|Car-to-car communications could help to prevent traffic jams. (Credit: Copyright Thomas Ott)
Thanks to numerous sensors, Smartphones make it easy for their owners to organize certain parts of their lives. However, that is just the beginning. Darmstadt researchers envision entire "smart" cities, where all devices present within municipal areas are intelligently linked to one another.
Computer scientists, electrical and computer engineers, and mathematicians at the TU Darmstadt and the University of Kassel have joined forces and are working on implementing that vision under their "Cocoon" project. The backbone of a "smart" city is a communications network consisting of sensors that receive streams of data, or signals, analyze them, and transmit them onward. Such sensors thus act as both receivers and transmitters, i.e., represent transceivers. The networked communications involved operates wirelessly via radio links, and yields added values to all participants by analyzing the input data involved. For example, the "Smart Home" control system already on the market allows networking all sorts of devices and automatically regulating them to suit demands, thereby allegedly yielding energy savings of as much as fifteen percent.