The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday held its second “Stark Forum” luncheon.
CANTON Canton has established a 12-block innovation district downtown that will be outfitted with high-speed internet.
Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village will have technology that will allow the security and environmental systems of its buildings to be controlled remotely.
A hospital in Indianapolis uses a tracking system to make sure its nurses stay safe and to give them a way to alert someone if threatened by a patient or visitor.
These situations all are examples of the ways innovation and technology could improve quality of life in Stark County.
The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday held its second “Stark Forum” luncheon at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The event, presented by AultCare and moderated by The Canton Repository’s special projects editor Todd Porter, focused on innovation. Topics included smart cities, manufacturing and data and how communities and companies can use technology as a tool for growth.
The “Stark Forum” series is designed to address issues that affect Stark County’s future, such as economic development, education and health care.
Wednesday’s panelists were:
• John Baker, regional manager of the connected technologies division for Johnson Controls (the company that purchased the naming rights to the Hall’s development project)
• Nate Green, economic development director for the Montrose Group — a consulting firm based in Columbus — and a partner in the Columbus smart cities initiative
• Michael O’Donnell, vice president of operations for the Manufacturing and Advocacy and Growth Network
• Kyle Quillen, founder and CEO of Agile Networks
Here’s what they had to say.
About what a smart city is:
Green: Smart cities can refer to technology, but they also can refer to economic development strategies. In Columbus, where Green works, one component of smart cities is mobility. The city was awarded a U.S. Department of Transportation smart cities grant and is using it to help people who live in the city’s poorest neighborhoods get to work and health care locations. Another major aspect of smart cities is data collection. Communities have to figure out how to harness that data, Green said, to create jobs and wealth for citizens.
About progress of the smart city component of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village:
Baker: “There’s a lot of envisioning going on right now,” he said, adding that the designing process is about starting with the end result in mind. He offered examples of how the technology might be used to create “a world-class experience.” In the Hall of Fame Hotel, a Philadelphia Eagles fan might walk into his or her room and see videos of the Eagles playing. On the youth fields, there could be video capability so parents can watch their kids compete remotely, either from a restaurant elsewhere on the campus or out of state.
About what Industry 4.0 is and how it affects manufacturing:
O’Donnell: Manufacturing facilities are integrated and data systems are operational, and data are collected and can be monitored. That means catching errors proactively. It’s an exciting time for manufacturing, O’Donnell said, because there are new materials that allow things to be manipulated on a molecular level. He referenced a video showed earlier during the luncheon that detailed how adidas uses a 3D printer to create midsoles for performance shoes.
About what the Internet of Things is and why it’s important:
Quillen: “To me, the Internet of Things, it’s already here,” he said. “We’re just not taking advantage of it.” Quillen said the Internet of Things has been in use for decades, but it used to look different — he referenced how Johnson Controls 50 years ago likely was able to use whatever technology was available at the time to change the temperature of a room remotely. Now, there are sensors on cellphones that can tell a person what his or her heartbeat is and that record data. The bigger question, he said, is what to do with that data that’s been collected.
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