A smart city is conceived as a huge ecosystem of interconnected organs of a city brought about by embedded electronics, softwares, sensors, and actuators using wireless or other networks working in a seamless way to provide better services to the citizens. The organs can include services like fire, police stations and hospitals, power generation and distribution centres, residential buildings, businesses, courts, municipalities, libraries, schools, colleges, administrative units, transportation system, traffic management, and many others. In a smart city good use of computer based networks can be used to bring about the following:
- Prompt response in cases of emergencies like fire, natural disasters, rioting, accidents, etc.
- Betterment of services like health, education, etc.
- Better waste management by municipalities
- Better traffic management through suitable signalling and parking arrangements
- Ensure proper distribution of power and reduce leakages
- Better coordination amongst a multitude of transport services
- Better management of schools, colleges, libraries, etc.
- Better monitoring of air quality and optimal use of natural resources like water
Smart cities are the need of the hour; as urban population density is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. As population increases the pressure on limited resources is bound to grow leading to conflicts. Smart cities would ensure equitable distribution of resources in the most efficient way. As there will be less wastage or leakages in the services offered the citizens will be better served leading to a better quality of life. To bring the concept of smart cities into reality Internet of Things or IoT will play an all encompassing role.
IoT enables physical infrastructure like buildings, vehicles and all other objects to communicate and exchange data with each other. They can do so with the help of embedded softwares, actuators, sensors, thermostats and other gadgets through wireless network protocols like LAN, WAN, PAN. As the proper functioning of IoT becomes a prerequisite for different organs of a smart city to function in a seamless manner, the testing of IoT ecosystem becomes inevitable.
IoT testing services can include the following:
Functional testing: Here individual components like applications, sensors, actuators, etc. are tested for efficient outcomes. It also tests if the communication bandwidth is adequate for faster transmission of data signals.
Interoperability of systems test: It covers testing of various devices and software systems to ensure they operate across different platforms with compatible versions.
Security testing: Checks if gadgets and services follow security protocols, and adhere to privacy norms.
Usability testing: Checks systems and processes from the users’ perspective to ensure they meet user requirements and lead to a better user experience.
As IoT ecosystem is part of the basic architecture of smart cities, its proper functioning needs to be ensured. Hence, IoT testing is an absolute must to usher in a throbbing smart city.
Michael works for Cigniti Technologies, which is the world’s first Independent Software Testing Services Company to be appraised at CMMI-SVC Level 5, and an ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 27001:2013 certified organization.