Glimpsing a vibrant digital future at the IoT Showcase

Photo by Simon Hughes Photography

Last week we hosted an evening to showcase the innovative projects of our R&D team to explore the potential of Internet of Things (IoT).

The potential of the IoT lies beyond connecting your fridge or toaster to the internet – instead it can help to tackle social, educational, environmental and economic problems.

That was the main ‘take-away’ at the IoT Showcase we hosted at the stylish One Marylebone, where a throng of industry experts, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and journalists gathered to immerse in the world of IoT.

Photo by Simon Hughes Photography

It was a hands-on evening, whether it be shaking the hands of new acquaintances or palms closing on micro:bits that guests took home following their encounter with a gigabit version at the Micro:bit Foundation stand. Nominet is a founding partner of the new Foundation along with organisations such as the BBC, Samsung, ARM and IET, contributing our IoT knowledge to the Foundation’s work on educating and empowering the coders of the future.

The Scottish Isle of Arran featured, albeit in miniature, with projections demonstrating the reach of the TV white space-enabled broadband that Nominet and Broadway Partners have recently rolled out across parts of this remote island. Dynamic spectrum management is a current focus for our R&D team as a means to more efficiently manage and share the radio spectrum.

Photo by Simon Hughes Photography

Democratising access to the internet is also the theme of a new project we were able to announce at the IoT Showcase: a partnership with Microsoft to support their Affordable Access Initiative and get more people in the African continent online. We are deploying our TV white space expertise to help Microsoft connect those without broadband, transforming lives and businesses in some of the poorest regions of the world.

Photo by Simon Hughes Photography

Back on British soil, IoT devices were shown facing down social and environmental issues through the Flood Network, a project to help monitor water levels to minimise flood damage. The flood network is one of a number of exciting IoT and innovation projects happening in our home city of Oxford, represented by the Smart Oxford initiative and members of the Smart Oxford project board. Further afield, wildlife conservation was the focus of the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Instant Detect IoT sensor system to help prevent poaching.

As most of our guests arrived by Tube it was rather appropriate that Wayfindr was demonstrating their innovative method of helping visually impaired citizens through the underground with beacons and headphones that use bone conduction technology. We were also able to share our efforts to create innovative IoT solutions to the prevalent issue of more cars than parking spaces. With NWave long range car parking sensors and Nominet’s IoT tools, we created a smart parking system in less than four weeks.

The far-reaching potential of IoT can only be realised fully if we safeguard against risk and enable trust in IoT. To that end, guests were able to learn more about turing, our data analytics tool that can provide network-level monitoring and offer early warnings for bugs, security threats or misconfigurations.

Photo by Simon Hughes Photography

It was an evening of immersion in IoT for those who joined us, and an opportunity to understand the breadth of application and scope for social and environmental change that IoT devices can offer when the right minds come together. Thank you again to our partners for helping us to share these exciting projects – Broadway Partners, Microsoft, Nwave, ZSL, Flood Network, Wayfindr, Smart Oxford and the Micro:bit Foundation.

You can see more images from the event in our gallery or watch our highlights video below.

2nd December 2016