Welcome to Connected Home Consortium’s winter IoT in housing update. In this issue we have a round up from Digital First 2.0, new pilot opportunities, updates from ongoing pilots plus details of our upcoming publications and events.

Digital First 2.0 ‘From Connected Customers to Connected Homes’

We kicked off November with Digital First 2.0 a follow on from the smash hit digital housing event put on by Halton Housing Trust last year. Digital First 2.0 aimed to complement all the digital channel shift technology that made DF 1 so great and supplement it with the latest IoT technology for housing.

With the summer budget behind us and Autumn Spending review on the horizon there was a noticeable appetite in the room for technology with the ability to transform services delivery and provide a clear return on investment.

The market for housing focused IoT has come some way since the launch of the consortium and testament to the progress made was the range of housing focused IoT products in action at Digital First 2.0. 365agile’s new heating controller intelligently uses one set of sensor for multiple tasks (more on this later) while Switchee smart thermostat designed specifically with social landlords in mind feeds back data on humidity which can be used to deal with damp and mould issues. ZONR, featured in our last update, brought along their finished hub and sensor units which can detect boiler effectiveness through measuring hot water temperature differentials across a heating system, the data can then be used to proactively schedule maintenance. Also on show was a preview of Virdian’s MoveMaker app- dubbed as the Tinder of housing MoveMaker matches up social residents looking to swap homes based on the their preferences for a new place.

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Along with offerings from the housing technology sector Digital First 2.0 also featured new entrants interested in breaking into the housing market. o2 Telefonica and British Gas’s Hive are both looking to explore how their technology offerings could add value to landlords businesses. Both companies have great consumer focused IoT products but are now looking to replicate their success in the consumer market through adapting their software offering to serve the needs of large scale landlords.

The intimate roundtable sessions proved to be a highlight at Digital First 2.0. Matt Leach and Nick Atkin facilitated in depth discussions on topics ranging from how to achieve full organisational buy in for new digital and IoT initiative to the technicalities of interoperability. Harpal from o2 and Iain from Hive had a lot to bring from their experience outside of the housing sector while Greg from 1st Touch and Will from 365Agile were able to deliver insights from their work with the sector.

The energy in the room was tangible throughout and from the conversations and feedback we’ve had it appears many housing providers have forged relationships with technology providers to determine how they might use IoT. Others experienced their first taste of the new possibilities IoT and digital channel shift offer and are now in a position to take these ideas into their organisations.

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IoT Pilots – Drones, Smart Boiler Control, Winter Damp and Connected CCTV

Last month 365Agile released a smart heating controller for the housing sector. A device designed to offer both residents a smart way to control their heating and energy use from their phones while enabling landlords to actively monitor the state of their assets in the field. Want to try out a bit of tech that could change the way you deliver repairs and maintenance? 365agile have teamed up with CHC to offer a pilot trail of the smart heating controller. If you are interested in taking part in the pilot check out our blog here or email: jay.saggar@hact.org.uk

Those of you at Digital First 2.0 will have probably spotted Future Aerial Innovations’ (FAI) survey drone, not flying around the skies outside the Museum of Science and Industry but safely landed inside. CHC is running a pilot in partnership with FAI and 3 housing associations to explore the potential for drones to provide asset survey data. For more details on the pilot check out our blog.

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Cloudview have bust into the housing sector with their new connected upgrade for CCTV. The Cloudview system retrofits on to old CCTV kit enabling remote access, reducing the costs of retrieving data after an incident and making sure that expensive kit already installed is fully utilised for safety and security purposes in addition to providing asset management functionality. CHC and Cloudview are currently running a pilot with MHS housing find out more here.

With the heating season well and truly here, the Blue Maestro Tempo pilot is currently collecting temperature and humidity data from 10 housing associations across the country. The data will be used by housing providers to manage issues of damp, mould and condensation offering longituadal environmental data not previously available at such a low cost. Full details of the Blue Maestro Pilot can be found here.

Upcoming Publications and Events:

Understanding IoT and Connectivity: A guide for UK Housing

Housing throws up some unique challenges when it comes to implementing IoT and connectivity is still of one of the major barriers to overcome. Our guide to IoT and connectivity aims to simply explain the relative pros and cons of each type of local and long range connectivity with reference to housing specific use cases. So from resident broadband connections to SigFox or Zigbee to Thread we have them all covered and explained in plain English.

Understanding Connectivity

We will be distributing the guide to CHC members from mid-December

Assisted Living

As local authorities and housing providers adjust to the new state of social care provision, IoT technology offers a potential new way to provide care to older and vulnerable people. Using the same sets of sensors that will enable landlords to manage repairs and maintenance remotely, social landlords will be able to monitor the welfare of residents. Connected Home Consortium in partnership with the Housing and Telecare LINs are producing a report on the future of IoT for assisted living with a focus on how universal sensor platforms can deliver a low cost way to help older people stay in their homes for longer.

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We intend to release the finished paper in spring 2016.

Digital First 3.0?

With Digital First 2.0 behind us we are looking forward to our next big IoT showcase. Pencilled in for the new year we hope to show you live feeds data from our pilot projects and begin to direct the market based on the evidence gathered from all the experimentation and research coming out of the sector as a whole. Large scale roll outs are round the corner and DF3 will have all the latest.

See you in the New Year!