Homegrown Sustainability


Ricardo Barcena, CTO and Founder of Spotnik
Ricardo Barcena, CTO and Founder of Spotnik

Published: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 11:54 AM

Spotnik Technologies, a Nikai Group company based in the UAE, presents its latest development of productivity and efficiency software solutions for Smart Cities and Digital Twins

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Urban digital twins are digital representations of cities or urban environments created using a combination of 3D modelling, photogrammetry, GIS data, sensor data, and other digital technologies. They can be thought of as virtual replicas of real-world urban spaces, which can be used to analyse and simulate different scenarios and improve decision-making in various fields.

Urban digital twins can be used in a variety of applications, including city planning and design, transportation management, energy efficiency, and public safety. By creating a digital model of an urban environment, city planners and engineers can test different scenarios and solutions in a virtual environment before implementing them in the real world.

Spotnik Technologies, a Nikai Group company based in UAE, presents its latest development of productivity and efficiency software solutions for smart cities and digital twins. Excerpts from an interview with Ricardo Barcena, co-founder on what makes the Spotnik proposition a unique and must-have tool for city planners and key public sector organisations.

Spotnik Smart City Studio Pro – (Sustainability Edition) Urban Digital Twin – is a Software tool kit that allows users to play with data models, geospatial localisations and 3D environmental features. These allow users to create pages as personal reports called Twin Books. This helps studies for calculating business value over projected scenarios and situational context in a city.

Spotnik Smart City Studio Pro – sustainability edition – is an enterprise-grade, city digital twin tool kit, representing sustainability KPIs via synthetic 4D AI semantic models and pre-integrated GIS features. It uses a versatile 3D Engine enabling visualisation, benchmarking, and simulation of data streams impacting sustainability agendas and roadmap to net zero emissions.

Given that it is a first of its kind, it includes visualised simulation of how the physical and environmental factors affect decarbonisation activities and CO2 emission costs. Smart City Studio is useful for implementing a diversity of use cases with data and three-dimensional replicas of assets in the city. The solution presents an initial go-to-market where the target audience and business model focus on Sustainability use cases supporting business intelligence and decision-making. This is achieved with utility software for reporting, benchmarking, and simulations over a 3D game-like interface and user experience. The platform features GIS (geospatial location-based data), and Web 3 (blockchain processing for the asset), as part of the basic features to play with data. Customised data models use cases and value outcomes from insights to action are personalised to clients, including specific 3D assets, visualization effects and panels, and export, save, or shared customised reports and dashboards.

The vision behind the sustainability domain was foresight at the early development of the digital twin's platform and it is proven to be the right decision for the core team of Spotnik as we can see today, the raise of interest and demand created on the topic of ESG reporting needs for standardisation, net zero roadmaps defined by government institutions and corporations, and government mandates for the businesses and public services to be compliant with reporting and improvement actions over decarbonisation, clean energies, sustainable living, etc. It is a clear win for those pursuing a positive impact on the COP28 initiatives in UAE presenting innovation by a local company.

"We have anticipated these needs by preparing modernised software representing present and future scenarios covering the areas of energy management, green certifications, retrofitting financial models, livability, recycling, and other use cases in the sustainability domain. We believe this gives Spotnik differential positioning for our City Digital Twins, being aside and beyond competitors, which are more focused on technology enablers without clear business outcomes for their clients. “It is the parallel development of data-driven value (supported by AI) to the modernisation of user interfaces and synthetic scenarios for realistic simulations (future cities and urban development) which give us a critical factor for a successful venture. We have the end-to-end competence thanks to the high-performing solutions team at Spotnik," said Barcena.

He further added: "We have also included the optional data management with Web 3 technology, meaning the inclusion of blockchain use cases for asset certifications and documents over smart contracts for reporting status and improvements on the road to net zero activities. Blockchain will allow public sector entities and sustainability departments at corporations to expose and report across unified ecosystems the certificates issued by qualified entities on matters of ESG and smart buildings. This is the case with entities such as LEED, WELL, BREAM, and others with their respective associate practitioners being able to use our platform for a fair play public reporting of certificates linked to digital assets. Those assets are representations of physical infrastructures such as buildings and can be associated with NFTs for future use of the token economy potential."

The business model is initially introduced as B2B and B2G turn-key customisation projects, and in the second stage, we will open the platform for B2B2C and additional business domains beyond the topic of sustainability. As an example, the platform is ready to apply to sectors like real estate, tourism, financial services, hospitality, and other industries, by adequation of the data and use cases over the same technical features and functionalities.

The evolution of the business model towards a SaaS, or Platform as a Service, will allow corporations to define their game-like working environments for business support and reporting utilities. The areas of actuation within the enterprise will be business intelligence, portfolio management, ESG, planning, performance management, and even gamified employee engagement by internal contests from HR, sales, or marketing departments.

The final objective of our product roadmap presents a fully customisable and self-built city digital twins platform (composable components), where automation is included in the generation of the 3D city replicas and its common data structures for sections and asset categorisation. In addition, realistic synthetic models will be supported by generative

AI avoiding the need for custom modelling and facilitating the creative process for the city twins.

Urban digital twins can help improve communication and collaboration between different stakeholders, such as city officials, businesses, and residents. They can provide a common platform for sharing data and insights, which can help inform decision-making and lead to more effective solutions.

Spotnik has done intensive research and valuation around sustainability consultants defining the critical aspects of city-wide decarbonisation and Net zero emissions strategies for smart cities. The consultants develop a use-case discovery framework where the data insights and simulation scenarios are supported by open and selected data sets, logic models and calculations for AI data algorithms, and data science exercises to build a value-focused, data-driven toolkit.

Some use and examples are already available on the Spotnik smart city studio pro, including the correlation between city sectors’ population density, traffic impact, air quality, real estate asset classification, and the energy levels per community and building. From these sources, the algorithms calculate and forecast scenarios by applying variables to those factors. For example, the impact of a new residential community foresees an increase in CO2 emissions and the cost of sustainable development.

For more information on project fit, request for demos, investing, and business relations, please contact: SmartCity@spotnik.net

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