Jisc has done a deal with The Things Network (TTN) to give universities and colleges access to its long range wide area network (LoRaWAN).
The not-for-profit technology provider to the higher and further education sectors said this will make it easier for them to set up and use internet of things (IoT) technologies.
Under the agreement Jisc will run an instance of the public TTN community network server on its Janet Network infrastructure, allowing its members to manage gateways and sensors via a dedicated portal. It will also be able to provide universities and colleges with a dedicated LoRaWAN while linking to the TTN international network.
It expects this to support the development of intelligent college campuses based on IoT devices. Some already use the technology in libraries and for managing the campus, but Jisc is encouraging them to go further as part of its Education 4.0 vision, which emphasises the importance of digital tech in education.
Andy McGregor, Jisc’s deputy chief innovation officer, said: “We are delighted to be working with TTN to explore new uses for IoT in higher and further education. If used ethically and with the involvement and trust of students and staff, then we can use IoT to build more fluid campuses that respond to the needs of students and staff and are more rewarding and intuitive to use.
“They could also potentially help to cut down on the administrative tasks for researchers and teachers.”
LoRaWAN is designed to allow connected devices such as sensors and vehicle equipment to communicate small amounts of data over large distances using tiny amounts of power. Because of their low power consumption, these remote sensors or actuators can run for many years on a single battery.
The technology is becoming increasingly popular among public authorities, with deals over recent months to install networks in places such as Glasgow, Hull and Norfolk.
Image by Steve Johnson, CC BY 2.0 through flickr