Researchers at the University of Southampton have received a major funding award to work towards the future of wearable technology and its prospects for integration into networked systems within smart cities.
Using the prestigious Platform Grant of £1.4M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Professor Steve Beeby and his colleagues in Electronics and Computer Science plan to pursue their investigation of Wearable and Autonomous Computing for Future Smart Cities.
Professor Beeby states that the fund will further the progress of low-energy sensors built into clothing, which can then interface with several different networks to gather and process data. By crowd-sensing data in this manner, data could then be used to positively impact and support the welfare and activities of those living and working in a smart city environment.
The overall goal is to make wearable technology ubiquitous so that you have an array of sensors contributing to the smart city agenda. Combining this technology with agent-based decision-making systems makes it possible for us to link with building management systems, for example, which could then directly tailor building services such as lighting and temperature for people’s comfort and well-being. We could also use these wearable sensors to monitor pollution in cities and link with intelligent systems like the street lighting network in Southampton where the lampposts are now wirelessly linked with a currently underutilized capacity to transfer data. Such developments will underpin autonomous systems of the future, benefit the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) and enable the next generation of smart city applications.
Steve Beeby, Professor, University of Southampton
The project’s Chief Investigator Professor Beeby is joined by Southampton colleagues Dr Geoff Merrett, Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi, Dr Alex Weddell and Dr Sarvapali Ramchurn; and Dr Enrico Costanza of University College London as Co-Investigators on the project.
The team will also collaborate with external project partners ARM Ltd, Mayflower Complete Lighting Control, NquiringMinds Ltd and Smart Garment People.