Glasgow universities pioneer Internet of Things network

GLASGOW is paving the way for the next wave of internet technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), thanks to a collaborative project involving Stream Technologies, Semtech Inc, Boston Networks and CENSIS.

Glasgow is paving the way for the next wave of internet technology. Picture: John Devlin

The consortium concluded an agreement at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai to roll out the next phase of the scheme’s evolution.

Working with Glasgow University, Strathclyde University and Glasgow Caledonian University, the group has installed a wireless IoT network covering 12km2 across the city, including the commercial centre, Merchant City and the West End.

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The network will enable the development and use of devices such as building and indoor environmental monitors, pollution sensors, tags for tracking valuable assets and social care devices designed to support independent living.

The network can now identify the location of devices without requiring more battery power, opening up a host of new applications.

Nigel Chadwick, CEO of Stream Technologies, said: “This is an exciting development in the story of the IoT and the next wave of internet technology.

The LoRaWAN network we’ve set up in Glasgow is one of the most advanced in the world – and is the perfect demonstrator for how it can be rolled out across other cities.

“The model will allow businesses to start up their own IoT networks with just one or two devices, and scale-up to the point where they have hundreds, or even thousands, of connected ‘things’. That might sound like it is purely focused on technology companies, but the network could be used by practically any organisation – or even individuals. Its potential is awe-inspiring and it’s happening right here in Glasgow city centre.”

Glasgow was selected as the test case because of its similarities to many major metropolitan areas worldwide. The city includes a grid system like major US conurbations, older historic spaces and a mix of urban and extra-urban environments – all of which are ideal for testing low-power radio network performance.

Access to this network could attract multinational technology companies to Glasgow – as well as encouraging a cluster of new businesses to form in the city – as they seek to exploit the technology and develop new products, applications and services on the back of its implementation.