How the State of Illinois Is Becoming a National Technology Leader

This is a guest post from Alida Miranda-Wolff, the Director of Platform at Hyde Park Angels.

Hardik Bhatt is a veteran IOT leader, pioneering the Chicago Smart Cities program as City CIO, managing the global Smart Cities program at CISCO, and now serving as the Chief Digital Officer and State CIO for Illinois. As an investor and leader at Hyde Park Angels, Hardik uses his in-depth knowledge of the IOT space to predict future trends and shed light on current developments in the sector.

In a recent episode of HPA People First podcast, he explained where the IOT market is, where it is headed, and specifically how Illinois is becoming a national leader in emerging technologies with Managing Director Pete Wilkins.

Listen to the full interview below or read below for highlights.

“Healthcare, urban tech, education, and transportation are four areas where I see a tremendous possibility of efficiency gains through a use of IOT. If you asked me to choose my favorite problem to solve, it would be solving generational problems in these sectors,” said Hardik.

In transportation, Illinois has leaned into using IOT technology to improve roadways. Traffic and vehicular safety are some of the biggest issues for governors and mayors across the country, two that have become increasingly top of mind as autonomous vehicles have made strides in their growth and development. A boom in self-driving cars creates a need for robust communications between the roads and the cars themselves. This hasn’t been lost on the state government.

“In Illinois, the I-90 is outfitted with a ton of sensors that all can communicate to self-driving cars in each individual lane to tell them how fast they need to be going and the like. The data is also collected by the state government to analyze and even push out to the federal government,” said Hardik.

Deploying IOT technologies has also led to the adoption of other technologies, including blockchain. At its face, blockchain doesn’t seem connected to IOT, but will ultimately play a critical role in how IOT works. Specifically, the proliferation of IOT solutions has created a need for secure processes around sensing, processing, storing data, and communicating that data. A blockchain model can provide because its decentralization prevents unilateral interference and fosters trust among participants who have to agree when accepting transactions, and while the database can be expanded, it is extremely difficult to alter previous records.

That’s why, “Illinois is establishing ourselves as a leader in blockchain; for example, we are the number two state in terms of [blockchain] activity,” according to Hardik.

(Image via Twitter)

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