Vodafone Greece said it is implementing the Smart Forest initiative, based on IoT, artificial intelligence and the power of the Vodafone Green Network, for efficient and timely detection of smoke and fires in woodland areas. It will be the first such project in Greece.
Vodafone Greece has presented the first smart forest in Parnitha, a mountainous region north of Athens. It uses Vodafone’s technologies and network to quickly detect any fire and promptly send an alert to the authorities.
Using the Vodafone Green Network, artificial intelligence, cameras and sensors, a technical platform has been created that will offer new features, such as automatic smoke detection. Using Vodafone IoT, the platform can record changes in ambient temperature over a radius of several kilometers, identify the reasons why it occurs, and record environmental indicators such as humidity level and atmospheric pressure.
The platform can detect a fire at an early stage and then activate an alarm transmitting the blaze’s exact location, as well as an image from the point of fire to the control centre operator using a web-based application, accessible from anywhere.
Using the appropriate equipment, data and indicators collected and an intelligent algorithm, the system senses the danger and signals an alarm. This happens, for example, when the heat rises and the algorithm identifies that there is a fire. At the same time, a camera can recognize the smoke signal at a point and confirm it by sending a command to another camera to focus on the point. It activates the corresponding signal and sends an image and location to a special platform.
This is a pilot initiative that is being developed and will be implemented for a period of 12 months in Parnitha. Vodafone’s ambition is to implement the system in every forest and natural beauty area throughout Greece, contributing to the protection of Greek forests. According to older research, every year in Greece, about 500,000 acres of woods and agricultural land are burned.
The IoT has enabled smart homes and smart factories, so why not a smart forest? Vodafone Greece has taken on the growing global issue of forest fires—which are being dramatically worsened by rising heat and dryness due to global warming—deploying its network technology to prevent destruction of the natural environment.
The remote sensing and communication made possible by the IoT and enhanced by AI are valid tools for detecting and preventing fires in remote areas. This pilot initiative aims to test the technology in a part of Greece that already experienced devastating fires in 2007 and that therefore is a good natural laboratory in which test the system. If it is successful during its one-year trial period, it could be expanded to vulnerable areas throughout the country.
The smart forest project is of a public-service type and therefore cannot be expected to drive revenue for the operator. However, if successful it will very likely attract praise for Vodafone. The fact that the network over which the IoT will operate is already being advertised by the operator as “100 percent powered by electricity from renewable sources” makes it even more persuasive in terms of climate-change activism. Vodafone can look forward to an enhanced brand and higher regard among the Greek public and possibly even in the wider world. And of course, by helping to reduce the economic impact of large-scale fires, the operator will be helping and protecting itself as well as the Greek business community as a whole.