Government // Mobile & Wireless
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8/20/2014
08:06 AM
David F Carr
David F Carr
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9 Technologies That Power New York City

From space exploration robotics to subway subsystems, New York has technology to cover everything. Check out some cool examples near the Javits Center, home to Interop New York -- and beyond.
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(Source: Cornell Tech)
(Source: Cornell Tech)

Ah, New York City. If a technology can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

There will be plenty of technologies vying for your attention at Interop New York, our parent company's conference coming up Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. But suppose you step outside the Jacob Javits Convention Center. What technologies will you find powering the city and aiding its citizens and visitors?

New York is a city of big challenges and inventive solutions. Silicon Alley may not quite be on the level of Silicon Valley, but as one of the world's greatest -- who are we kidding? -- the greatest arts, entertainment, and advertising hub, New York has a big say in our digital future -- and the city says it loudly.

New York's technological contributions aren't limited to digital razzle dazzle, however. From robotics and space exploration to 3D printers, New York companies are pioneers.

Technology is also at work on a more down-to-earth level in city government and even under the earth in its legendary subway system. The app stores are bursting with mobile tools to help you get around town by subway, taxi, or private car.

New York is home to excellent institutions of higher education, including technology education, like Cornell Tech, currently building a showcase new campus (pictured above) on Roosevelt Island.

In the following pages, we cover free WiFi to keep you connected, wireless cameras to keep you safe (or perhaps to keep an eye on you), and much more.

Since we're offering this as an Interop preview, we spent a little extra attention on technological wonders related to the area around the convention center. So put on your walking shoes and follow us to the next page. Then register to join us at Interop.

David F. Carr oversees InformationWeek's coverage of government and healthcare IT. He previously led coverage of social business and education technologies and continues to contribute in those areas. He is the editor of Social Collaboration for Dummies (Wiley, Oct. 2013) and ... View Full Bio

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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/21/2014 | 9:30:47 PM
Re: Subway Time app
@Angelfuego: Good point, after-hours travel is when this sort of app would really come in handy. Nothing worse than waiting on a cold subway platform in the wee hours of the morning. the SF BART system does a good job of informing passengers with real-time information, it's a much smaller system so I'm sure it's easier, but in that regard I'd say BART has the NYC subway beat. 
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
8/21/2014 | 9:19:33 PM
Re: Convenience and safety
I have seen the real time data in some subways. It helps me decide which train platform to go to, if there is more than one train line that goes to my destination.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
8/21/2014 | 9:17:31 PM
Re: Convenience and safety
Neat idea about turning pay phones into free Wi-Fi stations. Right now, it looks like those pay phones are only used by people trying to light a cigarette on a windy day.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
8/21/2014 | 9:14:51 PM
Re: Subway Time app
Transit apps sound like the most viable option, but shouldn't be the only option. Some tourists's phones do not work in the states. Since some people are technologically deficient, II think they should still give out paper maps like they used to for individuals that may want them. I think this would be especially helpful to tourists. At one point, they were giving out paper maps that folded up to the size of a metro card. Since there are more and more old fashioned token booths being operated by humans, this seems unlikely. At the very least, I think they should still have the maps posted on the billboards under the plexiglass. I have seen a touch screen in a subway that was supposed to help you plan your trip, navigate, or look at maps. It had filthy fingerprints on it and was not working properly.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
8/21/2014 | 9:03:39 PM
Re: Subway Time app
@Susan N., You are right. There often seems to be another train coming, especially during the day and during rush hour. I suppose the real time data would be a must have for those that require instant gratification even in a New York minute. Maybe real time data would be especially good for those traveling between midnight and 5:30 am or on weekends, due to less trains running or changes in schedule due to track work.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/21/2014 | 6:06:11 PM
Crime Map & Javits
Happy to note that the crime map shows very little activity near Javits -- only four crimes on nearby 34th St. in July 2014. Do thieves take the summer off?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/21/2014 | 6:02:05 PM
Re: Subway Time app
@Number6: I'll take real-time data over pre-determined schedules any day when it comes to transit. Though I have to agree with @Soozyg. With the exception of a few infurtiating lines (the L, the M), there always seems to be another subway car coming before you know it, unless there's some major problem in the system.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/21/2014 | 11:02:40 AM
Convenience and safety
Turning pay phones into free Wi-Fi stations is great thinking, and a nice way to honor a dead technology. I like the Crime Map too. Could keep tourists an residents from drifting into sketchy areas. Though it's probably not the most helpful app if you own a store or restaurant in a neighborhood where there's been crime. "Nope, not going there for dinner."
Number 6
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Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
8/21/2014 | 10:37:51 AM
Re: Subway Time app
Read the item carefullly. It tells you when the next subway is coming. In other words, it's using the location of the train and estimating when it'll arrive. Doesn't have anything to do with schedules.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
8/20/2014 | 2:05:21 PM
Re: Subway Time app
It's true, there's no real schedule where subways are concerned, but it would be helpful to know if there really is "a less crowded train right behind this one," as the conductors always claim. And then there's the local vs. express scenario? How long will I have to wait for an express? This app could inform me that I'm better off taking the local. The only trouble is, wifi and mobile access are spotty in subway stations, so who knows if I can get up-to-date insight on when the next train will arrive?
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