A new project will see IoT sensors installed on a Scottish housing estate to help a social housing provider support operations and business planning.
The trial is being carried out by River Clyde Housing. It is working with Hypercat, a consortium working on standards for the IoT and smart cities, to field test about 300 multi-functional devices in homes in Broomhill near Greenock.
The sensors will monitor surroundings; recording temperature, humidity, noise, movement, wind speed and power. This real-time data is then fed into a business intelligence system developed by Hypercat member company Flexeye, to monitor the reliability and safety of physical assets including lifts and windows.
The social housing provider hopes that the information provided by the sensors can be used to predict maintenance needs upfront and real-time monitoring of appliances to minimise health and safety risks. It also hopes the data will assist in better asset intelligence for business planning purposes and greater visibility of energy usage to enable residents to better manage fuel poverty.
The project consists of multi-functional IoT devices developed by Webthings and uses a IGFOX low power, wide area network (LPWAN) supplied by Arqiva.
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SIGFOX IoT network gets greenlight
According to the project, this is the first application in UK residential housing of SIGFOX communications technology and the first to bring together near real time residential data from multiple IoT devices simultaneously, in a format consistent with Hypercat IoT interoperability standards – thus laying down the foundations for interoperability within IoT ecosystems
It is anticipated that if the demonstrator is successful then this IoT solution can be offered to the UK social housing sector as a cost-effective, leading standard, scalable solution for their future property maintenance and tenant welfare requirements.
Kevin Scarlett, River Clyde Housing chief executive, said he was “confident the demonstrator will enable the company to provide more efficient and effective services for our customers, and significantly improve the quality of our housing offer for existing and future residents.”
Ross Fraser, chief executive of HouseMark, one of the project’s backers, said: “We anticipate that this demonstrator will prove that IoT can deliver actionable insights to transform landlord efficiency and effectiveness in property maintenance and tenant welfare.”
Idris Jahn, IoTUK principal consultant at Digital Catapult, told Internet of Business that the use of sensors and cloud-based technology “will deliver a better quality of life while increasing productivity for businesses and organisations with the introduction of new and more efficient business models.
“Additionally, smart cities can significantly reduce noise levels, pollution and flooding while improving conservation efforts, which not only further improves the surroundings of the entire city, but the sustainability of the environment also.
He added that to maximise the societal impact that IoT technologies can have, industry collaboration and data sharing is critical. “Interoperability between businesses, organisations and citizens will enable an efficient and scalable ecosystem so that a smart city can thrive and continue to evolve,” he said.