The Capital
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The Capital

Project Rundown Interview with Smart City AG

Smart City AG — Turnkey Smart City Projects

Smart city initiatives involving blockchain include smart waste management, decreased pollution, improved transportation, increased business productivity, peer-to-peer (P2P) green energy networking, decentralized identity management, and improved government efficiency. Where can we place Smart City AG? Tell us more about your company.

Our team has been a part of several Smart City project in the past — some of those projects were previously called Smart Metering and some were Smart Home projects.

Our company focuses on human involvement and impact of individual on the system. We believe that Smart City should not be the abstract idea of nice buildings equipped with fancy technology; Our idea is that individual perceived as a user is central to the smart city solution and the first circle around such individual is energy. Our core competitive advantage is that we understand energy as the most important factor in the Smart City context. First of all, we should understand that everything that exists in the context of utilities is, in the end, a matter of every individual. No government would exist if there were no individuals to use its services. But it is important to understand, that energy on the individual level should be the same right as it is water or air that we breath.

Smart Cities aim to improve the quality of lives, right? How your project will contribute to this? Tell us about the problem you solve.

Most Smart City projects claim that they improve quality of life, but de facto they aim to improve the efficiency of the system. Ease administration of the city.

We strive to improve communication and relationships within Smart City Communities we build. We do not try to unify all users and claim that there is only one ultimate experience in Smart City. We share a belief that smart city is many different things to many different users — so we try to develop people’s interests or at least build Smart City platform that will enable people to learn something new about their self, their family, or even about their neighbors. Let’s say that we try to show and explain the ‘energy behavior’ that everyone does but is mostly unaware of.

We tend to use technology in a way that brings people closer together — technology mostly alienates them. It is amazing how people today feel lonely in big cities like Zurich where they could interact with hundreds of people with similar interest and goals every day, but psychology researchers show us more and more results how the interaction between people has changed. Just look at social media application, what they offer, and how people use such tools. On the other hand, people in small villages feel so connected even if their life goals differ a lot.

Smart City is an ideological term that refers to the development of cities that have all functions facilitated by advanced digital technologies. What role your business has in this regard?

Our business has a clear goal — knowledge transfer. Technology is just a very small part of Smart City, the key to successful Smart City are intangibles — new social models, new business models (like the tokenized economy), new motivation tactics, new education possibilities and many other concepts that fulfill people’s life. If governments over the globe somehow want to see people more united and less divided, they should respect more their individualism not only on the basis of rights but with a different approach toward its citizens. It is a reciprocal relationship. Listening to the moans from both sides, governmental and citizens’, makes our project a logical solution. We could say that we build bridges over gaps that seems unbridgeable.

The overarching aim of a Smart City is to improve sustainability, increase efficiency levels, accelerate economic development and ultimately, create a better quality of life with the help of blockchain and IoT, as well as artificial intelligence and robotic process. You choose to work on the blockchain, why is that? Why does blockchain go hand in hand with the Smart City concept?

Blockchain offers many advantages in the Smart City Projects. My first choice is decentralization — in a fully globalized world and the almost completely centralized world many Smart City projects seem like (if I might use a math term) the lowest common denominator of the society.

Decentralized Smart City project can achieve the highest possible added value and best results for a society living in a city where local customs are encouraged and not completely overshadowed by some global trends.

Blockchain also offers easy entrance in the tokenized economy and sustainable economics and ecosystems. Blockchain in its essence is the ecology of human footprint in the digitalized world and Smart City is a system that efficiently allows the individual to be a proactive member of collective.

We have already seen projects that creating a more resilient power grid by using a blockchain powered p2p energy market. This removes sent seeking middlemen and allows individuals to create, buy, sell, and trade energy while retaining value. How is your company different from them?

We believe all the above-mentioned systems are good but those are just intermittent phases.

Nikola Tesla has proved that energy is all around us and it is free. First law of thermodynamics is also clear — so how can someone claim that they have produced energy? Those are obsolete business models with a questionable moral underpinning.

Our goal is to implement some of Nikola Tesla’s dream and enable everybody to transfer energy that is omnipresent in such an energy form that is useful for anyone at any given time for free. Yes, you heard me right — it should be free as it is the air we breathe. Solar Cells and batteries already come close, H2 might be the next step but as it is today, it already could be free. Humanity just needs to learn more about energy and this is what we actually do in the Smart City Project. We educate people to become more profitable. To be more energy conscious.

We did not discover energy, we are just selling tools to understand and transfer energy from one form into another. We also help companies understand the future and propose them long term sustainable business models.

Your current competitors have more money and resources. What prevents your current or potential competitors from pivoting and doing the same thing? Why is your company unique?

We are doing our own job — we encourage others to do the same, we also offer free hardware and other resources to our competitor and start-up that can’t afford it. Competition makes you stronger. You can not train team sport without teammates and opponents. It is impossible to win any tournament if you are the only contestant.

Everyone who lives in a big city knows that having one restaurant in the food court with ten other restaurants is far more lucrative than having an average stand-alone restaurant.

We don’t see our company as omnipotent — we can’t build (equip) all the cities in the world at once. At this point, we are too small even for Switzerland. So other companies are a must if we would like to see Smart City development.

What are the top priorities for the company right now?

We are working on an upgrade of the company’s strategy and objectives. It might be better called ‘The fast evolution of the company’. Adaptation is the feature that needs the most attention.

What are your views on customer experience? How much focus does your business place on that?

Customers are the most important for every company — without them, the business makes no sense. But we would like to see our members or participants more as a user, a partner, as customer implies that energy is a product. It is not. But… We are working hard on that… we have a long way to walk before we arrive where we would like to be…

How can users benefit to join your Smart City Project?

They will get the first-hand experience of how energy in their house functions, after that they will be able to decide on the next step towards energy independence.

Who are your partners and who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

We have many partners from different fields of business. We would like to build better bonds with funds. We are working hard on OTC deals for SCCTN at the moment.

Thank you for your time, Peter Faleskini, it’s been a great pleasure to learn about your company!

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