It is time for the world to become a lot smarter. Smart technology is a catch-all term that covers a variety of applications. Video cameras and sensors could be used to monitor traffic patterns and route drivers around bottlenecks. Computer chips in bridges could signal when repairs are needed. Wireless technologies could collect data on electricity usage throughout a city. Smart infrastructure promises to make the world more productive and competitive, while helping the environment and saving lives. Not only that, but it will save money by making what we've got work better and break down less often. These systems would improve productivity in the long run.

There are many smart technologies being advanced currently. One is smart transportation, which can fight traffic congestion by using sensors and synchronized traffic lights. Smart bridges are also becoming more popular. Technology can be used to deliver data about how a bridge is doing under heavy traffic and weather conditions. It can spot serious problems long before a human eye could. There are also smart water systems, which can detect leaks in water pipes and protect levees which could possibly fail.

Finally there is a smart grid, which uses technology to greatly increase efficiency and effectiveness of electricity grids. Smart grids, which promise to lower the estimated two-thirds of energy lost through transmission and distribution, rely on digital communication. This means they are far more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which is creating a boom in cyber-security spending. Although there are downsides and security concerns to these smart technologies, integrating these while building or rebuilding current infrastructure can greatly improve the world as we know it.

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