When you think of the Internet of Things (IoT), you may think of fitness trackers, smart lighting and intelligent thermostats. However, IoT is so much more, and has endless applications in business and society. New IoT startups have sprung up around the world, solving old problems with new technology, out-manoeuvring the larger, entrenched and less nimble companies, carving out new niches in the process.
The Isle of Man has once again found itself in a unique situation to become an ideal pilot area for new technologies. Due to its small size, initiatives can be developed, deployed and proven on a small scale, delivering solutions to problems that are experienced worldwide, whilst also collecting valuable insight and data in a certifiable and repeatable way under a government sponsored organisation.
IoT technology is a key focus for the Isle of Man Government and its agency, Digital Isle of Man, which has aligned focus on a more sustainable, greener future for the island and the variety of IoT applications that support their eventual goal.
One of the most prominent applications of IoT technology is air quality monitoring. It enables you to measure air pollution levels using inexpensive sensors in real-time. IoT also offers an inexpensive means to test water quality on a large scale. Smart Water is an umbrella term for when IoT and software are applied to applications involving water.
All these IoT applications rely on accurate, timely data with the primary application used for measurements and producing valuable data. In the case of the environment, this data serves as the foundation of any initiative focused on improving the environment, reducing pollution or encouraging positive change. The ability to measure and monitor at scale not only improves insight and intelligence, but having a reliable, timely baseline also leads to more insightful decision-making, more effective policy and strategy, and helps focus attention on the future.
This is where the unique aspects of the Isle of Man stands alone, with a Low Range (LoRa) Network in development, Digital Isle of Man is collaborating closely with industry experts in exploring the possibilities of this new technology. In collaboration with Manx Technology Group this network will be open and be freely available at no cost to any entrepreneur, company, local authority, community group, government department or statutory board to use for IoT initial trials.
As a UNESCO Biosphere, the Isle of Man continues to demonstrate sound, sustainable practices and policies based on research and monitoring, and will continue to act as a site for excellence in education and training across emerging technologies, leading the way to an exciting innovative future.