“Building a connected future” sounds like a familiar thing to hear, at least it does to me. It reminds me of a time a few years ago when social media apps like Facebook were just on the edge of losing people’s interest, but still focused on strengthening people’s connections with family and friends. Or a car company advertising their “connected services” features that allow you to play music through your phone or access navigation, but to access those features, you had to pay a hefty price to unlock each one, and even then it wouldn’t connect directly to Spotify or Apple CarPlay.

Back then, we would refer to these services as being smart, like when the first rumours of Apple’s Siri being developed were leaked and we were all excited about having a new smart assistant. Yet we now think of them today as just an ordinary function of life, one that feels limited. Having known that Siri was released back in 2011 and three years later, Alexa, it surprised me that I think the latter is better.

But like AI engineers talk about keeping AI within a box so it doesn’t go out of control, the functionality from smart assistants still feels a little underwhelming, like they’re in a box too; do you mostly use Alexa to turn on the lights? Or have a routine for those lights to turn on at sunset automatically? I feel like they’ve missed something more valuable.

It was around this time, five years ago when I was in my final year of sixth form, that I started deliberating about the future of the world and its people: other than just working for a company, what are we all really doing? It got me thinking that I’ve always been excited about new things coming into existence, available for everyone to use. When I was eight, I would pull the solar panels out from the garden lights, blu-tack them to my bedroom window, taping wire across the wall to 2 AA rechargeable batteries (the ones you’d normally use), driving my parents mad because it would chip the paint off the walls (sadly they couldn’t just lob it out the window like they did with the recorder), and then use it to power a light at night.

I was pleased with it, but it felt inferior because it had already been done before, and at a significantly larger scale, powering homes, offices, factories etc. I wanted to do something bigger that involved technology, something that hadn’t been done before. I was left with an open mind that would help all these years later.

Getting back to thinking five years ago. I thought away late into the evening. Sitting on my sofa in the study, I wondered, “What would be the most impactful thing for humanity?” Of course, it would have to be tech-related, as that was where my background was built, because technology brings humanity a new level of evolution. My mind quickly ticked to the inspiring possibilities of AI and was intrigued by its continued lack of existence in the world, especially on a public scale. From here, I spent the next few nights looking for a tough problem to solve that could positively impact as many people around the world as possible.

From watching years’ worth of Linus Tech Tips videos and being a techie myself, I was aware that IoT devices were becoming more widespread, but there were two barriers. The first was that these devices didn’t communicate with each other, they acted as part of a binary system performing a set of predefined, fixed tasks; and the second was that IoT devices came across as a complex thing, and still do, preventing people from getting involved. Furthermore, there are many apps for different brands of IoT devices that in most cases you will need on  your phone.

Then, thinking outside the box, I saw how this could cause issues at larger scale, from local communities, towns, cities, and nations.

The news was also talking about knife crime being a problem, or how crime is always happening, and I remember hearing about some friends being traumatised by break-ins to their homes, leaving them and their neighbours with a fear that it might happen again, or worse, to them!

As you are probably aware, there are far more murders and thefts happening than the media can report.

I noted all of this down as I sat at my desk in the study at night, with the quiet hum of a computer fan in the background and a gentle, yet focus-helping, light emitting from the desk lamp.

That is when I had the greatest idea I could ever come up with.

“Oh wow!” as I loudly thought to myself and sprung over across the room to grab an A3 sketchbook that was meant for my mum’s attempt as an artist – she got pretty good but dropped it for golf.

Within that night, I had passionately crafted the next big thing into a spider diagram, and today it is known as the Smart City Operating System (scOS). Coming up with the name was relatively easy, but a small teaser is that this isn’t the original name of the company. scOS was the name of the service, but I made the change to give it more prominence. I’ll keep the original name as a surprise for another time, which supports a longer-term vision that people close to the business can enjoy for now.

No matter which service you choose: Home Intelligence, Business Intelligence, or Community Intelligence, they all use the same system. However, they have slight differing configurations with regards to their deployment and how you can go about purchasing them.

What Does scOS Do?

Well, I want you to imagine you’re a camera in the sky of a digital 3D wireframe city. You’re flying around: down streets, past traffic lights, streetlights, people, cars, buildings, and more. Each thing you fly past, you see some kind of data being annotated out from it – that traffic light is green; this streetlight is flickering on and off; this camera is seeing someone jump on someone; this building has its doors wide open with the heating on. Anything you can imagine going on in the city, you can sense and feel it.

But here’s the thing: you, flying around the city is the AI at scOS.

A big job you have, and one that no individual can achieve without having a team larger than a couple thousand people. Except you’re not flying around, you’re already where you need to be at the same time. Living through sensors, actuators, cameras, and lights. Anything that is part of your nervous system that is known as “linked-By-Network”.

Maybe it’s 2am and you recognise (through cameras) a recently reported stolen car on the road by its number plate. It looks like it’s about to pull up at someone’s house – you know the people who live there, they have their own cars, and they’re certainly not awake at 2am. So, you decide to cause some distractions by simulating the sounds of people talking outside their house. You turn the lights on inside parts of the house, changing their brightness levels to simulate motion. And you prepare to warn the people living inside that you (not them) may need to contact the police because a potential break-in is about to happen.

Fortunately, your deterrents worked, so the car pulled away and drove off. And thanks to your multitasking abilities, before any of this happened, you contacted the police with the location and details of the stolen vehicle as soon as you saw it “enter your mind” – meaning someone reported to you that it was stolen.

You brightened a nearby streetlight as it was driving along to see who was in the car. Sadly, that wasn’t enough, so you timed traffic lights to direct the car to a nearby heat-sensing camera that detected three individuals. You also observed that the radio antenna from this model of the car was missing, making it easier to identify in the future, helping the police to locate the car and return it to the owner.

When the police got the car, you contacted the vehicle owner’s insurance company to inform them of the situation, tell them about the damage you saw on the car, and to cover its repair. Of course, you asked the owner if this was okay to do so first. But doing that saved them a lot of time and hassle with phone calls.

Going to a non-crime-related scenario, remember the buildings with the doors that were left wide open with the heating on full? Well, you just got coverage at the building to monitor this, and it’s summertime. While this would have an obvious solution of turning off the heating and leaving the door open, or vice-versa, you don’t do this just yet because you’re just getting to know the people there. You decide to reach out to the receptionist at the building, notifying them of the situation, asking if it’s meant to be like that or if you want the doors closed and heating turned down. You record their choice, which helps you make better autonomous decisions for them in the future.

Now you have two use-cases for what we do – you can read more on our website. What use case can you come up with? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

I want to make a note that our aim is to have the best privacy standards that are above regulation. No individual at scOS has rightful access to what the AI sees, or what the devices are seeing. For that to happen, our users must go into settings to enable data sharing and give explicit consent to our software engineers. This will likely be to assist with “teaching the AI new abilities”. I put that in quotes as I want this to be easily understandable.

When using your data, they’ll state what was used and give a reason why it was used. Any non-relevant data will be stripped. For example, we may want to enhance the AI’s abilities on the physical environment so it will ignore the movement of trees as something to be alerted by. We’ll run the video through a data stripping tool that will remove personal identifying information, like people.

So What Is Happening Now?

Today, I am proud to announce that we have launched our funding round with the Angel Investment Network. I’m proud already, because although we have a long way to go, there have already been so many people involved, giving their input over the years; close friends, friends, family, friends-of-friends, investors, businesspeople, potential customers, partners, and more! It has really become a team effort to safely develop AI within such a platform and to safely develop it for the public. Particularly with our attention to detail on privacy and data use, which many companies do not present so transparently.

Currently, we’re focused on building this system the right way. We’re approaching the end of our MVP stage, where we’ll be running closed pilot tests with homes and businesses. We’ll also be working with the public to discuss matters around the use of ethical and morally correct AI along with how data is used. When I have examined this business with stakeholders, they’re fascinated by the good it can do and intrigued by the much-needed deliberations around the topics above. Some have even mentioned the social credit system being used in China as an ethical concern, saying that their system is invasive - I agree with them. I do want to go into more detail about this, but for now I want to make it clear that the social credit system used by China serves their government by judging citizens’ behaviour and trustworthiness and adjusting a scoring system as they go about their lives-intrusive.

We (scOS) are not like this. We serve people to bring innovation to their lives, businesses to make efficient use of resources, and governments to support them in protecting nations in the western way – meaning it’s done with credible justification and lawfully. It is in our best interests to develop this service openly and with the public. If you have any thoughts about this, please drop me a message or contact us at where you can help shape our services.


We’ve built up over 18 partnerships with some great companies to support our mission in connecting humanity. They allow us to recommend the right IoT devices to our customers, protect our technical infrastructure and build a better service.

So, to wrap up, I wanted to go back to the people involved. scOS’s team is much more than the people who work at the company, it’s also people outside, because we’re here to positively impact humanity, connecting one community at a time, and we want you to join in the discussion.

Until next time, take care,

– Flynn.

CEO of scOS – The Future of Nation’s Connected Communities.