TechUK to create IoT group to boost UK’s connected market

TechUK, a London-based organisation promoting the use of advanced technology, is set to create an IoT group to bolster the UK position in the smart connected global market

In the UK, TechUK, a London-based organisation promoting the use of advanced technology, has announced plans to create an Internet of Things (IoT) group in a bid to bolster the UK’s position in the smart connected global market.

Robert McNamara, associate director for TechUK’s Energy and Environment activities, spoke at the recent Connected Home event in London, saying that the new IoT group will increase the number of IoT events in the UK, as a result of a growing adoption of smart technology in the UK.

He added that the IoT group will assist to create consensus on several IoT issues, such as security and connectivity.

IoT data ‘deluge’

At the Connected Home event, Sarah Deasley, director at a microeconomics consultancy Frontier Economics, was part of panel discussion discussing the various challenges and benefits of devices in the home.

“We have a very competitive [smart meter] market in the UK, which is a good thing for consumers,” said Ms Deasly.

She added that despite its advantage in the smart meter market, consumer engagement remains a challenging area.

Deasley also commented on the torrent of data gathered by intelligent devices, saying that “consumers do not care about energy data”. Expanding on Deasley’s comment, Chris Saunders, CEO at UK based technology company Navetas, highlighted the risks associated with smart devices.

Saunders said: “We all recognise the value of energy data for the consumer. The risk is the availability of that data.

“We should empower consumers so they know what they spend. It is about power and choice. It should not just be about reducing.”

There were mixed opinions as to consumers’ attitudes on smart meters and other connected home devices.

Dennis Palmer, head of GB Smart Meter programme, said that “people care about pounds and pences”, adding that the industry will move from a focus on data to propositions – where planned and accepted prepayment solutions will become more commonplace.

Mr Palmer said: “I see prepayment proposition as the proposition that will take on the future. Smart meters and intelligent reading with insightful data.

“I am comfortable sharing data that will offer me the value, and that is where we are heading to. Finding that value proposition is where we need to focus on.”

Smart meter cost implications

Panellist Chis Saunders said that he is not opposed to smart meters but that the rollout plans are “a bit ambitious” alluding to the cost of GBP12 billion.

Deasley concluded by saying that the industry’s challenge is to determine the value of smart devices such as smart meters.