A couple of weeks ago we were exploring 850-year old technology at Woodbridge Tide Mill, and this week we are right at the cutting edge.
As those great explorers and philosophers of the 1990s rave scene, The Prodigy once said:
Pay close attention.
Now I’m not going to take your brain to another dimension, but yesterday my Lacuna Space LS300 dev kit successfully sent a LoRaWAN message into space, where it was picked up by a passing satellite and beamed back to Earth.
The opportunity to mix *really* old technology with the latest IoT is the kind of project we love doing, not least because you get to hang spend time with other passionate geeks and often in beautiful locations.
Over the past few months we’ve been quietly working on just such a project, and this week Mike and I headed off to do the installation at Woodbridge Tide Mill, a working mill and museum located by the River Deben on the coastal fringe of Suffolk.
I was introduced to Ian at the mill by the Suffolk County Council team back in March. Suffolk has been deploying a LoRaWAN network across the county for the past few years. They use it themselves for things like monitoring meeting room occupancy and smart streetlights, and they also make it available to local businesses, community groups and other organisations in the region.
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.
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: