The Things Conference 2022 – review

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.

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Introduction to LoRaWAN and the Smart Berkshire network

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.

Improving student safety – an open discussion

We want to get students involved in the conversation around improving student safety. They are the experts in when they feel unsafe and what might help students feel safer when they are out at night with friends or on their own.

Crowd-sourcing ideas feels like a good approach, so we are hosting a conversation for students to vote on statements other people have made about student safety, and share their own point of view. We will run this conversation throughout April, and then share our findings in a report in May. Please join in – the more the merrier. You can take part right here:

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New version of MyWay student safety app goes live

TL;DR – feedback from students has been built into the new version of MyWay. Key changes include the ability to report incidents of drink spiking, and a more intuituve and faster user experience.

Our student safety app (MyWay) has been co-designed with groups of women students from the University of Reading over the past 3 years, and we have just released a new version which incorporates feedback from this year’s Freshers.

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Reading Hydro is officially open!

Many congratulations to the incredible team at Reading Hydro: their amazing project to generate renewable energy from the River Thames in Reading has been officially opened!

I have been a supporter and pioneer investor in this project and am delighted to see it come to fruition. It has been a phenomenal community effort to bring renewable power to the people of Reading.

You can read the BBC News article about the opening ceremony, but if you want to get a feel for the heart and soul of the project then watch this video featuring Sophie and Tony – two of the directors whose leadership and commitment has been phenomenal.

Thingitude’s skillset skillset doesn’t lend itself to digging fish passes or painting murals, so our part in the project has been to sort out the data side of things. This has involved installing some LoRaWAN sensors, extracting data from the turbine control panel, creating a data API, and working with other members of the team to make sure all the stakeholders get the data they need.

“THE COMMUNITY ENERGYM” – ARTIST: GUGLIELMO MICCOLUPI, COMMANDO JUGENDSTIL