Entrepreneurs and the public across large areas of Scotland are set to benefit from state-of-the-art IoT connectivity, following the announcement that a consortium of partners will work to deploy low-power wide area (LoRa) network technology in Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, and Orkney.
The consortium includes CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems, Stream Technologies and Boston Networks. All will work on local projects to realize the potential of the IoT in a way that is, according to a statement from CENSIS, “both achievable and affordable.”
LoRa is thought to hold the key to an efficient IoT ecosystem going forward, as it allows small, everyday objects to send and receive data with a minimum use of power. The technology can be deployed in urban and rural environments, from livestock tracking over long distances to pollution sensors and social care devices to support independent and assisted living.
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LoRa will give Scotland SMEs “access to next-generation connectivity”
Business development director at CENSIS, Mark Begbie, pointed out that the move was key to Scotland’s future as a high-tech hub for innovation. “Scotland has all the ingredients required to be a world-class digital location,” he said.
“As we roll out LoRa across the country, the affordable, open networks will give SMEs low-cost access to next-generation connectivity, helping them to grow through the development of new solutions and devices with global export potential.”
Begbie expects a thriving IoT across Scotland to have a significant social impact, too. “These new IoT networks will be a force for public good”, he said. “Through the monitoring and protection of the vulnerable in society, as well as our historic sites and the environment. At the same time, they will open up opportunities for communities to develop their own solutions across a diverse set of potential applications.”
IoT in Scotland has potential to be as “disruptive as the internet”
Begbie believes that a LoRa-powered Internet of Things north of the border could have a transformative impact on urban and rural economies. “As we look to roll out the network through more urban and rural areas in Scotland, it will create a great deal of exciting opportunities for businesses and government across the country,” he said.
“It will also further our understanding of the potential benefits of this technology in both urban and rural economies. The IoT has the potential to be as disruptive as the internet has been already to daily life.”