National Defense Magazine

Over the next 30 years, the U.S. military will find itself fighting more battles in urban areas as populations rise across the globe. Cities such as Shanghai and Beijing currently contain more than 20 million residents each, and the United Nations expects the number of “megacities” — with populations surpassing 10 million people — to increase from 28 in 2016 to nearly 50 by 2030.

Residents in those areas will use smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, and be connected to the internet. As data sources become more widespread, the proliferation of “internet of things”-enabled devices — electronic tools that use the web to interact with each other and with the physical world — offer increased benefits for situational awareness, signals intelligence and communication, military and industry leaders have said.

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