We were delighted to host a team from the Norfolk County Council on the 21st January for an 'Internet of Things' presentation evening. They kindly agreed to come along and talk to our team about their project and it was fascinating to hear about what they have been doing, what they have actually built and what they are now offering.
So what is Internet of Things and how will it help us in Norfolk and Suffolk?
Well, the Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is the concept of connecting a device with a sensor to the Internet to collect data to monitor, manage, control or report. This includes everything from kettles, light bulbs, pollution monitors and flood warning sensors. The main purpose is to generate real-time data that we can then analyse and use to create desired business outcomes.
Norfolk County Council were the first to open up long range wide area network (LoRaWAN) to innovators and businesses to test IoT applications, and in conjunction with their colleagues in Suffolk, they are already utilising that data to improve the lives of people across both counties.
Sensors can be designed, developed and tested by anyone using low cost computing devices, which enable the rapid creation of prototypes. Examples include:
- Detection if a kettle is turned on before 10am; if it's not, a member of a person’s family is alerted to check on them
- Highway sensors that dim or brighten lights, depending on detection of movement
- Automatic opening of the correct compartment of a pill box to administer medications and detect if it has been taken
- Tracking of herds of cattle, via a sensor that is swallowed, to reduce theft or detect illness
- Detection if a bin is full and needs to be emptied, which notifies the bin collection service
It was immediately obvious to all that attended the evening that there are products and services we could build and deliver to all industry's; the possibilities are endless.
Thank you so much to Kurt Frary, Kate de Vries, Andrew Digby and Alex Cliff for their time and invaluable insight; we will undoubtedly be working closely with them over the coming months.