Online game hopes to win smart ideas from public

Wed, 2014-10-22 06:00 -- SCC Staff

Lots of people have vivid imaginations. Council Advisor IEEE hopes to turn that creativity into the next big ideas for smart cities.

IEEE has launched the Smart City Challenge, an interactive online game that allows the public to submit their brilliant ideas to help make their city smarter. The game is map-based, so the ideas can be very specific, taking advantage of the unique situation in a particular city. In fact, its stated mission is to find solutions to the real-life problems in as many cities as possible.

For example, one player from Mumbai suggested the city build pedestrian bridges to connect office buildings. Streets get clogged easily in the Indian city and the entrant suggested that getting pedestrians off of them might help cars and people get around easier.

Players from New York have submitted several ideas around generating energy from transportation. One suggested using energy from the subway to power offices. Others suggested finding ways to collect kinetic energy from pedestrians and bicyclists.

The game's map-based interface gives people a little background on the city they're trying to help, information that helps them tailor their suggestion. It also shows them cities that are generating the most ideas and it allows them to browse other people’s entries for inspiration.

The winner, selected through a random drawing, gets an Amazon gift card. Players get one entry for each idea they submit, so they're encouraged to submit often. They can submit ideas through the contest website or the IEEE Facebook page. The entry deadline is Nov. 10, 2014.

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