The Internet of Things is being deployed to make Sydney a greener city via a public access open data network launched in a collaboration between the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and local startup and IoT integrator Meshed.
The low power, long range wide area network (LPWAN), based in Ultimo on the edge of the CBD, is based on Amsterdam’s “The Things Network” (TTN) project, which created smart sensor network coverage across the city that was crowdsourced. It was able to tell them things like whether your boat was filling with water and about to sink; and monitoring the location and safety of bicycles.
It’s designed to support low power (battery/solar), long range (up to a 5km radius) smart sensor devices and will allow anyone within range to connect their device to the internet for free, without needing cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless technologies.
Here’s Meshed founder Andrew Maggio explaining how the network works and the possibilities:
Maggio says that networks like this, coupled with people “crowd sourcing” new applications are enabling cities to embrace the new energy economy, from solar to energy management, including off-grid battery storage and the sharing economy.
UTS is backing the push by offering this public access IoT network for people to connect smart sensors for free.
The university believes that an open standard IoT network, means the city can rapidly deploy a raft of applications for anyone who lives, works or invests there.
Amsterdam’s The Things Network has subsequently begun to appear in cities such as New York, Zurich, Madrid, San Francisco, San Paulo, London and Singapore.
The Institute of Sustainable Futures at UTS wants to collaborate with the City of Sydney and other government bodies to monitor the city’s health to it a “green, global and connected” city.
Institute director Dr Stuart White says the network offers the change to measure a range of things “including some we haven’t even thought of.”
“At the very least we’ll be able to measure the health of the city. We’ll be able to measure air quality, water quality, temperature, humidity – a whole range of environmental factors – energy use, water use,” he said.
White says the network will bring the cost of sensors down.
“This project has enormous scope for the future. There’ll be the opportunity for new innovation, new technology, new startups,” he said.
Meshed strategy director Catherine Capuana-Mcmanus says that the number of devices connected to the internet is expected to nearly double to 26 billion by 2020 and the IoT Alliance Australia believes it has the potential to boost the national economy by $116 billion by 2025.
“Community IoT networks are ‘democratising the internet of things’ by enabling communities and city and industry leaders to get real-time data about the things that matter most to them in order to take action faster,” she said.