Source: eKapija | Sunday, 21.11.2021.| 15:14
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Smart Benches and Solar Bus Stops – City Gecko Develops Solutions for Smart Cities (PHOTO)

A smart bench
A smart bench (Photo: Telemax)
City Gecko is a smart urban street furniture brand, created by the company Telemax d.o.o. Banja Luka slightly over two years ago. The brand was the crown of what were then eighteen years of successful operations. The products, that is, the solutions of this brand, are smart benches and solar bus stops.

City Gecko smart benches are available in several modules. Which one has proven to be the most demanded one? Are there any differences in preference compared to the states where you’ve installed these benches so far?

– We called our smart benches modules because of their unique modular design, which enables bench owners to express their creativity by combining two or more modules to create new places for people to gather and share information.

The Solar Module, that is, the solar bench, has proven to be the most attractive, because it can be installed without additional charging, and it is located in all the countries we are present in. Furthermore, this module is frequently installed as a combination with the Wheel Module, which reflects the connection of the green economy and e-mobility, which is a positive trend today.

When it comes to solar bus stops, are there any requirements that the location has to meet for one to be installed, such as the number of sunlight hours or the position?

– Under ideal conditions, which are rare in locations, the bus stop should be oriented in such a way that solar panels receive as much sunlight throughout the day as possible. Of course, this is often impossible, because traditional stops are replaced with our solar ones, whereby the locations and the cities themselves are modernized. In addition to the fact that the installation of the stops is done in the locations of traditional ones, the layer on which it is installed needs to be flat and have sufficient dimensions.

A bus stop
A bus stop (Photo: Telemax)

So far, who has shown an interest in these smart solutions? Is it individuals, institutions, companies?

– Our solutions have a wide application and benefits for various target groups. For that reason, all said actors are showing an interest in them, because individuals want to make a positive change in their environment, institutions want to improve the state of towns and municipalities, and companies want to put their own stamp on the development of environments. So far, we have cooperated with all of them and we are pretty flexible when it comes to the development of custom-made solutions.

Who is the City Gecko app intended for and why should it be used?

– By installing a set of sensors in our solutions, we enable the collection of data from the locations they are installed in. At the moment, these are data pertaining to the temperature, humidity, air pressure, CO levels, noise, UV radiation, energy consumption, as well as device charging counters and a Wi-Fi connection. All the collected data are displayed on the web app which, for individual solutions, can be accessed by us and the owners of the solutions.

There’s also the mobile app which is intended for everyone. It can be downloaded at Google and Apple Store. The mobile app shows the benches in your immediate environment and provides you with the basic information about the location, so that, for example, you can know not to go to a certain part of the city, because of the increased pollution. To towns and municipalities, the data provide an insight into the situation in certain locations, where, based on that, improvements can be made (sound barriers, regulation of traffic due to excessive CO levels etc.).

How do you see the development of smart cities and technologies in our region? What are the potentials and what are the challenges?

– Technology waits for no one. The region, although significantly less developed that the rest of the EU and other, larger markets, is slowly, but surely starting to make smart city initiatives and implement smart technologies. This is not a fast process, unfortunately, because it involves a lot of various actors, from governments, private companies, to developing the awareness of the positive implementation and the application of these technologies among the citizens themselves. The potential of this region lies in companies which work with these technologies, as well as the market itself, which is still open to new solutions.

What is certainly a challenge is the slow response of both local and regional governments to the changes, which entail the adoption of new rulebooks and laws whereby the upcoming technologies and solutions would be used as well as possible for progress. There’s also, of course, the lack of the infrastructure that would support said technologies, but this can also be seen as a potential.

What are the company’s plans for the future?

– In the past eight months, the company has been actively working on developing a network of partners throughout the world. Our aim is to position ourselves as a creator and producer of smart solutions and to install solutions together with our partners (companies and cities).

Parallel with those activities, we are developing new services and new solutions which will find their place in smart cities.

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City Gecko

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