The future of the Smart City is constantly being redefined, and by extension our relationship with citizens. The advent of the Smart Home offers an opportunity to connect with our constituents in new and exciting ways that weren’t previously possible. The following projects illustrate our strategy of testing different technologies to democratize open government data and put it in useful contextual applications for our citizens.
Innovation has built a connection to the free service IFTTT (IF This, Then That) that lets residents get notifications from the city the way they want them. Things like emergency alerts, air quality, city jobs, city news, and Metro Council meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and bills can be sent to residents via text message, email, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Hue light bulbs, and other smart devices. These can be mixed and matched in countless ways, helping get the information you need in the manner you need, and is of particular value for visually or audibly impaired residents. Louisville is the first government on the platform, which initiated IFTTT’s creation of the government Data Access Project.
Smart Assistant Skills (Alexa, Google Assistant)
Our citizen’s expectations are being set by the pace and responsiveness of private industry. The future of government is not behind paper forms, or labyrinth processes but instead the future of our government is ubiquitous service and availability. The citizen expectation is to be able to solve their problems quickly, efficiently and with as little energy as possible.
To accomplish this effort, the Office of Civic Innovation is experimenting with several Smart Assistants, and Voice User Interfaces (VUIs). By engaging with our local Code for America chapter, the Civic Data Alliance, we have created a number of community developed skills, primarily for (but not limited to) the Amazon Alexa digital assistant. This allows us to experiment with voice interaction, a new channel for digital citizen services.
As these technologies have a greater impact and influence on our lives, and are developed for citizens by their local government, it is important the citizens have the capability and option to review the code of this software. You can review this project, and many others on our organization page on GitHub.
As all citizens leverage and use technology platforms differently, we currently have a multi-platform digital assistant solution in development that will address the need for a platform agnostic solution.