[IEEE Xplore] Readings on Smart Cities -- [Editorial] Vol. 1, Issue 2, Jan./Feb. 2015
By Rosaldo J. F. Rossetti
Citizens are in the heart of cities! Understanding their preferences, behaviours and decision making is of paramount importance to the success of Smart Cities and crowdsensing is the enabler shedding light upon crowd dynamics within the urban environment. In this issue of our Readings on Smart Cities, we suggest three articles reporting on crowdsensing technology and its role in the development of smarter societies.
Khan and colleagues  present a survey on mobile phone sensing systems and discuss on different applications of such systems in the growing area of Urban Sensing. Authors also signalise that potential uses of embedded sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, digital compass, and gyroscope, among others are rapidly gaining the attention of both industry and the scientific community, as well as are issues such as security and privacy. The concept of mobile cyber-physical systems is introduced by Hu along with others  relying on a growing population of users of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Whereas cyber-physical systems (CPS) alone are emerging as a multidisciplinary area which studies systems consisting of computational (cyber) units strongly coupled to the physical world, their mobile CPS platform, coined VITA, represents a convenient way to facilitate sophisticated and ubiquitous mobile sensing applications enabling two-way interactions with wonderful potentials. Also discussing on the pivotal importance of different sensors in crowdsensing, Cardone and co-authors  describe an open-source smartphone sensing library called MoST (Mobile Sensing Technology). They emphasise on the applicability of MoST to smart crowd-management applications, especially focusing on its support for physical activity detection, geolocalisation, and geofencing (i.e. the capability of detecting user proximity to a given location and geographical boundaries).
Undoubtedly sensor technologies offer a myriad of exciting opportunities in Smart Cities and crowdsensing, although a relatively recent area of research is stimulating much development within the mobile hardware/software industry, especially if we consider the two-way communication capabilities of mobile devices such as smartphones widely used in urban settings. As far as people are involved and become more technological aware and empowered, however, important issues such as security, privacy and digital inclusion still need be further addressed.
IEEE Xplore References
- W. Z. Khan, Y. Xiang, M. Y. Aalsalem and Q. Arshad, "Mobile Phone Sensing Systems: A Survey," in IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 402-427, First Quarter 2013.
- X. Hu, T. H. S. Chu, H. C. B. Chan and V. C. M. Leung, "Vita: A Crowdsensing-Oriented Mobile Cyber-Physical System," in IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 148-165, June 2013.
- G. Cardone, A. Cirri, A. Corradi, L. Foschini, R. Ianniello and R. Montanari, "Crowdsensing in Urban Areas for City-Scale Mass Gathering Management: Geofencing and Activity Recognition," in IEEE Sensors Journal, vol. 14, no. 12, pp. 4185-4195, Dec. 2014.
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