“Smart cities” is indeed a staple expression in today’s IoT world, but have you ever heard about “smart villages”? Well, they exist, they are great, and they excellently showcase how versatile IoT technology is and how much it can benefit the world at large.
Through the SOM project and enabled by Future By Lund, Smarta Byar (Smart Villages) was born in Swedish Veberöd. The Smarta Byar project is the brainchild of Jan Malmgren and it aims to better village citizens’ lives using the latest IoT technology.
The SOM project
The SOM project, or Smarta Offentliga Miljöer (Smart Public Environments), was made possible through connections and mutual interests between Malmö city and Lund city together with a wide range of local businesses. The project will establish a foundation for making these local societies smarter by evaluating and testing IoT technologies and solutions in public environments.
Use case trials and projects under the SOM umbrella includes monitor of parking spots, trash bins, traffic flow, soil conditions, and plenty more through IoT sensors from various Swedish manufacturers. At Sensative, we have been able to aid these developments not only by providing hardware and software, but also by installing a LoRaWAN network in Lund to enable local IoT devices to communicate on a reliable and versatile protocol.
Smarta Byar / Smart Villages
The Smart Villages project was born out of Veberöd local Jan Malmgren’s passion for making lives better for his fellow residents of the village. Malmgren started out by developing an app where the Veberöd citizens can discuss ideas or issues, and cooperate to realize local projects. A while later, Malmgren was informed that a LoRaWAN network had been established in Lund via the SOM project, and shortly after he joined the collaborative force to work out how these solutions could extend to his own village.
Through the SOM project, Malmgren found financial support for his testbed together with expert help from other actors. In addition, many parties wanted to see how IoT would look in a village setting, and there was quickly a diverse mix of use cases developed in the very different environment that makes up a village.
The Smart Villages project also volunteered their testbed to another project known as CritiSec. The people at CritiSec deal with IoT security for sensitive digital infrastructure, such as for a smart village where traffic, lights, electricity, and more become connected and vulnerable to attacks or disruptions.
Together with Sensative, Jan Malmgren realized the vision of a LoRaWAN gateway in Veberöd, enabling Smarta Byar to make a reality of their various and diverse project plans. Additionally, Sensative’s DiMS platform Yggio now acts as the central data collecting layer for the smart village, allowing the different actors to visualize trends and make the data actionable for developments or optimization.
Unga Smarta Byar / Young Smart Villages
The Smart Villages project is rapidly developing and branching out. One of the more recent projects is Young Smart Villages (Unga Smarta Byar) where IoT courses have been offered at a local school to encourage IoT activity and inspire new generations of digital innovators. The studies’ focus rests around sustainability on both social and environmental levels to find solutions to contemporary and forthcoming challenges. Public transportation, renewable energy, and school environments are some of the areas that the students so far have explored.
A digital twin of Veberöd
To truly lay the foundation for an IoT village, Smart Villages developed a 3D model, or a “digital twin”, of Veberöd. Digital twins are typically utilized to digitally visualize data and simulate real-life scenarios. A specific scenario is produced to see any challenges or opportunities that need to be taken into consideration when developing the project.
In this case, Smarta Byar wanted a complete view of Veberöd to be able to digitally view developments in real-time. They started by mapping the village from above via a drone, which LTH (the Faculty of Engineering) in Lund helped make a 3D model of. With a complete 3D model, Sensative helped extract data from our API to map all the sensors around the village. Smart Villages can now display all sensor activity in real-time at the “IoT lab” that Malmgren has established in the village. Apart from displaying the digital twin in their digital lab, the municipality now has the opportunity to see when a range of issues arise. If a citizen reports a problem today, like a broken street light, then the municipality can see if that issue has already been reported or addressed.
As mentioned, the use cases in the village have been many and broad, dealing with everything from farmer activity to street lights. We will now show you some of the cases that are a reality today or are about to be realized.
With its bountiful nature, Veberöd is home to many frequently visited recreational outdoor areas that are especially popular during summer times when visitors like to do long treks and barbecuing. By implementing Sensative Strips MS +Comfort multi-sensors with humidity and temperature monitoring, Veberöd municipality can report to citizens in real-time on occupied barbeque areas. The idea is simple and effective – When sensors detect levels of heat around an outdoor barbecue, then that area is registered as in use.
Cattle water supply
Skåne is the most southern and main agricultural province of Sweden where cattle raising is not uncommon. In cow breeding, the essential water is automatically pumped up to a trough where the cows can drink from.
One story goes that two consecutive annual celebrations of the Swedish traditional Midsummer Eve, a certain farmer was informed that he had to leave the party to fix his water pump for the cows. The first time the farmer became informed that the pump had malfunctioned due to cows breaking out from the pasture onto the roads in search of water.
Through lessons learned, the farmer now had Sensefarm’s humidity sensors installed on the property. The sensors had been connected to Sensative’s Yggio platform to report on any signs of water depletion. So, the second time the pump malfunctioned, an alarm was sent to the farmer who could quickly remedy the situation.
Smarta Byar installed Sensative Strips MS +Comfort sensors connected to the Yggio platform to collect data on heat levels in bus shelters. This data can show the municipality which bus shelters produce excessive heat in certain conditions. The information will also allow for easier delegation of responsibilities to maintain a standard of travelers’ comfort.
Together with Telia, another IoT operator in the region, and through NB-IoT, the municipality is trialing a type of bike tracking. The idea is to personally connect owners to their bicycles via their phones, so if the bicycle starts to move without the owner’s geolocation matching its location then an alarm is sent to the owner and law enforcement. GPS tracking of vehicles is becoming increasingly popular, and especially growing with rental bikes and scooters.
We are probably all familiar with the chain constructions and pull handles of pre-school gates made to be so difficult to open that even grownups struggle. While this alternative offers a respectable level of security, the citizens of Veberöd are looking for more foolproof solutions.
Smarta Byar has installed Sensative’s Strips MS +Guard to monitor in real-time if school gates are open or closed. School staff can now via the Yggio platform see a mapping of current gate statutes and set up alarms for when a gate is considered to have been open for too long. This advanced monitoring spells more stressfree and resourceful days for the pre-school staff, and an increased security level overall where many more applications can be incorporated.
Anoter developing project is to monitor water quality together with local water utility company VA Syd. The idea is to see to what level, if any, the citizens or companies might unintentionally pollute the water. If pollution is detected, then Smarta Byar and VA Syd are ready to act to remedy the issues and learn.
Apart from water quality, the parties also want to see if citizens in any way are consuming excessive amounts of water. The parties wish to find new solutions and encourage citizens to be more modest with their usage.
School projects (Young Smart Villages)
Measure signal coverage
To experiment with the technology and do some investigative work, students wanted to see if the official signal coverage between sensors and gateways lived up to its standard. This can be considered a good example of an engaging school project when learning about IoT.
Group room occupancy
Students wanted to monitor which study group rooms are currently free. Instead of manually checking each room as in the pre-IoT days, students can now implement presence sensors that monitor and report in real-time on occupied spaces.
Sound level monitoring
Schools pretty much equal noise. Students wanted to see what level the noise really is at. It might sound loud to me, but what if the noise level are actually damaging at times? Maybe it will be time to implement some noise-canceling solutions for more pleasant school days.
3D view of school
Inspired by the digital twin of Veberöd, students now want to develop a 3D model or digital twin of their school. When dealing with digital twins of buildings, digital blueprints of a building are used as the foundation for the 3D model, where sensors are placed out on the map and report their data in real-time.
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