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Spatial Computing will Transform Smart Cities

Jasmin Rohman, Research Lead and Systems Designer at MagicLeap Imagination Propulsion Lab

Top Takeaways from the 2019 SingularityU Global Summit

2. Spatial Computing will Transform Smart Cities

What will the smart cities of the future look like, and how can they be designed to best serve the needs of their residents? 

Jasmin Rohman, Research Lead and Systems Designer at MagicLeap Imagination Propulsion Lab, described the evolution of smart cities, explaining that this journey has been fraught with unsuccessful pilot projects – the first round was technology driven, the next was technology-enabled and city-driven. Now, we are seeing cities take a more collaborative and holistic approach, one that is technology-enabled as well as stakeholder-driven. 

Spatial computing refers to having content live in a 3D environment – it is the use of space as a medium to interact with technology. Rohman explained how a digital twin is created, which includes both the physical infrastructure, but also other data, such as mapping, IOT sensors and drone information. 

“I think that having a digital layer and allowing for dynamic interactivity with a city can make cities more human-centric and showcase our shared humanity,” she said. “Having the digital and physical blend more seamlessly allows people to have cities that are tailored to them, it will democratize space and locations and be able to tap into the distributed collective intelligence of a city’s residents.” 

Using storyboards, Naomi Yee, Innovation R & D Lead at Magic Leap, demonstrated some of the applications of spatial computing, and how it could integrate with autonomous vehicles, ambulance pathways, city traffic sensors and emergency response systems. 

Using storyboards, Naomi Yee demonstrated spatial computing’s applications in the real world

“One of the most powerful advantages of spatial computing for cities is its ability to provide 3D visualization tools that give you full control of scale and time,” said Yee. 

The “ultimate rapid prototyping tool,” it allows one to conceive, design, plan and run simulations from inside a room, scale it, take it outside and iterate.