MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach could turn into what’s called a “Smart City,” which could decrease crime, among other benefits.
Chief Innovation Officer Howard Waldie is asking city council to consider turning parts of the Grand Strand into a Smart City, which is one that uses technology to provide services and solve city problems.
“Communities can’t just be focused on the hear and now,” Waldie said. “And we also can’t be so far focused on you know, what happened 20-30 years ago. We need to be able to be looking forward into the future, because that’s how we ensure this quality of life for the families that exist today and the families that will exist.”
Some of the technological advances include acoustic gun-fire detection systems that could help lower crime rates, smart poles that can offer free WiFi and augmented-reality-based tourism.
“Imagine us being able to have that possibility for you to plug in your headphones or pull something up on your phone or your tablet or any other kind of device,” Waldie said. “And as you’re walking through the memorial or Warbird Park, you learn about the history here in Myrtle Beach, here in the Grand Strand during that time.”
Waldie said there’s a plan to launch an internal smart cities council consisting of staff members from various departments. He said they’d also take a trip to Peachtree Corners, Georgia, to see a living lab that could be brought to Myrtle Beach.
Waldie said the final step would be public input from the community and businesses. Council has yet to vote on anything, but Waldie said he believes it’s invested in and excited for the future.
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Maya Lockett is a reporter at News13. Maya is from Los Angeles. She joined the News13 team in November 2021. She graduated from Syracuse University. Follow Maya on Twitter and read more of her work here.