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.


National Award Winners!

cupcake and candle. Text - Winners - Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster

In exciting news the winner of the ADEPT Digital Innovation and Technology award was the Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster, with tough competition from Norfolk and Oxfordshire.

The Berkshire-wide collaborative smart city IoT project incorporates a LoRaWAN communications network and created nine innovation challenges to addressed real service issues.

Thingitude has worked on this project since its inception, educating key stakeholders in the local authorities and providing guidance on setting the innovation challenges. We have planned, configured and supported the LoRaWAN network, and provided technical support to the SMEs who won the innovation challenges. Plus we delivered two of the challenges ourselves – a Falls Prevention System and MyWay student safety.

The Thames Valley Smart City Cluster is a great example of collaborative working between the local authorities in Berkshire and the private sector. The project was funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, led by Reading Borough Council, and managed day-to-day by the team at Stantec. The LoRaWAN network was designed and configured by Thingitude, and installed by SSL. It runs on The Things Stack, which allows us to share the network with businesses and community groups in the region who use The Things Network.

The success of the innovation programme was down to several factors – it addressed strategically important use cases; it was well-funded and well publicised; and council staff were properly engaged and supportive throughout.

Congratulations to worthy runners-up Norfolk County Council who are using the UK’s largest LoRaWAN (IoT) network to support data-driven highways service delivery. Norfolk has strong leadership and has done a fantastic job of showing other local authorities the potential of LoRaWAN and a bit of vision.

Thingitude is trusted by many UK Local Authorities to guide them as they explore the potential of smart city technology. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Did I Lock Up?

Around the time the 2020 COVID lockdown started we had a spate of burglaries in our neighbourhood. Not super smart or successful as nearly everyone was at home, so the chap found himself getting chased down the street on more than one occasion – but it was unsettling nevertheless.

When lockdown happened, all of our local government work evaporated – it was humbling to realise how little the promise of smart cities mattered at that point in time, and I think a great number of talented teccies had to cope with a collapsing ego and recognise what the really important work was. Suddenly nurses, carers, corner shops and postal workers were in the headlines and the rest of us could only applaud their efforts at keeping us going.

With most of our work disappearing I had to decide what to do with my developers, Traecy and Vil. Rather than furlough them I thought that maybe we could do something to help our neighbourhood.

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