Sparta Digital at Smart City Expo

World Congress 2016 in Barcelona

As one of the partners in the UK’s biggest Smart City Demonstrator CityVerve, attending this year’s edition of Smart City Expo was a must for Sparta Digital. It was a huge event which gathered together over 16 668 visitors, 591 exhibitors from more than 600 cities from all over the world.

It was an amazing opportunity for us to talk to world leading technology companies such as Huawei, Microsoft and Cisco.

We joined world class professionals for 3 days in Fira Barcelona on 15-17 November to discuss Smart City solutions and Smart City development, to network, to learn and most importantly get new ideas from excellent keynote speakers.

This years Smart City Expo’s focus was on putting citizens at the heart of the thinking about smart cities. It’s the need of the hour for smart city initiatives across the world, considering many smart city concepts and ideas have failed to deliver on their promises, with high costs and low returns (see NESTA report). This gave us a lot of reassurance considering Sparta’s vision of a sharing smart city, creating solutions through a human centric approach with end user applications and value always in mind.

There is an imperative need to discuss smart cities and smart citizens. The city must be created not only for citizens but also with them.

Here are some highlights of the event…

Huawei Smart City Solutions and Augmented Reality

Huawei Smart City Solution covers it all – Smart Government, Smart Industry and Smart Life.  It integrates urban management, enterprise development, and people’s lifestyle in a ubiquitous ICT-based network by making full use of communications network, cloud computing, and information collaboration. Smart City promotes stable urban development and optimal resource utilization, boosts urban intelligence coverage and increases operational efficiency, sustainability, and citizen satisfaction.

Certainly, Huawei made the biggest impression with a continuously busy stand and many demonstrations.

Other news from Huawei is Augmented Reality based Policing, which simply allows police to see all details of residents in the property they are pointing at with the smartphone, as well as owners info and car info of the cars parked on the street (for example if the car was reported stolen) and pipe network underneath the house.

Microsoft HoloLens

We also managed to book a session with Microsoft HoloLens. Taqtile was demonstrating their 3D city (Seatlle example) to play with zooming, rotating and switching locations. The app can provide various data like traffic, pollution, building energy consumption or even points near you where people just posted a Tweet! Another cool option is drawing on the city or making notes – anything you might need to work with a Smart City.

Smart City Dubai Police Robot

The Dubai Police Robot is expected to patrol Dubai streets by 2020. It was definitely the star of the Smart City Expo constantly surrounded by visitors. It’s current options might be limited, but Dubai Police wants to introduce it in a few tourist areas in 2017. The Robot interacts with people directly and it includes an interactive screen and microphone connected to the Dubai Police call centres.

I must admit, it must be the most polite and entertaining policeman you might have ever met, keen on complimenting people and taking selfies with a dose of humour!


At the UK Stand we had the pleasure to meet all the most important people from Smart Cities solutions and innovative companies in the United Kingdom. Telensa, Stream, Ordnance Survey, Innovate UK, Amey and Mott MacDonald all exhibited at UK stand giving us a chance to discuss ideas and potential future solutions.

Sparta showcased our Buzzin app and Smart mobility solution, developed as part of Frontier cities program at the FIWARE stand at the Expo.

Sparta also took the opportunity to talk about City verve throughout the Expo ( ,UK’s £10 million IoT smart city project, working with Manchester City Council, Cisco and TfGM (Transport for Greater Manchester) and other partners.

We also visited the Cisco stand to understand more about their Smart+connected platform which has been deployed in 14 cities.

A special session was organised by FICCI , in which representatives from Invest in India and Smart City India representations made their presentations about India’s smart city plan including the cities chosen and the opportunities for European cities & organisations.