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UK schools to be synched with the Internet of Things

Lucy Carey
IoT2

A Government backed consortium hopes to switch the next generation of employees on to the benefits of smart devices.

 

According to ARM and Cisco, by 2020, the Internet of
Things (IoT) is expected to incorporate over a trillion connected
objects by 2025, generating up to $14.4 trillion in revenue by
2020. In spite of these titillating predictions, it may be some
time before ambient technology becomes a feature of our everyday
lives, so it makes sense that one of the first mass-control groups
to experience it will be the consumers of the future.

This summer, government quango the Technology
Strategy Board (which also flies under the perky banner of
‘Innovate UK’)  will be investing in £800,000 worth of
sensors, servers and cloud technology, which will be


rolled out at eight schools across the
UK
.

The technology will be primarily employed in
geography, science, and technology classes, where, using networked
sensors, pupils will collect and collate readings of air quality on
school grounds, temperature changes, and other curriculum related
material.  

Led by DISTANCE, a consortium founded to advance
education through technology, the hope is that the project will
kindle enthusiasm for the technology among the pupils involved, as
well as promoting collaboration between business and the education
sector on these new technologies- all the better to prepare
Britain’s future workforce for life within a digital
economy.

The cartel of companies backing the project will
be accessing the data collated by the schools via a cloud platform
created by Xively (an offshoot of the LogMeIn group) and using it
“to identify the mix of incentives required to encourage educators,
students and businesses to share certain types of data openly for
the first time.”

Ultimately the goal is to implement the IoT at
every secondary school in the UK. So far, the bulk of the near
million invested in the project has gone towards the development of
Xively’s platform for uploading and sharing the data. With this
already in place, further deployment should be feasible on a far
lower budget.

Photo by MadLabUK.

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