View original article at NBC DFW.
One organization believes the future is now for Dallas’ historic West End, and they’re using virtual reality to give residents a preview of a smart Dallas. “We wanted to take the user into the West End to give them a virtual tour and a virtual experience of what DIA’s living lab is all about in West End,” said Steve Deitz, CEO of 900lbs of Creative, an Oak Cliff innovation lab and creative marketing studio that uses emerging technologies to tell stories.
DIA stands for Dallas Innovation Alliance. It’s a nonprofit public-private partnership dedicated to the design and execution of a smart-city plan for Dallas.
Just by strapping on a virtual reality headset a user is instantly transported into downtown Dallas. With a simple glance the user can see how everyday objects will be smarter. Trash cans will alert public works when they’ll be full. Street lights will help with crowd control and monitor air quality.
“Dallas has all the elements needed to create the next generation city so why not do it ten years before we have to,” said Jennifer Sanders, DIA executive director. “The idea is by marrying traditional sustainability with quality of life and with internet of things technology, how can we make the city more efficient? How can we increase economic development? Really, the most important element is how we increase quality of life for citizens.”