CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Big news for Chicago: the nation's third largest city will soon become one of the most technologically connected cities in the world.
Chicago is now one of 3 cities to get a massive infrastructure upgrade that in the simplest terms is designed to make all of our lives a little better. But will turning Chicago into a "smart city" leave some feeling like big brother is keeping an even closer eye on us all?
We are all about to be linked to Chicago as AT&T in partnership with the city, brings the Internet of things to our everyday lives
“The Internet of things would be taking sensors or taking hardware and then using a very secure stable and scaleable connectivity solution,” said GM Mike Zeto of ‘Smart Cities’ AT&T.
So, once the system is up and running, sensors placed all over the city can collect all kinds of data. For example, the power grid; let's say there's a surge somewhere in the city, sensors will know what to do to keep the lights up and running. Let's say you're heading downtown and you're looking for transportation, or what if you want to rent a bike? Sensors will tell you if there's a bike available. And sanitation: let's say you're going to a trash can and it's full; sensors inside the can will let sanitation works know that it's time to take care of it.
But will connecting Chicagoans to Chicago like never before compromise privacy?
“I feel like I've been watched before by cameras so it's not that big of a deal,” a Chicagoan said.
“Convenience is pretty important, so as long as it's not like a chip that's going under my skin where they know where I am at all times. If it's just telling me about a parking space or an empty garbage, it's really not that big of a deal and that's the wave of the future so I welcome it.”
“I disagree. I think it's very Orwellian and I think technology is already intrusive enough as it is,” another Chicagoan said.
Atlanta and Dallas are the other 2 cities going smart along with Chicago. The program should be completely up and running by this summer.
By the way, the idea of a smart city isn't new. There are 26 cities around the world using similar technology.