On Tuesday 24th April, the Lucy Zodion team were involved in a number of talks and demonstrations in support of the IoT Showcase, hosted by ODI Leeds. The Showcase was part of a wider event, the Leeds Digital Festival, where digital pioneers from across the North joined forces over a period of two weeks (16th-27th April), to celebrate and collaborate in all things connected, innovative and disruptive.

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A total of 196 events were held over the space of the fortnight and the ubiquitous buzz of digital delight was felt throughout the city.  At the IoT Showcase the vibe was no different, with specialists from a number of industries and backgrounds collaborating to catch-up on the latest IoT trends, discoveries and initiatives. 

Lucy Zodion was one of these and kicked off the conversation with a talk on its specialist subject, the streetlight. Of course, we see great potential in the streetlight and it most definitely has a place in the smart city, thanks to the evolving world of IoT. However, if IoT can be applied to seemingly ‘dumb’ lampposts, why can’t it be extended citywide and integrated within all urban furniture?

Urban Furniture – The City’s Digital DNA

This was the main topic of our talk, coincidentally titled ‘Urban Furniture – the City’s Digital DNA’, which explored how IoT and Open Data help us create a digital dialogue between urban infrastructure and the community. 

Faye, our Communications Specialist, headed up the talk and went into detail about how technology has helped the development of smart street lighting, where the gathering of actionable insights is the main goal. Data is the driver for smart city development, so smart cities should be able to collect a number of variables from a variety of applications, which can then be used to shape the way tomorrow’s cities are built.

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In the talk Faye explored how sensors help capture data and how this can be used in various ways, to meet the dynamic requirements of the smart city. Something as seemingly simple as a door open at the bottom of a lighting column can inform us a lot about the city – it’s how we use this information that gives us the greatest value.

Smart street lighting demo – beyond illumination

That takes us to our demonstration, delivered by Ben, our Senior Software Engineer. To further highlight the way IoT can be integrated within urban furniture, Ben took a number of keen attendees through the capabilities of sensors and the rich data that these can generate. From understanding the cause of electrical faults, to being able to monitor dangerous behaviour in a particular area of a borough, the insights gained from the door being opened at the bottom of a street lighting column is extremely valuable to city leaders.

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Ben went on to explain how IoT has enabled the development of such feature sets and why these are so important to city leaders in the drive towards smarter, more responsive cities.  He also demonstrated how intuitive streetlights can be in communicating faults and events in not only one, but an entire network of street lights. This is only possible thanks to the use of open data and sensors that work together to gather and generate information.

The IoT Showcase

The event was a great experience for us as, not only were we able to showcase our own IoT innovations, we were also able to learn about all the other disruptive projects going on around us. From flood sensing, to waste management, these are just a few of the initiatives currently taking place to help Councils create a better quality of life for citizens. All of which are aided by open-data.

It’s with open-data that our efforts can truly progress and when looking at smart city development, open-data is certainly an enabler. At the Showcase there were about 20 organisations in one room, most of which are using sensors in some way to gather information that will better inform them about the behaviour of a city or space.  Via open data, all of this can be accessible and used to better inform us all about how we can energise future communities; a shared goal for all cities.

If you would like more information about our smart city solutions or would like a copy of our presentation use don the day, please get in touch here. 

Lucy Zodion was a main sponsor of the IoT showcase, organised by ODI Leeds, find out more about the event and the other talks that took place over on their website.