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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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