The movement to connect everything to everything else just got a big supporter: the White House.
The White House announced this week a national campaign to boost the research, development and deployment of systems to support smart cities and the Internet of Things — the conceptual connection of objects to one vast network. The efforts are immense: The National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology are kicking in $45 million; a group of five federal departments and agencies are adding another $115 million; 20 cities are partnering with local higher education institutions; and a cornucopia of organizations are issuing challenges and conducting their own, smaller projects to support the larger campaign.
A running theme through the campaign is connection — of datasets, of people and of physical objects. The MetroLab Network, which brings together cities and universities with $1 million in funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will act as a national structure through which city officials will share problems they have in common and the solutions they’re hoping will solve them.