Colin O’Donnell

Latest from Colin O’Donnell

  • Smart cities are boring. Give us responsive cities. Crunch Network

    Smart cities are boring. Give us responsive cities.

    As an urban technologist, I’m often asked to give an example of a compelling smart city application that real people are using. But to be honest, there really isn’t too much to point to – yet. Cities may be getting smarter, but they haven’t noticeably changed from a user perspective. It seems like most of the digital advances in cities have been invisible and focused… Read More

  • In the smart city race, we’re betting on transit Crunch Network

    In the smart city race, we’re betting on transit

    After years of talk about smart cities, people are wondering when will we see them really begin to take shape. What will they look like? How will we interact with them? With a lightpost here, a sensor there — when solutions are not clearly connected and without critical mass — you don’t get the combinatorial benefit of different systems working together. That’s all about… Read More

  • The 5 technologies that are going to define the next decade in cities Crunch Network

    The 5 technologies that are going to define the next decade in cities

    Cities have always been hubs of technological experimentation, shaped by the people who inhabit them and the tools they use. We can still see the marks, both charming and garish, from technologies of years past — from old aqueducts to telephone booths to the damage done by cars. The next wave of real-time technologies that will define the next decade are software upgrades. Read More

  • Bad UX kills Crunch Network

    Bad UX kills

    It clogs systems, causes accidents, wastes energy and makes people unhappy. It’s more than a bad experience on a website — in cities, bad user experience (UX) design can actually kill. We’re talking about signage, public spaces, civic and emergency communications and other forms of urban design that influence our daily routines and, in some cases, are there expressly for… Read More

  • In the singularity, we’ll still be using the same garbage trucks Crunch Network

    In the singularity, we’ll still be using the same garbage trucks

    Our cities face a choice: find creative ways to integrate today’s technology into their DNA or have entire systems get left behind. Urban populations are growing, infrastructure is aging and needs are evolving (access to the Internet is as important as electricity). To keep up with the demands of modern urban populations, cities need ways to integrate new solutions into old ways of… Read More

  • 10 ideas that won’t be on the next president’s tech agenda but should be Crunch Network

    10 ideas that won’t be on the next president’s tech agenda but should be

    Campaign season should be more than just stump speeches; it’s a chance for us to evaluate how our future leader will handle the many tech opportunities and challenges ahead. In the absence of a clear vision from any of the candidates, we’ve laid out a tech agenda that could help us prepare for the dramatic technological advancements we’ll see during this next… Read More