Britain isn’t known for handling poor weather well; an inch of snow can be enough to grind the transport network to a halt. Now a project run by business and technology community Cambridge Wireless aims to explore how the Internet of Things could help the UK cope with severe weather conditions.
The organisation wants to discover how data collected from a wide range of Internet-connected objects, such as buildings, vehicles, clothing and portable devices could be used to help the country adapt dynamically to fast-changing scenarios such as heavy snowfall or a hurricane.
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The project will look at how information from sources such as traffic cameras, smart meters, and even medical records could be used to generate a constantly updating report of the state of the weather and the country’s response to it.
Of course, some types of data can be valuable or sensitive, so Cambridge Wireless, which has been awarded an initial £50,000 ($78,500 USD) in funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board’s Internet of Things Convergence initiative for the scheme, is to investigate the possibility of an ‘information broker’ system. This would create a system whereby data could be passed between companies that request it via a secure data interchange market.
The Internet of Things has a wide range of potential benefits, from those that can benefit the public at large, to more commercial applications such as Evrythng, the startup we covered earlier this week, which aims to offer a platform for any physical object to have an online presence.