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Smart Cities Challenge

IEEE, the RAIN RFID Alliance and RFID Journal will host a Smart Cities Mega-Challenge as part of the IEEE RFID 2017 event, to be co-located at next year's RFID Journal LIVE! conference in Phoenix, Ariz.
By Mark Roberti
Dec 18, 2016

For the past nine years, the IEEE has been co-locating its IEEE RFID technical conference with our RFID Journal LIVE! event. The partnership benefits both parties. Students get to present their research papers not only to an IEEE audience, but also to a broad industry audience. They also can view the latest radio frequency identification products on the show floor, and network with solution providers and end-user companies that might want to hire them.

LIVE! attendees who opt to attend IEEE RFID also have the opportunity to see innovations that might be coming out of research laboratories and universities during the next few years—and they get to meet some of the most talented young engineers from around the world. Next year, we'll be holding the LIVE! conference in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 9-11, and the tradition of collocating with IEEE's event will continue (see RFID Journal LIVE! 2017 to Host IEEE RFID 2017).

The IEEE RFID event has been evolving throughout the years, just as LIVE! has. Next year, IEEE RFID will host—with the support of the RAIN RFID Alliance and RFID Journal—a Smart Cities Mega-Challenge. The aim is to stimulate students to think about how to use passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology to address a problem faced by cities around the world, such as poor traffic flow, congested mass transit, maintenance of aging physical infrastructure and so forth.

Teams are asked to prepare as though they are responding to a request for proposal (RFP). They must identify the steps needed to implement the solution. Submissions must be an eight- to 10-page summary of the system, and must contain a problem statement, a proposed solution and a differentiator—in other words, how the solution is better than other options.

I love this idea for a couple of reasons. First, it inspires the students to think about real-world problems and asks them to prepare a solution in the same way they would have to prepare one if they were seeking to sell a solution to a city. Second, it shows the different ways in which RFID can be used to solve problems. We'd like the students to demonstrate their solution in the LIVE! exhibit hall, so attendees can view them in action.

Although the projects will focus on urban issues, attendees from businesses will also see a variety of ways in which RFID can be used, and perhaps come up with ways to adapt the project ideas for use by their company. The Smart Cities Mega-Challenge will add a new dimension to the IEEE RFID 2017 and RFID Journal LIVE! events next year.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.

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