Assessing damage caused by natural disasters with just a glance at a monitor screen. Controlling water levels and knowing the best time to fertilize crops without actually visiting your farm. Checking the whereabouts of your son or daughter who is returning from school by using location-based services.

These are just some ways the "internet of things" can make your life drastically easier.

Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima hopes to make his city a living laboratory for such cutting-edge technology. With a budget of ¥10 million, the city will set up key stations for Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN), a wireless communications network which uses minimal electricity to cover wide areas, and let businesses that are looking to provide internet-of-things services use the network free of charge to test their services.