High-tech digital hubs from BT are collecting air quality data to help measure pollution in Birmingham and Bradford.
The InLink street unit is a state-of-the-art digital hub that replaces traditional payphones. Currently found in 23 cities across the UK, as well as 21 London boroughs, the InLink units provide a range of free digital services to the local community including free ultrafast Wi-Fi, free phone calls, free mobile device charging, community news and easy access to the emergency services.
Now, Internet of Things (IoT) modular sensors integrated within the hubs are gathering air quality data every minute and sending it via their integrated Wi-Fi. The data is then available via BT’s data hub for analysis by Bradford Council and a group of researchers and scientists in Birmingham, led by the University of Birmingham, to help monitor air pollution.
In Birmingham, the data complements results from other air quality monitoring equipment used in WM-Air, the West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme.
“There is a pressing need for more detailed measurements across cities such as Birmingham to deliver clean air science,” said Professor William Bloss, of the University of Birmingham, who leads the WM-Air project. “It’s important for us to understand the levels of air pollution in the city as it can have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of people who live and work here.”
“By collecting air quality data at multiple points and more often, it is possible for Bradford Council and WM-Air in Birmingham to gain a much better understanding of air pollution in real time via the BT data hub,” added Neil Scoresby, general manager for Payphones and InLinkUK at BT.
InLinks’ air quality measuring features will be rolled out in other cities over the coming months.