The University of Glasgow is participating in a European-funded project called SMART, for “Search engine for MultimediA environment geneRated contenT”. They are helping to develop a new type of search engine, based on the “Smart City” concept.
The SMART project is based on the Smart City concept because they use sensors, such as cameras and microphone arrays, to contribute to answers. They also use data from social networks such as Twitter to contribute to answers. Another aspect that is derived from the Smart City concept is that the aim of this project is that the search engine will be able to answer questions with real-time information. It has to be able to answer question such as “How busy is the city center?” and “What is the most fashionable colour now?”
So the SMART engine will be able to answer high-level queries by automatically identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors, synthesizing results stemming from distributed sources in an intelligent way. The project also includes face- and people-tracking and crowd analysis.
Glasgow is one of eight university members of the Scottish Sensor System Centre, funded by the Scottish Funding Council. They realize that sensors are an important part of the development of Smart Cities and they have been developing an open source engine technology since 2004 on which the SMART project is based.
Other participants in the project are Atos, Athens Information Technology, IBM’s Haifa Research Lab, Emperial College London, City ofSantander, PRISA Digital, Telesto and Consorzio S3 Log. It’s expected that the SMART project will be tested in a real city by 2014.