Empowering solar energy, supporting much-needed shade, and offering complimentary WI-FI, the ‘Smart Palm’ trees have been seen sprouting up across Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Located on beaches and in public pizazzes, the man-made trees are green, self-sustainable device recharge stations and information points. The public service installations are set to become every-increasing features of Dubai as the metropolis prepares to welcome the World Expo 2020, and achieve its sustainable and internet of things-enhancing ‘smart city’ initiative.
The ‘Smart Palm’ project follows six main functions; WI-FI hotspot – when visitors are within the vicinity of the installation, internet is freely available; Security and emergency features – each unit is equipped with a 360 degrees infrared CCTV camera and an emergency button is accessible; Solar panels – each ‘Smart Palm’ features specially designed solar panels to make it completely power autonomous; Touch screen and smart info application – smart city information, a dedicated website and mobile apps are accessible; Digital outdoor screen – each installation provides space for public messages, government notices and commercial advertisements; and Relax points and battery recharge stations – seating areas are provided and its recharging points are able to re-energize electronics 2.5 times faster than regular stations.
Tourists, as well as residents, are able to enjoy the 50-odd ‘smart palm’s already, with many more planned. As a must-have in today’s society, fast and reliable internet access is available to visitors, who, whilst surfing the web at the beach, can sit down on the designated seating and relax in the man-made shade. The WIFI, charging power and information displays all source its energy from the specially designed solar panels, placed on top of the palm leaves. This sustainable technology also powers the green light-emitting LEDS, which are also on the palm’s top, so that they glow impressively at night time.