The city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands has always been known for its rich culture and beautiful canals. However, in the past few years, this city is also becoming known for its steps to become a smart city. This past February, the city won an award for ¬®Best Government Emerging Technologies¬® during the World Government Summit Awards in Dubai. In fact, the city of Amsterdam won this award due to its outstanding approach to innovation in general. Furthermore, this also comes due to the city’s public-private Amsterdam Smart City program.

Amsterdam Smart City Programme

Past February, the city won an award for ¨Best Government Emerging Technologies¨ during the World Government Summit Awards in Dubai.In fact, the city of Amsterdam won this award due to its outstanding approach to innovation in general and for its public-private Amsterdam Smart City program.

With the introduction of the Amsterdam Smart City Programme, the officials of the city have developed a strong basis for a smart city. This program started with the ambition to start the largest smart city innovation platform. Moreover, the city officials aimed to create an overview of what is happening in Amsterdam. The happenings of the city have been divided into these themes: infrastructure and technology, energy, water and water, mobility, circular city, government and education, citizens and living.

By experimenting with emerging technologies, the city has created many different projects. Examples of the projects of the city include The Amsterdam Innovation Arena, City-zen: Virtual Power Plant, Vehicle 2 Grid and much more. However, in this article, we will take a closer look at the Amsterdam iBeacon Living Lab project.

iBeacon Living Lab

The city’s iBeacon Living Lab project is made possible due to the extended partner network. This project centers around a public Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure throughout the city. The key element in this project is the use of iBeacons technology. This enables the interaction with citizens through the use of their smartphones.

The goal of the iBeacon Living Lab is to provide an IoT infrastructure, Actionable Open Data and a developer-friendly network. In fact, this project hopes to stimulate innovation in the city.  Such as the creation of new startups and mobile applications that can impact the local economy.

Furthermore, it provides access to developers and solution providers to test next generation mobile interactive mobile applications. This creates new value chains across different industries as it generates open data. One of the projects introduced by the iBeacon Living Lab is the Amsterdam Beacon Mile.

Amsterdam Beacon Mile

The Amsterdam Beacon Mile is a route of 2 km that has beacons lining it. This is seen as a testing area for applications such as public wayfinding, tourist routes, iBeacon signing, Hyperlocal points of interest and augmenting existing apps with additional proximity data. Citizens can find the city’s Beacon Mile between Amsterdam Central Station and the Marineterrein.

When a citizen walks on the Beacon Mile and has the app installed on its smartphone the beacon will emit signals. The emitted signals will then be decoded by the smartphone. The beacons are located in different places along the Beacon Mile. Furthermore, the signal will then be transformed into the pre-programmed message. The message sent to the user will appear as a pop up on the smartphone. It can contain important information, discounts or to help to discover the route.

Most importantly, the city of Amsterdam has been showing a lot of progress in their journey to become a smart city. The city’s local government stimulates different innovative projects. This has contributed to a sense of community and a common goal.