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Leading Pittsburgh University to become a working ‘petri dish’ for Google’s Internet of Things Technology

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh is to become part of an experiment which will essentially see it transformed into a ‘living lab’ created using Google’s smart technologies.

Licensed under CC - credit Flickr user: Tianming Chen
Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Tianming Chen

Considered to be one of the world’s leading roboticsresearch institutions, the newly-funded Google project will see the University expand beyond its acknowledged cachet, as the campus plays host to internet-connected sensors and accelerometers enabling its buildings and devices to communicate with the internet. In conjunction with help from other researchers at Cornell, Stanford and the University of Illinois, the goal is to allow any object or space to connect with other web-enabled tools and within a year, turn a lot of the space at CMU into ‘smart spaces’ that students, staff and visitors can interact with.

Looking to build a platform to facilitate IoT (internet of things) applications called GIoTTO, Google will develop cheap sensors, privacy measures and app development software at CMU. Google’s director of university relations, Maggie Johnson said that the decision to engage CMU at the helm was due to its: “vision for a living laboratory, validating systemdesign through daily use.”

Eventually, it is hoped to extend the project beyond the campus and out into the city which would mean the platform could have a very significant impact on Pittsburgh. Examining how people are using spaces and devices will provide a much more transparent picture, and asset tracking will maximise the value manufacturers, their customers, and third party providers can recover from products, also providing an indirect mechanism by which citizens input on how the city is organised.

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Lou Waldegrave

Lou Waldegrave

Lou Waldegrave is a copywriter who has written across all of the mediums and began her writing career in radio advertising. She joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in May 2015.

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