The idea of digitally transforming into a Smart City is gaining momentum as civic leaders are realizing the value Internet of Things (IoT) brings to support a dense, growing urban infrastructure. Here in Wichita, Kansas, we have a comprehensive Smart City initiative – we refer to it as being street smart – with the goal to improve the livability, sustainability, and economy of our city and support our continuous focus on the safety and well-being of our citizens.

One of our more important initiatives we implemented was pioneering an improved gunshot detection system, with the ability to detect distinct acoustic signatures using machine learning to determine if a sound was, in fact, a gunshot. We realized that cellular network connectivity is expensive, and can take up to three (3) minutes to notify that a gunshot was heard. We sought to find the right partner to help us make our solution for gunshot detection even more effective.

As a city, we had experimented in IoT and LoRaWAN® on several occasions but didn’t have the resources to fully invest. When we spoke with MachineQ™ and learned about their integrated hardware and software IoT platform powered by LoRaWAN technology, it was clear that their platform and offering were inline with and exceptionally well-oriented to the City’s Smart City initiatives. Through them, we could quickly scale a LoRaWAN network that would have a meaningful impact for Wichita.

“When we spoke with MachineQ™ and learned about their integrated hardware and software IoT platform powered by LoRaWAN technology, it was clear that their platform and offering were inline with and exceptionally well-oriented to the City’s Smart City initiatives.”

– Michael Barnett, Smart City Coordinator | City of Wichita

For our gunshot detection program, using MachineQ’s platform, we deployed a cost-effective, low power, long range IoT network across the areas of the city where we are testing the technology. The real-time data and alerts support will enhance our law enforcement by providing faster response times, and ultimately create safer streets. The City is focused on using LoRaWAN as one of its network layers for a truly Smart City. LoRaWAN excels by allowing us to transmit small amounts of data across large distances at low costs. MachineQ’s partnership in this area has lead to a more agile Smart City program and allows us to accomplish more with less resources, giving us the ability to innovate and push the boundary of what cities can achieve.

The focus of Wichita’s Smart City program is not to be smarter but the reason why we should be smarter. For us, this “why” will always be to serve our citizens to the best of our ability and to provide them a city that is well run, safe, dependable, and economically growing. Our Smart City program seeks to disrupt and innovate across the city, while engaging and building trust with our residents. Through MachineQ’s end-to-end LoRaWAN platform, we are able to deploy MachineQ’s various low-cost devices, or deploy additional sensors manufactured locally or purchased throughout the world from leading edge suppliers to provide our residents with the best IoT platform and data value.

“It’s not difficult to find a vendor– but it is difficult to find a partner– and our partnership with MachineQ has helped deploy solutions quickly at scale to have the efficacy to change the lives of our citizens for the better.”

– Michael Barnett, Smart City Coordinator | City of Wichita

There are countless examples of how Wichita is using LoRaWAN and IoT to enable a smarter city for everyone and not just one district. We are using MachineQ’s platform to actively deploy LoRaWAN across a wide area to be inclusive and ready to respond as internal and external needs arise. LoRaWAN is one of many projects we are implementing to to make Wichita a Smart City, but it is a critical one. It’s not difficult to find a vendor– but it is difficult to find a partner– and our partnership with MachineQ has helped deploy solutions quickly at scale to have the efficacy to change the lives of our citizens for the better.

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