City Bee to the rescue of those at risk in busy cities

May 30, 2007

A recently launched project could make it easier to rescue vulnerable people lost in the urban jungle.

The CityBee project, funded by the EU's Sixth Framework Programme,is working on developing a low-cost wireless metropolitan network based on Location Based Services (LBS) wireless technology, which could be used for locating and providing useful services to lost citizens.

Each network will be specifically designed and tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups within society, such as children, the elderly and the disabled (both physically and mentally).

The proposed solution will use the IEEE 802.15.4 radio frequency standard (Zigbee), which provides a license-free radio frequency band at 2.4GHz and has sufficient capabilities for the development of a flexible, easily extendable, robust private wireless network.

The network is being designed to be flexible and scalable, to cover a variety of scenarios, from large metropolitan areas up to entire cities. The network will be divided into clusters and a multi-cluster network/transport layer will be implemented. The CityBee network will be formed by fixed and mobile devices and a Control Centre.

One of the partners in the project, Steve Lane, explains: 'One possible future application of such an infrastructure could be the communication with vulnerable or at risk people who require specific care.

'For example Alzheimer's sufferers can have their freedom rights restricted because of the risk of finding themselves in unusual surroundings. This network infrastructure would enable them to continue with their lifestyle because of the security measures the technology creates and the flexibility of being able to wear smaller, smarter devices for monitoring and management purposes. The IEEE 802.15.4 offers the possibility to create complex networks with relatively low power consumption for the mobile nodes, and permits high distances between nodes compared to other wireless network standards, making it ideal for this type of patient monitoring.'

The project is banking on using the lower cost Zigbee technology, instead of other location and communication technologies, because of its belief that the benefits for installers, operators and users of the CityBee network will ensure as wide as possible an uptake.

The town council of Barcelona will be the first to commission and evaluate the CityBee network in the district of 'Nou Barris', where a public institution for impaired people is located.

Other potential applications for the technology include a vehicle tracking solution for small businesses, and a live information service which could offer such services as waiting times at bus and tram stops, urban guides and synchronising traffic light signals with the arrival emergency vehicles.

The project began on 1 October 2006 and will run for two years.

Source: CORDIS

Explore further: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

As numbers of gray seals rise, so do conflicts

16 hours ago

(AP)—Decades after gray seals were all but wiped out in New England waters, the population has rebounded so much that some frustrated residents are calling for a controlled hunt.

Recommended for you

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0