Belfast is rolling out ‘smart street furniture’ with a network of 25 Pulse Smart Hubs.
It’s the first place in the UK to benefit from the next-generation telecommunications hubs.
The £3m project, funded by Urban Innovation Company, will provide internet connectivity across the city – and even save lives.
Each Smart Hub has a range of features including: a defibrillator for medical emergencies; air quality sensors; a police public messaging function; a 999 button for emergency services; touchscreen access to local maps, facilities and visitor information; public messaging from the city council; free public WiFi; free local and national calls; and mobile phone charging.
So far Belfast City Council has switched on 15 of the hubs and 10 more will be installed over the coming weeks. There are also planning applications to extend the network to 30 hubs throughout the city.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, and tech entrepreneur Patrick Fisher, founder and CEO of Urban Innovation Company, launched the network last week.
Fisher said: “We have been working closely with local stakeholders to ensure the Pulse Smart Hub network supports Belfast City Council’s strategic vision for smart cities and that the benefits to the city and its residents are truly maximised and available, free to all.
“In the age of the smart city, street furniture must do more than to earn its place on the high street. At no cost to the public or taxpayer, the Pulse Smart Hub is the smartest of smart furniture. A network of beautifully designed and engineered hubs that provide next generation connectivity, share information, track the environment and ultimately save lives.”