Welcome to Digital Luxembourg’s " What The Tech?!" series! As the tech landscape gets vaster and more advanced by the second, most sectors are turning towards tech solutions to provide 21st century services. Stay in the know this summer as we break it down for you tech-by-tech, and show you the Luxembourg innovators making technology happen.
This Week: UrbanTech
First came steam and water-powered manufacturing. Then electric production and assembly lines arrived. Relatively soon after that, electronics, IT and the World Wide Web turned industry upside down yet again.
Today, we are on the brink of a new chapter: the fourth industrial revolution, or, Industry 4.0.
Tough acts to follow, these first three phases have one result in common – improved quality of life, setting the bar high for the next wave.
With greater volumes of data collection, big data analytics, cloud computing, advanced ICT, AI capabilities and increased connectivity, the rise of smart cites and the internet of things is arguably just a matter of time.
But as is often the case, the scale of the hurdles matches the scale of potential: high infrastructure costs, societal attitudes, logistics of mass data collection and connectivity, and regulations that protect individuals while still supporting Industry 4.0.
To turn these technologies from high-potential lone wolves into a coordinated “industrial” revolution, countries across the EU are working to achieve a uniform standard of ICT infrastructure.
With the highest density of tier IV data centers in Europe, 1,000 kilometers of dark fiber, leading satellite services and ultra-high bandwidth for 80 percent of households, ICT infrastructure’s importance to Luxembourg shows. Not only does this foundation support technology, but more advanced infrastructure too, such as the impending 5G rollout.
The EU has officially urged all member states to draft and implement their own 5G strategies. Government discussions are underway to streamline Europe’s efforts and ensure that the basis of ICT infrastructure supports Industry 4.0 across borders. Automated driving, for example, cannot afford a dip in effectiveness as a vehicle passes from one jurisdiction to another.
Even if tomorrow’s cities look similar initially, they will certainly behave differently.
Smart cities boast less traffic congestion and pollution alongside increased energy efficiency and security. Additionally, smart homes are more economical and customized to fit the lifestyles of their inhabitants. Wearable gadgets and advanced sensors plan to boost health and further that customized experience as wearers move through life, whether in a shopping mall, downtown or at home.
Projects such as VR, free flow and open data regulations, AI mapping and Infrachain – all enabled by Digital Luxembourg – could find themselves particularly at home in these future smart landscapes.
Ideally, improved manufacturing, agriculture, logistics and supply chains will positively impact the environment and world economy by extracting value and boosting seamlessness in a way we have never seen before.
When the World Wide Web launched publicly on August 6, 1991, the transformations it would bring were conceptual at best. Fast forward nearly 30 years and Industry 4.0 is pushing our imaginations and possibilities even further.
The ingredients of an interconnected, data-driven, “smart” world are coming together, as is a sense that the next chapter, whatever it may be, is just around the corner.
Here are some Luxembourg-based startups worth keeping tabs on: