Smart Cities : Dumb Stuff Gets Smarter

There’s a lot of authoring on ‘The Internet of Things’ – inter-connected, smart, comunicative bits of stuff – everything from fridges, smart phones, tvs, you name it …

These devices, meshed together begin to form greater levels of intelligence, insight and will produce trillions of bits of data that if collected and analysed correctly will bring about greater insight into consumer behaviour. It may even help smart citizens get smarter. Most likely, it will help business have a greater knowledge and insight into how consumers behave and how to provide new services to them.

But there is a stack of dumb things out there which will never be part of the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ … unless you retrofit smartness to them. One such application, which is getting a high profile on Linkedin (amongst other places) is ’tile’ – which makes dumb(ish) things smart(er). I am not a consumer of the tile (yet), I have no financial interest in ’tile’ but it looks like a neat product that could provide added-smartness to otherwise dumb things.

It can be used by the consumer to find mis-placed keys (a new application to an age-old problem) or to track a stolen laptop, bike, car through meshing together the apps used by tile users. That is, of course, if the thief doesn’t simply rip if off and discard it.

The success of this product will be greatly enhanced if the uptake of it meets a critical mass. No doubt there will be competition in the market soon – but it looks like a neat product. And who wouldn’t want to make dumb things smarter?


Author: Andy Nolan

An experienced director-level professional with expertise in sustainable development, cities, universities, governance, policy and strategy. 15 years of experience working in the field of sustainability in both the private and public sector. Has worked within a local authority, in multi-authority partnerships locally and nationally. Experience in higher education across four universities in the UK plus representative bodies. Particular areas of interest and expertise include; energy; transport; climate change; waste management; air quality; decentralised energy; education for sustainability; smart cities; knowledge transfer; research.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

People Stuff

Blogging on work, HR and flexible working

Professor Jem Bendell

Strategist & educator on social change, focused on Deep Adaptation to societal breakdown


Departure lounge ramblings on music, places, climate change and stuff outdoors

Amber Crofts

MA Broadcast Journalist, English Literature Graduate, Aspiring Weather Presenter

Bioscience PhD Forum

The latest news and views from Bioscience PhD students News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.


stories we tell ourselves


. . . your possibilities are endless

Specifier Review

Architecture - Design - Innovation

%d bloggers like this: