A University of Wollongong-led (UOW) initiative to foster communications projects that embrace low-cost technology, an open access ethos and community involvement have won awards for Best Community Initiative and Best Local Government Initiative at the second annual Committee for Sydney Smart City Awards on 5 September.
The Wollongong Digital Living Lab (DLL), led by UOW’s SMART Infrastructure Facility, is an open, free-to-air platform, accessible to the entire community to use for research and to test new ideas.
It is uses digital networking technology called LoRaWAN to create a wireless network that can cover large distances with low power.
The network provides the opportunity to deploy remote sensors and other communications devices that collect and distribute data on the network.
The DLL, awarded Best Community Initiative, already hosts a wide range of applications from a shark alert app for swimmers to a map for firefighters to find hydrants quickly in an emergency.
Liverpool City Council’s Smart Pedestrian Project, developed in collaboration with SMART researchers and industry partners, is a ground-breaking initiative that will revolutionise urban design and traffic management in the city.
It uses a combination of CCTV, image recognition, Wi-Fi and LPWAN technologies to collect real time volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic in Liverpool city centre, allowing the council to make informed planning decisions with growing numbers of residents and workers moving around the city centre.
Senior Professor Pascal Perez, director of the SMART Infrastructure Facility, said the awards were a welcome recognition for the work of researchers and their partners in the community and local government.
“Smart cities are all about using technology to make the places where we spend our lives, more liveable,” Professor Perez said. “I am delighted that these initiatives are receiving the recognition that they deserve.
“I would encourage anyone in the community who has an Internet of Things project to contact our team to see how they can use the free LoRaWAN network that covers Wollongong from Thirroul in the north to Yallah in the south.”