Smart City Consortium formed at USC

| November 16, 2017

I3 to bring together academics and practitioners in engineering, business to develop a model for IoT-connected cities in the US

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On November 16, 2017, the USC Institute for Communication Technology Management (CTM), the USC Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (CCI), and the USC Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) will announce their commitment to forming a consortium that will design, develop, test, and deploy an IoT system to benefit IOT communities including the City of LA, area residents and industry. The formed Intelligent Internet of Things Integrator (I3) consortium, organized by CTM at the USC Marshall School of Business and by CCI and IMSC at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering will engage governmental agencies and industry partners to encourage the development of community-based IoT networks.

Community-based IoT networks are built from groups of independent citizens, companies, and other entities that voluntarily work together to create powerful data “rivers” or consolidated data streams from many IoT device owners into one common flow. In the future, individuals or companies may consent to volunteering the data from their devices so the data can be used for applications that manage energy use, transit, garbage collection, air quality, parking or leak detection in pipes. The proposed I3 system will provide greater transparency between application developers who depend on data for decision-making and the users or organizations that own the devices.

For municipal operations and businesses, the I3 consortium led by USC will streamline the aggregation of data to improve decision-making or provide customer service. In addition, I3 will create an environment for trusted application developers, device manufacturers, communications and value-added data service providers to connect information streams to create and test apps that could improve the quality of life for community-residents. Possible applications generated by I3 might include applications to guide firefighters floor by floor through a burning building with full awareness of building infrastructure features. Alternatively, an I3 application might offer more detailed insights to improve economic activity such as the foot traffic outside of a potential restaurant venue.

Turning Consumers into Entrepreneurs

The system being developed will empower data-owners to make decisions about with whom they choose to share their IoT device data. In the future, individuals and communities will have opportunities to assess trust ratings and evaluate incentives, such as loyalty or rewards programs, to determine with whom they might share data. As more and better data becomes available, businesses and municipalities will be able to mix and match data from different sources in new ways to create innovative and useful tools and services.


Device owners will be able to opt-in to provide a specific data streams to application developers The planned system will also provide heuristics that monitor against unexpected IoT activity that may represent a cybersecurity threat.

“USC Viterbi through its Information Sciences Institute developed some of the early protocols for the Internet that helped propel the information revolution. I3 is to the Internet of Things what the core protocols were to the original Internet. We continue this tradition of technological empowerment, this time in the IoT revolution, for the purpose of building smart cities,” said USC Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis. C. Yortsos.

Platform for Municipal and State Level Deployment:

Once the system is developed and tested in controlled testing environments, I3 co-founders Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Jerry Power and Cyrus Shahabi expect to distribute the core system technology as opensource software so other municipalities, states, and other government entities can benefit from the USC I3 vision.

“We live in an age of data-driven innovation, and initiatives such as the I3 Consortium are essential to leveraging the data that surrounds us for a strong future,” said USC Marshall School of Business Dean James G. Ellis. “USC and Marshall will continue to lead the way in helping our students, faculty and community better understand the convergences between businesses, consumers and governments that will shape cities in this age of data.”

Founding Members of the I3 Consortium include:

  • Avata Intelligence
  • City of Los Angeles
  • ESRI
  • Ether2
  • IKE: Smart City Hub
  • Kiana Analytics
  • Korea University Center for Software Security and Assurance
  • Tech Mahindra
  • Traction Labs
  • USC Center for Communication Technology Management at the USC Marshall School of Business
  • USC Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things at the Viterbi School of Engineering
  • USC Facilities Management Services
  • USC Integrated Media Systems Center at the Viterbi School of Engineering
  • Verizon

Published on November 16th, 2017

Last updated on February 25th, 2019

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