Six Scottish local authorities alongside Scotrail, Blackwood Homes and Care and Borders College are conducting an Internet of Things (IoT) trial, which has the potential to transform the experience of people who live within communities. The ‘IoT Accelerator Packs’ are being supplied by North, the UK’s leading IoT service and solutions provider. The trials could also highlight many real life trends and activities which demonstrate risk levels in social housing and on public transport for insurers and brokers too.
The innovative packs are set to provide access to real time data insights on waste management, air quality, social housing solutions, building health and water monitoring capabilities.
The areas taking part in the innovative trial include:
- Aberdeen City Council
- Angus Council
- East Renfrewshire Council
- City of Edinburgh Council
- Fife Council
- Highland Council
Fife Council has selected intelligent waste management technology. This will help to reduce their carbon footprint and operational costs using data to monitor smart bins, which align waste collection frequency with demand, significantly reducing costs and emissions.
Scotrail, Edinburgh City, Angus and East Renfrewshire Council will have the ability to measure air quality within train stations, council buildings or across a busy town centre, measuring and reporting on temperature, humidity and pressure, alongside primary air pollutants. Allowing for environmental teams to access and collate measurements in real-time more easily and frequently than traditional manual processes. For insurers there is the obvious benefit of spotting fire or smoke risks, plus escape of dangerous fumes, via air quality sensors.
Similarly, Blackwood Homes and Care will be implementing the use of sensors within its social housing to monitor and improve living environments. This will ensure parameters such as moisture control and ventilation are adequate, providing a healthy living environment for tenants whilst also protecting the fabric of the building.
Aberdeen City Council will implement smart sensors to monitor its water, alongside Highland Council, which has already successfully adopted the smart IoT sensor technology across its schools, care homes, leisure centres and council offices to gather a range of data and insights. The addition of water monitoring is set to help each of the organisations maximise their water safety, by continuously monitoring and measuring water temperature to identify and reduce the risk of legionella and other bacteria.
As some insurers like Legal & General move into social housing projects, using IoT tech like this can really help keep premiums low for those who want health and Contents cover. Matching risk to lifestyle is really all about joining the data dots until you have a complete picture, and so long as people don’t mind being watched, listened to and monitored 24/7, then the opportunity is there to use noise, heat, air quality, water and other sensors to manage behaviours that are higher risk than the average.
How we do that is a matter for politicians, but insurers can offer rewards and discounts right now for those who lead a genuinely healthy lifestyle. It really comes down to exchanging personal data for a tangible benefit from the consumer point of view.