Creating the Palm Jumeirah Island in 2001 brought Dubai global attention. Now the city starts deploying another palm shaped project. The Smart Palm was launched in spring 2015 on the beach close to Dubai’s landmark Burj al Arab hotel. The date palm tree is a symbol of life in the desert and has been chosen again as a symbol of progress, sustainability and intelligence. Smart Palm is part of the Smart City campaign – a key initiative of the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform Dubai to a world class city till Expo 2020.
The region loves iconic projects – launching Smart Palm is just one of these projects. Currently just a pilot but with a lot of potential of bringing free WiFi, convenience and information to public spaces across the city. Dubai based Didea developed the Smart City lighthouse project and aims to cover the whole city on behalf of the government. Eventually more than 100 locations are planned to reach a decent free WiFi coverage across all important areas of Dubai. But Smart Palm is much more than just free WiFi
- Relax & Battery Recharge Station – the main benefit for citizens and tourists alike is a shady place in the desert sun to relax, recharge batteries of mobile phones as well as surf the Internet for free
- Security & Emergency – each palm is equipped with a 360° infrared CCTV camera and emergency button functionality on the touch screen
- Solar Panel which enable the Smart Palm to operate complete autonomy of the public grid
- Digital Signage – Touch Screens providing government information in various languages
- DooH – digital outdoor screens providing space for public messages and commercial advertising in the future
The Smart Palm is supposed to be more than “a green self-sustainable device recharge station and info point with complimentary Wi-Fi access.” The Smart City campaign is a key pillar of Dubai’s Expo 2020 strategy. We will most likely hear from this project at the upcoming Gitex 2015.
D-Idea shows on the Smart Palm website real time data of the two installed smart palms. On average 31 people charge their phones per day and 260 access the internet. This will rise dramatically once Smart Palms will be installed at more frequented locations – also necessary to gain traction in media sales on the integrated displays.