The Internet of Things has, so far, been generally geared toward the individual and the home, however, its applications go far beyond that into the public realm.

Among those applications is public lighting, with a startup called Sensity Systems, which creates smart lighting networks, having announced that it has attracted partnerships and funding from a number of major businesses, including the likes of General Electric, Cisco and Simon Property Group, a leading mall developer.

"We're obviously excited about the intelligent environment future — that's really what our lighting business is becoming: It's morphing from a hardware to a software business," said Beth Comstock, head of business innovations at G.E. in an interview with The New York Times. "What gets us excited is, frankly, light is more than you can see."

The investments made in the company total around $36 million, which is around half of what the company has raised in total since its inception in 2010. While the funding certainly is notable, perhaps more notable is from whom the funding came. Sensity has been working with Cisco for around a year now and has installed lighting systems in places like Adelaide, Australia; Bangalore India; and Newark.

Of course, Sensity Systems isn't the only company looking to take advantage of the expanding market for lights, light sensors and the software associated with these networks. LED lights are proving to be the way forward as cities and companies look to replace older, energy-hungry lights. Newer lights will be able to not only switch on and off using sensors but will also be able to transmit data about their status. Cities around the world are expected to replace a massive 50 million old light fixtures with LED lights over the next couple of years.

Simon Property Group, for example, is very interested in Sensity as part of its transition into a more automated shopping experience, in which customers will be able to receive alerts about open parking spaces and special offers available to them. Simon has been using the tech from Sensity in the last couple of years and has been happy with how much energy Sensity is saving. Simon plans on installing around 20,000 pole lights across the company, which will be able to communicate over the Sensity network.

Of course, the lights have a market beyond malls and could eventually be used to light entire cities, university campuses and so on. While Sensity is still only running pilot programs, it has clearly got a lot of interest, especially with the rise of the Internet of Things.

Via: The New York Times

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