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Weir Oil & Gas upgrades its RFID-based service platform ••• Samsung SDS, Telensa partner on smart-city solutions ••• ERM Advanced Telematics, Altair Semiconductor team up on automotive IoT asset-tracking tech ••• Smart Cities for All, AT&T collaborate on smart-city playbook focused on disabilities ••• Frost & Sullivan recognizes Nordic ID's RFID retail checkout systems ••• Polte, GeoTraq offer mobile IoT asset trackers.
By Rich Handley

Smart Cities for All, AT&T Collaborate on Smart-City Playbook Focused on Disabilities

Smart Cities for All, a global initiative of G3ict in partnership with World Enabled, has announced the launch of its new Inclusive Innovation Playbook. The tool, developed with support from AT&T, lays out steps that cities and their partners can take to infuse the urban innovation ecosystem with a greater focus on accessibility and a commitment to persons with disabilities.

"We firmly believe that inclusive innovation and accessibility define the smarter products, services, and solutions that contribute to a smarter city," said Karen Tamley, the Commissioner of the City of Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, in a prepared statement. "The City of Chicago is dedicated to encouraging an innovation ecosystem that is diverse and involves persons with disabilities. We are proud to partner with G3ict, AT&T, and World Enabled to develop the Smart Cities for All Inclusive Innovation Playbook as we progress closer towards our goal of making Chicago the most accessible city in the nation."

Many citites around the world are using technology products and smart solutions to allow people to report issues like potholes and broken traffic lights, as well as create direct and personalized communication channels with residents, and facilitate digital or contactless payments for city services. According to global studies conducted by Smart Cities for All, the continuous technology innovation driving this digital transformation is not benefiting everyone, however. The playbook is intended to help cities, as well as their partners and stakeholders, address this challenge by defining the inclusion of everyone as part of the technology-innovation process, and integrating it into urban innovation ecosystems.

"Smart Cities technology can transform urban environments to be a better place for all people to live, work and play," said Suzanne Montgomery, AT&T's chief accessibility officer, in the prepared statement. "It's critical that we work in unison to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem that develops technology that's inclusive and accessible to all. It's an honor for us at AT&T to offer this resource to cities. We strive to be a catalyst in making inclusive urban environments a reality."

The Inclusive Innovation Playbook lays out five plays and related actions that cities can take to infuse incubators, accelerators and the innovation process with a commitment to inclusion and accessibility. These plays focus on a city's citizens, economic assets, infrastructure and networking, as well as on enabling public policies. The playbook draws from successful practices and insights from the private sector, government and civil society.

The Inclusive Innovation Playbook builds on work by AT&T. In its 2018 white paper titled "Smart Cities for All: A Vision for an Inclusive, Accessible Urban Future," AT&T and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) outlined four keys to helping ensure that smart cities are inclusive cities. They called for smart cities worldwide to ensure that inclusion be an integral aspect of entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.

"Every day we're seeing the power of smart cities solutions to transform communities, improve sustainability, and enhance the quality of life for citizens," said Chris Penrose, AT&T's president of IoT solutions, in the prepared statement. "From smart lighting to public safety, this new resource for smart cities will help us join together to build a more inclusive, scalable smart cities ecosystem."

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