Lee Chapman and Catherine Muller have won two 12 month demonstrator grants funded by the Technology Strategy Board under the Internet of Things (IOT) call.

IOT literally means ‘things’ (e.g. sensors and other smart devices) which are connected to the internet. This may seem insignificant, but ‘things’ represent a new, and increasingly, critical infrastructure and require a dedicated technological ecosystem. Indeed, since 2008, the number of ‘things’ has outnumbered users online. In these projects, the ‘things’ are the hundreds of air temperature sensors and weather stations which are currently being installed as part of the Birmingham Urban Climate Laboratory.

The first project, Smart Streets, is worth £70k and explores the utility of such devices to be used in real world applications such as winter road maintenance and gully cleaning (partners include: Amey, Carillion, Balfour Beatty, InTouch). The second project, DISTANCE (Demonstrating the Internet of School Things – A National Collaborative Experience), also worth £70k, explores the ability for schools to measure and share data by creating an information hub in the cloud using an open-source and infinitely scalable application platform for themes such as transport, energy, weather and health. (partners include: Intel, Cosm ,the OU, the geography collective and ScienceScope).

Internet of Things word cloud (Image reproduced from Swan (2012)