Sensors and sensibility

Hello, my name is Neil and I’m an enterprise architect at Digital First. Part of my role is to come up with new ways for the council to meet its business and technology objectives.

I’m currently working with the Housing department to see how Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology can benefit some of our social housing tenants.

Over 60s who live in colder temperatures during winter months, or in homes with black mould caused by high humidity, are more vulnerable to infection, respiratory illnesses and chronic fatigue.

To help them, we are running an exciting pilot scheme in one of our sheltered housing developments.

Firstly, we plan to put environmental sensors inside and outside our residents’ homes before, during and after building work so that we can measure the results of the work and improve our approach to future building work. The sensors will measure humidity and temperature, and connect to a private, secure low-power radio (LoRaWAN) network via a gateway.

The Digital First development team will create a mobile app for residents to monitor current and past temperatures and humidity outside and inside their homes.

Data captured by the gateway could send an alert to council staff – for example, unusually low temperatures over a long period could be an early sign of fuel poverty.

Recently we also started working with Everynet, a local community group set up to create a free, public IoT network. The group has some very innovative ideas, which I will write more about in this blog very soon.