Site will be proving ground for connected technologies
Sprint Business is expanding its Internet of Things efforts this week with the opening of a 5G-powered test bed site in Georgia that will act as a proving ground for smart city technologies and IoT applications.
The Lowdown: The Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners in suburban Atlanta includes a 1.5-mile test track for autonomous vehicles that sits inside an existing 500-acre technology park. The living laboratory, which will give organizations a place to develop and test technologies, includes a live smart city infrastructure, next-generation 5G connectivity, and other real-world conditions.
The Details: Among the technologies on display during the grand opening this week were the “Olli” autonomous passenger shuttle from Local Motors, a self-driving vehicle from Kia, Softbank Robotics’ “Little” autonomous floor cleaner, autonomous drones used for delivering packages from Autonodyne and Valqari, a human-like service robot from CloudMinds Technologies that uses artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud and a virtual avatar, and smart light poles from Georgia Power.
At the center of this effort is Sprint Business’ Curiosity IoT platform, which was launched in November 2018 and includes Curiosity Core, a virtualized and distributed network, and the Curiosity OS operating system designed to manage billions of connected devices and crunch massive amounts of data to quickly gain business insights. Curiosity Core is 5G-ready but connectivity-agnostic, enabling everything from 5G and LTE Advanced to LPWA Cat M, which is designed to let IoT devices connect directly to a 4G network without a gateway.
The Impact: Along with the test track, the site includes a network operations center, smart poles, dedicated fiber, and a 25,000-square-foot technology incubator to accelerate the development of 5G and IoT technologies.
Background: The upcoming marriage of 5G and IoT will be foundational to the development of a host of advanced technologies, from autonomous cars to smart cities. Verizon has a similar 5G-based connected city test site, called Mcity, at the University of Michigan. Gartner analysts say two-thirds of organizations plan to deploy 5G by next year primarily for communications and video.
The Buzz: “Companies that are paving the way forward with next-generation IoT technologies have been missing one step in the development process: a living laboratory environment to test the technology that has graduated from a controlled laboratory environment,” said Brian Johnson, city manager for Peachtree Corners. “Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners provides a first-of-its-kind, real-world testing environment to prove out these technologies – creating realistic conditions that enable robotics, artificial intelligence solutions, autonomous services, and countless more use cases to be optimized and ultimately scaled for the suburban and urban landscapes of tomorrow.”
“We are honored to work with the city of Peachtree Corners to help enable new technologies,” said Jan Geldmacher, president of Sprint Business. “With Curiosity IoT and True Mobile 5G, Sprint is bringing together companies – both big and small – to develop and test future-forward technology in one space, sparking innovation and creativity like never before. From enabling the most accurate real-world navigation possible to delivering immediate intelligence from IoT connections, companies can now better test and ultimately scale new solutions for the smart city landscapes of tomorrow.”