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Vodafone, Kapsch help transform Ibiza into a ‘smart’ island, protecting its beaches, forests and seabeds

Vodafone, Kapsch help transform Ibiza into a ‘smart’ island, protecting its beaches, forests and seabeds

Vodafone and Kapsch have recently teamed up with the Ibiza Regional Council to transform Ibiza into a ‘smart’ island. The initiative, part of the Ibiza, Smart and Sustainable Destination project, aims to connect citizens, tourists and city resources through services and data that are analyzed and reported to local authorities.

Around 1,000 flora species live in Ibiza, along with two national parks and over 30 lizard species. In the waters around the island, there are approximately 200 fish species and 70 different shellfish and water animals.

“Off the coast, the 80,000-year-old seagrass beds have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 and, for more than 7,000 years, pine forests have been closely associated with the island’s scenery”, stated Vodaphone on its website. “It is understandable that local authorities want to protect the natural environment here and, with Ibiza Preservation reporting a decade of decline in the quality of Ibiza’s bathing waters, it’s time we use technology to help.”

People can now see, in real-time, which areas are busy and which aren’t due to IP cameras with 4G connectivity and sensors ranging from 100 meters. The 33 new beaches added to the project include Cala Sant Vicent, Benirràs, Platja d’en Bossa, Cala d’Hort and Cala Llong.

Sensors being placed inside buoys are used to monitor water quality
Source: Vodafone

Properly regulating the number of people on beaches will enable local law officials to protect wildlife and nature more effectively. This way, tourists and residents can also have a more enjoyable time at the less crowded beaches.

“Citizens and tourists can even find out if there is parking space near the beach, at what time the bus will pass through the stop and if the quality of the water is suitable for bathing,” explained Vodaphone.

Last week has also seen the installation of five marine buoys with sensors arranged at various beaches across the island. The data collected will help measure water quality and detect any problems caused by the mass anchoring of boats, helping protect marine fauna and flora and providing information to citizens and tourists about the quality of bathing water.

The project’s next phase will include installing sixteen information displays at bus stops, monitoring nine public parking lots and installing 250 air quality sensors.

With the information collected in real-time by the buoys, the council can make more informed decisions about maintaining the marine ecosystem and the water quality across the island’s beaches.

As part of the Ibiza, Smart and Sustainable Destination project with, both initiatives fall under the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation through the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence.

In the future, Ibiza can also use this technology in other places, such as parks and squares.

“For example, the plan is to use four optronic cameras for early fire detection that will cover almost 80% of Ibiza’s forest mass,” stated Vodaphone. “Able to intervene faster, local authorities will be able to prevent large fires on the island, helping protect Ibiza’s trees, landscape and inhabitants.”

Earlier this year, Vodafone was awarded the Mobile Innovation of the Year award for its multi-access edge computing technology (MEC) at the National Tech Awards. The technology helps enterprises and small businesses leverage cloud computing using Vodafone’s mobile and fixed data networks, the company says.

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