The Smart City concept can mean different things to different people. For city leaders, a smart city often means an efficient city, where urban assets can be controlled and monitored centrally to manage spend and sustainability. For citizens, a smart city means more, it must respond to their needs in a way that improves services and, ultimately, their quality of life.

Regardless of how a smart city is perceived or functions, one thing remains a constant – data is the underpinning motive for their development. Without data, cities cannot be smart or intuitive to meet unique citizen requirements; they simply use enhanced technology to upgrade existing features. To take cities one step further and transform them from passive to responsive, IoT plays a key role in both gathering and communicating urban insights.

IoT is a driving force in the way urban infrastructure communicates with municipalities and citizens. The digitalisation of citywide assets ensures connectivity, forming an eco-system that gathers, stores and analyses data for further insight. This communication is vital to ensure real-time information, about the surrounding environment, is relayed.

The need for interoperability

In order for such measurable and valuable data to be gathered, information must flow freely throughout a city so that actionable insights can be captured.  Connectivity throughout city infrastructure is vital which is why interoperability, both between communications systems and physical street furniture, is so important.

As the delivery of smart cities throughout the world multiplies, so does the number of hardware, software and platform providers; when it comes to futureproofing, this is a growing concern. Proprietors of such systems can tie cities in to a single vendor or service solution, which could mean tariffs are monopolised and potential unrealised, restricting the growth of smart cities and masking their true value.

Ensuring interoperability throughout smart street lighting infrastructure means cities have the freedom and flexibility to choose solutions that match their requirements, while being able to add-on other applications should the need arise. If their current vendor cannot help with this solution, they are free to use another, while being able to manage all applications within a single or interconnected interface.

The need for TALQ

TALQ is an open consortium for industry members that supports and educates cities and solution providers by sharing TALQ technical specifications, how they are implemented and their benefits; creating a level playing field for the entire supply chain. Understanding the need for interoperability and innovation, TALQ sets a standard for smart city management, with an aim for transparency across all levels of implementation.

The TALQ Consortium provides a smart city protocol that uses a common language for smart city applications, such as outdoor lighting control, waste management and parking. It gives smart city developers an open platform for innovation which enables cross-departmental co-operation within a proven global standard. Lucy Zodion is an approved TALQ member which means the solutions it develops are not only innovative, they’re considered interoperable.

A structure to make smart solutions more flexible

In order to enable integration across different applications and networks, the TALQ Specification defines mandatory interoperable functionality and allows optional interoperable features. Additionally TALQ also enables differentiation through vendor specific features, such as the unique features and capabilities available on the Lucy Zodion Vizion® CMS platform.

The most commonly used operations are covered by TALQ’s mandatory functionalities. The optional definitions address frequently requested additional features. CMS and TALQ Bridge implementations accept optional attributes and supplier specific attributes/events without problems, but they are not required to implement corresponding functionality.

Ensuring all members follow this standard specification allows for further flexibility down the line. It means that end-users are free to choose a service provider that suits their requirements and it means that developers are considered trustworthy and innovative; this requires competitors to work collaboratively for the benefit of cities and municipalities. 

Lucy Zodion and TALQ

For Lucy Zodion, the TALQ protocol means that solutions can be developed from the start, with an understanding of standard requirements. Membership of TALQ enables Lucy Zodion and its CMS solutions to integrate proactively with a number of other companies, in order to ensure total interoperability between platforms.

Our intelligent lighting controls and Vizion CMS are already at the heart of Smart City Intelligence; membership of TALQ adds to their functionality. This, in turn, allows local authorities and lighting users to seamlessly benefit from a wide range of intelligent Lucy Zodion products.

We work with TALQ to reinforce the benefits of the standard at a number of UK and international events, where we discuss the solutions we’ve developed in accordance to the standard and how the TALQ Consortium has helped drive smart street lighting initiatives globally.

We will be present on the TALQ stand at the upcoming Light and Building show, in March, discussing our solutions for smart street lighting, in accordance with the TALQ standard. Find us on our stand located at H4.1, G61 or at the TALQ stand in H5, D30 to discuss the many benefits TALQ has in the smart street lighting realm. Find out more about the Lucy Zodion stand at Light + Building 2018, here


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