Frequently asked questions

There are sensors to measure sound intensity. Do they listen to what you are saying?

No, they cannot listen to what you are saying. The only thing these sensors can do is measure the level of sound in decibels. The difference between a dog barking or a person shouting cannot be discerned by these sensors.

Are people watching through the cameras?

No, only a computer program receives the images. No one ever looks at them, and it is not possible.

What is Wi-Fi?

Wifi, or Wi-Fi, is the abbreviation for “Wireless Fidelity” and is the collective name for wireless networks. The name was created with a nod to the audio term Hi-Fi (High Fidelity = high reliability). Wi-Fi is best known for providing wireless internet to your PC or smartphone.

What is a sensor?

  • A sensor is an artificial means of sense. Most sensors are electronic or mechanical, but there are also “virtual” sensors. Machines use sensors to observe the environment and collect information. This allows industrial or ICT processes to be controlled.
  • A sensor measures a physical amount of things such as radiation, pressure, temperature, magnetism, level, movement, light intensity, chemistry, and so on. Sensors convert the measured quantity into a standardised control signal for further processing.
  • Sensors can be made using the same technology as microprocessors or memory chips, as well as with other technologies

What is a camera?

A camera is an optical and electronic device that can record and store moving images (video) and sound.

What is a gateway?

A gateway connects two computer networks and allows collaboration between different types of computers.

What is a weather station?

A weather station is a collection of instruments that can measure the weather. Such a weather station is often operated manually, but nowadays they are also operated automatically.

What is Digipolis?

Digipolis is the digital partner of the City of Antwerp. Digipolis installs, manages and supports the IT infrastructure for the city and develops digital applications. To do this, they like to work with other partners. A few examples include

  • Antwerp City Platform as a Service
  • intensive collaboration with creative companies and start-ups
  • DigAnt Café meetup group

Who is imec City of Things?

Imec vzw is a research and innovation hub.
Imec City of Things is part of imec that focuses on “smart cities”' and the technology associated with them. Imec City of Things investigates the use of technological solutions to make the lives of everyone in the city more pleasant. A few examples include

  • traffic lights that take into account the actual users of the intersection and leave the lights on green longer if necessary.
  • smart street lighting that only illuminates a basketball court when it is actually being used.
  • distribution of goods and parcels, with micro-warehouses, ecological vehicles, bicycle couriers, refrigerated trucks, etc., to sort, distribute and deliver everything in the city as efficiently as possible.
  • radar images and sensors that connect data about rainfall, sewers, water consumption, river tides, etc., so the fire brigade can take preventive action more quickly in the event of flooding.
  • traffic lights that take into account unpredictable circumstances - an accident, a demonstration, festival pressure, small roadworks, a vehicle blocking the street - and automatically adjusts the traffic speed or the alternation between the red and green light.
  • and so much more ...

Imec also examines how these solutions can improve the operation of the others.

What is The Beacon?

The Beacon is a business and innovation hub for the Internet of Things. The Beacon opened its doors in the former Tolhuis in Antwerp on Thursday 27 September 2018. This was developed by the city of Antwerp, imec, the Antwerp Port Authority and the University of Antwerp in collaboration with technology federation, Agoria. Together, these partners provide access to a strong industrial and logistics network of potential customers, investors and researchers. Antwerp wants to position itself as an important international hub for digital innovation.

What is a smart city?

A smart city is a city managed and controlled with the help of Information Technology using the “Internet of things”. The aim is to improve the quality of life in the city, to reduce the distance between residents and government, and to organise the city more efficiently - the administration, libraries, hospitals, transport systems, utilities, and so on. A network of sensors, the internet and high technology devices connect all parts of the city, with the “Internet of things” being the engine.

What is nudging?

Nudging is giving people a gentle push in the right direction by making desirable behaviour attractive without restricting them in free choice. The goal is to influence unconscious choices so people will adjust their behaviour slightly.