A LEGO model of an Australian city is helping to illustrate the potential of smart technology.
A miniature adaptation of South Australia’s capital Adelaide is stocked with functioning smart lighting and parking applications to help demonstrate its effectiveness to local residents.
It was built by the state’s largest LEGO club Southern Bricks Lego User Group and includes a scaled version of Adelaide’s iconic biomedical precinct, state-of-the-art sports stadium and government buildings.
Adelaide City Council’s innovation and entrepreneurship advisor Paul Daly said the project was used as a way of initiating community consultation.
“It’s a way of bringing these concepts to life and capturing people’s attention,” he said.
“I have been blown away by the amount of interaction and engagement. It highlights the kinds of technology we are already working on in a way that gives us the ability to figure out what the Adelaide community wants the city to look like as a smart city.”
The working model was made using more than 30,000 Lego pieces and took more than 300 hours to put together.
It includes built-in interactive technology by US-based company Buddy Platform and students from the University of Adelaide.
The Lego city features parking lots with sensors that would direct commuters to vacant spaces, smart street lighting with built-in CCTV and Wi-Fi hotspots and resource management technology to monitor water quality in the nearby river Torrens.
It also includes wayfinding stations to help visitors navigate their way through the city and charge their mobile devices.
“We want Adelaide to become a smart campus for international students,” Daly said.
“This way they can connect with people here before leaving their home countries, know what to expect, develop relationships and help ease settlement.”
Adelaide has publicly declared its ambition to become Australia’s first smart city and has already trialled different smart initiatives to bring itself one step closer to its goal.
The South Australian Government recently signed up with Smart City initiator and internet application development organisation US Ignite to help meet its smart aspirations by helping to establish Adelaide as a connected Gig City.
With internet speeds of up to 10 Gps, the move would help ease Adelaide’s smart technology transition.
Daly said the Adelaide City Council would begin rolling out smart lighting and smart parking early next year with project completion expected for 2019.