Efficient sensing techniques for smart city applications

Summary of the technology

The city of the 21st century demands a set of digital services that provide citizens with improved access to resources such as transport, education, health care, energy, safety, and the environment. Giving intelligence to these services means having an extensive network of sensors and the management of information supported by the Internet of things (IoT). Wireless sensor networks present two major challenges: efficient communication and energy autonomy. Event-based sensing techniques help to optimize both by analyzing the information registered in the sensor and making it available to the network only when necessary. In the GEINTRA group, we have experience in event-based sensing techniques and their application to the field of Smart Cities.

Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Details of the Technology Offer


Sensing is the pillar of most of the services that citizen demands from a smart city: health care, urban transport, education, energy consumption, security, environment, etc. The area to be covered, not only in large cities, requires wireless and battery-powered sensing solutions.

However, the extensive use of sensory nodes presents two important problems: a) the energy consumption of each node, bearing in mind that, of all the processes to be carried out in the sensory node, the communication with other nodes is the one that requires greater energy consumption; and b) the access to the communication channel. In the GEINTRA group, we have contributed to providing answers to these transversal problems, developing event-based sensing applications in the context of smart cities.

The graphical abstract includes event-based sensing techniques we work with: send-on-delta (SoD), send-on-prediction (SoP), send-on-area (SoA) and send-on-energy (SoE).

Our contribution to the field of smart city sensing is twofold:

- improve the performance of sensor nodes already in place by adapting the corresponding triggering mechanism,

- incorporate new asynchronous and selective sensing strategies into next-generation sensors.

This contribution can be easily integrated into the current resources available for the internet of things.

Some examples of smart city application are: air quality assessment, mapping of noise and light pollution, lighting and cleaning of public spaces, security in tourist environments, maintenance of green areas, active assisted living, etc.


Compared to classic techniques of network periodic sensing, wired or wireless, this technology offer has the following advantages:

  • Adaptation of the decision strategy of when to measure and, above all, when to transmit the information to the processing central node.
  • Extension of the average battery life powering the sensory node and therefore the node life.
  • Optimization of the massive use of the communication network allowing the link between sensory nodes and these with the processing central node.
  • Selection of the most appropriate event-based estimation technique, taking into account trigger thresholds and maximum waiting times.
  • Modeling the sensed variable behavior to evaluate the triggering mechanism implementation outside the sensorial node itself.
  • Integration of event-based sensing techniques with available IoT solutions and cloud processing.

Desired business relationship

Other: Service Agreement

Other: Manufacturing Agreement

Related Keywords

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Smart Appliances
  • Internet of Things
  • Environmental and Biometrics Sensors, Actuators
  • IT and Telematics Applications
  • Applications for Health
  • e-Government
  • Telecommunications, Networking
  • Smart cards and access systems
  • Sensors for cars and transport
  • Clean Industrial Technologies
  • Cleaning Technology
  • Storage of electricity, batteries
  • Smart grids
  • Lighting, illumination
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sensors & Wireless products
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Sensor Technology related to measurements
  • Remote sensing technology
  • Cyber Security
  • Smart City
  • Communications
  • Batteries
  • Industrial measurement and sensing equipment

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

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- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

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