The future of privacy in big cities is bleak; cities are now getting paid to convert street lights into spying SmartNodes.
What are SmartNodes?
SmartNodes will soon replace street lights, because they are equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers etc. — an all-in-one light pole.
The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting and Philips Lighting have collaborated on a program that uses CityTouch connected street lighting management and connected sensors to obtain additional value from the public lighting system. (Source)
Phillips SmartPoles are equipped with ‘environmental noise monitoring’ microphones. Phillips microphones are designed to spy on ‘raucous neighbors and loud music’.
The city of Los Angeles is leveraging their connected street lighting infrastructure to actively monitor and manage noise levels on the streets. Using existing connected street lights, the city has installed microphones to collect noise data at the street level. (Source)
Where would the music be coming from you ask?
Phillips doesn’t say, but you can bet they mean people, vehicles and homes. Which means, SmartPoles can listen to more than just noise. (Click here to watch Phillips Lighting admit SmartPoles are great data collecting conduits.)
Los Angeles wants 110,000 spying street lights
In the above video, Remco Muijs boasts that Phillips and the city of Los Angeles are working together to host third-party sensors that influence people’s behavior.
Because nothing says influencing people’s behavior quite like 110,000 spying street lights.
Companies are paying cities to install spying SmartPoles
An article in PTC reveals that private companies are paying cities $1200 yearly for each SmartPole they install.
The streetlight-based cells will generate revenues by being leased to wireless providers. The City of Los Angeles will receive $1200 per year for each SmartPole. The installation of 100 IoT-connected streetlights is currently in process in Los Angeles. Philips and the city plan to expand the network to 600 streetlights by 2018. Philips, under a tech development pilot program, is also installing 50 SmartPoles in The City of San Jose. (Source)
To translate that into dollar figures, if Los Angeles, turns 110,000 light poles into SmartPoles they would make approximately $13.2 million a year. And with that much money at stake, it won’t be long before every city in America turns their street lights into money-making spying SmartPoles.
image credit: ENE-HUB
Last year, I warned everyone that DHS and the TSA are installing microphones on light posts to spy on commuters.
But ENE-HUB’s SmartNodes make those light posts look like child’s play.
ENE-HUB’s brochure reveals they are equipped with Wi-Fi detectors, microphones, CCTV cameras, speakers and travel card readers, which I assume means transit car readers. (Click here to find out more.)
- RBG Beacon Light
- LED Street and roadway lighting
- Community messaging
- Parking management
- Data capture
- People counting
- Electric vehicle car charging
- Traditional smart pole functions (signage, traffic and lighting)
A recent article in KCRW reveals that ENEHUB’s, SmartNodes could also be equipped with ‘video streaming and gun shot sensors connected to police and fire stations’. One can assume that in the near future, SmartNodes will also be equipped with E-ZPass readers and license plate readers.
Unfortunately, Phillips Lighting and ENE-HUB aren’t the only ones trying to turn entire cities into giant surveillance networks.
Four months ago, I warned everyone that Siemens, GE, Cisco, LED lighting maker Acuity Brands and mall developer Simon Property Group are also installing spying SmartNodes across the country.
After writing numerous articles about Smart Cities, SmartPoles and SmartNodes, one thing becomes crystal clear: they are all about corporate/government surveillance.