Smart cities need open-source IoT technologies, according to a new report (Photo: Bosch)

Without standardized Internet-of Things technologies, realizing tomorrow's smart cities will be more expensive than necessary.

A report by Machina Research says that, using current non-standardized  technologies, it would cost 1.12 trillion dlrs to get smart cities up and running by 2025. Were a standardized approach adopted, the total cost would be 781 billion dlrs, a savings of 341 billion dlrs worldwide.

The study, commissioned by mobile technology and research company InterDigital, found that competing technologies and varying standards are throwing up costly barriers on the road to the smart city. The lack of standardization also is slowing down the implementation of ambitious smart-city plans.

"This fragmentation is causing a delay in the widespread adoption of IoT," said Jim Nolan, executive vice president, IoT solutions, at InterDigital, said in a press release. "We can't hope to realize any smart city ambitions until all stakeholders can agree on a common set of IoT standards."

There are various definitions of tomorrow's smart city. As summarized by Wikipedia, smart cities integrate multiple information and communication technologies to better manage a assets. These assets include local-governments information systems, city infrastructures, transportation systems and other and other "things" that can be connected in the fast-growing "Internet of Things."

Machina Research noted that a standardized IoT approach doesn't just have financial advantages. It also would allow a 27 pc increase in the number of smart-city connected devices by 2025.

Jeremy Green, who authored the report for Machina Research, said in the press release that the absence of standards means public money is often wasted, while what he called the current 'internet of silos' approach to IoT is slowing down implementation. Said Green: "Our research demonstrates that open standards can solve both challenges."