machine,television and lots of other appliances in your home from anywhere you are at any time outside of your home, you can start this appliances or turn them off from any location. You can pick calls to your home phone from any location and track your journey start and arrival times.
Google Earth and Street View is another major smart development that makes the world seem so easily accessible from any corner you are sited. It means you can sit in the comfort of your home and know your destination even before you embark on a journey for free. You can now track and get traffic information and weather updates in real-time. You can easily navigate your way through the fastest routes. Cost of travelling and the risk has also reduced immensely because companies with branches in may different locations can now easily hold real-time conference meetings in different locations through virtual-conferencing.
Sensors are now placed in cows to monitor their every movement from birth through their milking stages and these are done automatically, rather than using the broader field of animal husbandry. The UK government has mandated all homes to have smart meters installed to replace the current sets of meters by 2015, this will put a stop to meter operatives and readers visiting homes and will in turn reduce human cost as the new smart-meters measure usage in real-time and transfers the information to the energy supplier as energy is used. The new meter will help customers to plan/manage their usage and makes bill calculation more accurate, taking away estimated readings.
There is now automated Demand Response similar to Dynamic Demand Mechanism to manage customers energy consumption in response to supply conditions, this is achieved by connecting the smart meters to the national grid, a feature that allows the meters to monitor consumption and flashes or beeps when consumption is at the high, customers can then turn-off some of their equipments at the peak time. It is generally believed that people use more electricity between 4 pm to 7 pm daily, this period is often the peak period.
The current modes of transportation have been designed since the last century, there is now need to develop more durable means of transportation. New vehicles are now emerging, electric cars and others run-off alternative fuels are now on the increase. A company called Terrafugia’s Transition has already been given license to manufacture commercial flying cars and the company has said this cars will be available as soon as late 2012. This is a sure way to beat the rush hour traffic in our densely populated cities The latest anti-theft systems in newly made cars means that the cars can only be stolen if the thieves get the keys to the cars. The latest tracking systems also makes it very easy to track stolen cars. These and many more innovations are taking shape on daily basis and the new smart transformation is within reach.
The smart world is developing at an amazing fast rate and it is the next big thing to emerge in the information technology world. Leading information technology companies, Government and world organizations are dedicating a large chunk of their budget to developing smart infrastructural projects and digital technology to make communication, transportation, manufacturing, hospital services, energy, and many more areas intelligent and the world easier for us to live in.
China is a country that is in the fore-front of the drive to implement the smart world transformation. China economy is growing at a fast speed because of its dedication and support for smart ideas and innovations. China is harnessing the power of smart system to tackle its environmental problems and future populations explosion. China is using digital technology to provide its urbanized population with food, electricity, transportation, communication and water.
Africa has so much to gain if it joins in the smart world transformation, there is nothing it stands to lose. With smart systems, Africa can plan and monitor its resources more. Increase its productivity and alleviate the current poverty ravishing the planet. Africa needs to rise from its current dogmatic state and invested in research and technology to develop an innovative society, so the continent is not completely left behind in the emerging smart world.