BT data hub to help Manchester become a ‘smart city’

An open data hub from BT will be at the heart of Manchester’s smart city project, the telecoms group announced recently.

It will be similar to the MK Data Hub — jointly developed by BT and the Open University as part of the MK:Smart project — which brings together data from a range of sensors around Milton Keynes.

The two-year project in Manchester, known as CityVerve, has received £10m in UK government funding. It will test innovative new services using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, including bus stops that let bus operators know when commuters are waiting, and a network of sensors in parks and along commuter routes to encourage people to do more physical activity.

As part of CityVerve, BT will expand the capabilities of Milton Keynes’ data hub to provide a data platform for the management of travel and transport in Manchester, UK Authority reported.

John Davies, chief researcher of future business technology at BT, told the website: “One of BT’s roles in the project is to provide a data platform for the travel and transport theme.

“This will gather together a range of relevant transport data and expose it in a uniform way, thereby facilitating the development of applications using multiple data sources and thus lowering the barrier to participation in the IoT ecosystem.

“The platform will be based on the same technology as the MK:Smart data hub, but the project gives us the opportunity to further enhance our capability.”

The CityVerve project aims to demonstrate applications of IoT technologies and services in four key areas: healthcare; transport; energy and environment; and culture and community. It will demonstrate a smart city at scale, aiming to provide a model that can be replicated in other cities.

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