Intel and San Jose's smart city will use real-time data to monitor air quality and more

Today Intel announced a partnership with the city of San Jose, with the goal of improving quality of life through real-time data tracking of air quality, traffic flow and more. The six-month pilot program is Intel's first "smart city" implementation in the US, and it's being presented today as part of the White House SmartAmerica Challenge in Washington, DC.

Working with San Jose, Intel's developed a platform -- including plenty of sensors, of course -- for collecting data on traffic, air and water quality and many other stats. In terms of what's being monitored, the program doesn't sound terribly different from the Hudson Yards "smart neighborhood" we toured earlier this year, but Intel's program is currently more focused on getting a grip on an entire city's vital stats than improving particular residential areas.

The collected data will be shared with government officials through mobile apps and APIs to help inform decision-making. San Jose residents will also have access to statistics, with the hope that being informed will make them more involved in the well-being of their city. Another potential benefit of the program: the addition of about 25,000 clean-tech jobs, fueled by the new infrastructure for monitoring and collecting data.

San Jose is just a starting point for Intel's vision. The company cites growing urbanization as an urgent reason for implementing smart city technology across the globe. (Outside the US, Intel is currently running a pilot in San Jose's sister city of Dublin.) With the San Jose pilot program, Intel will be refining its platform for collecting and analyzing city data. VP of Ton Steenman also said that as the initiative matures, it will be able to tackle additional issues such as street light quality. Further down the line, privacy concerns could be an issue if a city collects data on particular neighborhoods or houses, but for now Intel stresses that its efforts are on the large scale.

Other projects featured at the SmartAmerica Challenge showcase include concepts for smarter emergency response systems, new energy solutions and the use of robotics for installations and base operations. A "closed-loop" healthcare system, which we covered back in April, will also be discussed. For anyone wondering about the next step for the Internet of Things, Intel and others clearly have -- pretty exciting -- answers.