In the heart of the city

Philip Mason hears from Bristol is Open MD Julie Snell about the project’s current shift of focus from 'technology' to ‘use case’, and the challenges presented to IoT-based projects by GDPR

Established as a joint venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council, Bristol is Open is one of the most high-profile UK test beds focusing on the roll-out of smart city technology.

The project facilitates a variety of different initiatives, operating via the deployment of small sensors to create a multi-faceted wireless network stretching across the city. The purpose of these, according to its website, is to supply “information about many aspects of city life, including energy, air quality and traffic flows”.

The information gleaned from this system can subsequently be used in the development of a range of applications, in part via an ‘open’ portal through which the anonymised data can be made available to anyone who wishes to put it to use. Partners in the project range from the most bijou of tech start-ups, such as the locally based Zeetta Networks, to the likes of BT, which recently collaborated on massive MIMO trials for 5G wireless.

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