Smart hubs coming to Belfast city centre

Smart hubs coming to Belfast city centre

The ‘Pulse Smart Hubs’ are the first of their kind in the UK.

They will offer:

free public WiFi sensors that capture data on air quality, traffic flow, and footfall that will be used to improve the environment and peoples’ well-being by helping the local council, businesses, and residents understand the city better free local and national calls, plus mobile phone charging and scope for mobile data offloading a defibrillator a 999 button that connects directly to the police, fire, and medical services in case of an emergency a free-to-use touchscreen interface to access local maps, services, facilities, and visitor information public messaging to promote the city, local services, and events.

Belfast council chiefs have granted permission for 19 of the smart hubs so far - with applications pending to make a network of 30.

The £3m privately-funded project will begin rolling out across the city centre from October this year.

The project, which comes at no cost to the tax payer or public, is a collaboration between London-based Pulse Smart Hub, Belfast-based telecommunications operator Euro Payphone, and outdoor advertising company Exterion Media UK.

Patrick Fisher, CEO of Pulse Smart Hub, which has funded the project, said: “We have been working closely with local stakeholders to ensure the ‘Pulse Smart Hub’ network supports Belfast City Council’s strategic vision for smart cities and that the benefits to the City and its residents are truly maximized and available free to all.”

Ongoing maintenance of the 'smart street furniture' will be funded via digital advertising, which will be displayed on the hubs, helping local authorities to provide a state-of-the-art public service at no cost to the public purse.

Patrick Fisher added: “In the age of the Smart City, street furniture must do more to earn its place on the High Street. At no cost to the public or taxpayer, the ‘Pulse Smart Hub’ is the smartest of smart furniture. A network of beautifully designed and engineered hubs that provide next generation connectivity, share information, track the environment, and ultimately, save lives.”

DUP Councillor Lee Reynolds welcomed the launch of the ‘Pulse Smart Hub’.

He said: “Positioning Belfast as a smart city is a key priority for the Council and is at the heart of establishing the city as an outstanding place to live, work and invest.

"The ‘Pulse Smart Hub’ network – the first of its kind in the UK - involves a significant private investment and will deliver state-of-the-art digital infrastructure throughout the city centre.

"The network will increase connectivity and provide a range of free services to the public; and the fact that each hub will house a public access defibrillator is of huge public benefit and will help to save lives in the future."

(reported by Belfast Live on the 27th June)

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