On September 7-8, the annual workshop within the BigData@BTH project took place. Professor Paul Davidsson, Malmö University and previously BTH employee, held the key note speech.
Paul gave an interesting speech about the research centre and the research profile Internet of Things and People (IoTaP) at Malmö University.
–There will be 25–50 billion devices connected to the Internet by the year 2020. It´s the fourth wave of digitalization, Paul says. The first was the computer, the second Internet, the third mobile Internet and now, the forth, Internet of things.
– We will see the main increase in connected things in the area of consumer electronics, such as gaming devices and home appliances, and in the area of M2M, such as transport and logistics and security, he claims.
–There is a lot of companies fighting “the battle of the smart home”, Paul says. In M2M, there are devices such as smart waste management which will make garbage handling more efficient. There are also devices helping farmers such as smart tractors and devices for watering and looking after the cattle.
Opportunities as well as challenges
The opportunities in the Internet of things area feel enormous, but there are, however, a lot of challenges to be addressed. Paul mentions five in particular:
- Usability – how to make interaction in an intuitive way?
- Mobility – how to orchestrate the relevant things for a user according to the context?
- Interoperability – how to get different types of connected things to work together?
- Dependability – how to handle power outages, data network blackouts etc.
- Security – how to make it more difficult for malicious actors?
- Privacy – how to realize the potential of IoT while respecting the privacy of citizens?
Research centre and profile
Paul is, as mentioned before, the director of the research centre Internet of things and People which employs 26 active researchers and PhD students and had a 17 MKr turnover in 2015. The vision is to be the leading research environment in making the Internet of Things useful and usable. They cooperate with 50 + companies, 16 universities and organizations. The research profile, with the same name as the centre, runs for seven years (2014–2021) with funding from the Knowledge Foundation and with a total budget of over 100 MKr.
– IoT research has focused on the technological infrastructure. But in order to develop successful products and services, the perspective of the users must be integrated.
Our research focus is therefore interaction technology, user-centered development and embedded intelligence, Paul explains
Paul mentions five domains of IoTaP areas in which they have projects, all societal challenges:
- Smart transport: improving transportation systems, including logistics and public transport.
- Smart cities: supporting emergency services, energy management, public safety & security, etc.
- Smart living: improving the comfort and quality of domestic life.
- Smart health: supporting (preventive) health care anywhere and anytime.
- Smart learning: facilitating learning anywhere, including both professional and informal learning.
– The profile is the core of the centre and today there are four ongoing projects in various subjects, for instance: in dynamic shelf-life labeling for minimizes waste, in data innovation arena, in smart home in an intelligent energy system and in smart learning, Paul concludes.