Little did I know that The Things Conference in 2020 would be the last big event I’d go to for well over 2 years – thanks COVID 😭
After a forced break The Things Conference made a glorious return last week, and so I found myself on the Eurostar direct to Amsterdam, eager for two very full days with more than a thousand other folk geeking out together as once more Amsterdam became the global epicentre of all things IoT.
Last month I was asked to give a talk for the British Computer Society. With half the audience in the room and half online it presented some interesting challenges for a live presentation. A swift rehearsal the night before helped iron out the wrinkles in our tech setup. Thanks to Simon Morris (of Reading Geek Night fame) and Chris Todd-Davies (BCS) for their help.
BCS asked for a longer talk than I would typically give at a meetup, so I used a couple of videos in the talk to help keep it fresh and give people a break from my voice. Thanks to Mike for making a video about an allotments project we’ve been doing with a local town council. I particularly like this because it shows how an idea born from a community project can grow. The other video is the highlights reel for the Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Network (aka SmartBerks) which covers all the challenges they set for local businesses to address.
Here’s the video of the talk. The talk itself lasts just over an hour, and is then followed by about half an hour of good questions from the audience.
The Welsh Government has some really switched on people who understand IoT technology and are excited at the potential benefits of LPWAN for businesses and people in the many rural areas of Wales. They have been raising awareness across the country and Thingitude has delivered workshops and spoken at meetings to help de-mystify technology like LoRaWAN and get businesses excited about how it could benefit them.
One of our bigger projects this year has been in North Wales. Funded by Menter Mon and working with Gwynedd Council and Glynllifon Agricultural College, we have been helping to turn the Glynllifon estate into a “Digital Playground” where local businesses (and individuals) can see a range of sensors connected to an engaging and interactive web application via The Things Network. They can also experiment with, build and install their own sensors and add them into the web application.
One of the big projects of the last year has been running an innovation programme for Digital Catapult and four Local Authorities – Croydon, Suffolk, Sutton and Thurrock. The innovation programme was part of the Catapult’s excellent ThingsConnected programme – which aims to stimulate more UK interest in LPWAN, because we are woefully behind some of our European neighbours.
Each of the councils put forward a specific challenge, and the idea was to invite UK businesses to work with the councils to understand the challenges in more depth, and then propose solutions to the challenges using LPWAN technology – LoRaWAN, Nwave, Sigfox, etc. The winning ideas would then be implemented in the borough for a live trial. Continue reading “Things Connected for Local Authorities”
For quite a while now Thingitude has been helping colleagues in the Welsh Assembly understand and promote the benefits of LoRaWAN as an IoT network for rural areas. Over the last few months our combined efforts are beginning to bear fruit.