SmartSantander starts building the experimental facility

Typically, research projects do not trespass the boundaries of laboratories. Besides, when we think about experimentation lab coats and test tubes come to our minds. SmartSantander is breaking all this stereotypes. Today, only six months after the project kick-off meeting, a dozen of sensor nodes are already part of the SmartSantander experimental facility and what is more remarkable, they are also part of the Santander’s eco-system.

SmartSantander is more than an experimental facility. It is also meant to enable the assessment of the benefits that Internet of the Things (IoT) technologies bring forward. The plethora of IoT nodes to be deployed will not only boost the capacity of real-world experimentation but also will get technology closer to the end-users. This duality is what makes SmartSantander really challenging. This duality poses requirements and constraints that would never be faced on a laboratory wearing lab coats.

As it was asked to the project, SmartSantander has chosen for its first deployment and application domain that has the potential of generating real impact on the citizens. Parking is always an issue on any city. Its implications expands not only the ability to find an spot where you can leave your car while doing your shopping, but also you can find connections to much more important matters such as traffic situation, environmental issues, etc. Thus, parking monitoring has been the first application domain that has been chosen in SmartSantander.

During the past weeks the first parking sensor nodes have been deployed. As it can be seen in the pictures, the term “building” an experimental facility is not a euphemism. This first dozen of nodes will be extended by a hundred of them more that will be buried into Santander’s city-centre streets. They will be spearheading the deployment of the first thousands of nodes that will compose SmartSantander experimental facility.

Last but not least, another key aspect of SmartSantander is that we are also leveraging a model where actors from the three cornerstones for technological and social development, namely Public Administrations, Industrial players and Research entities, are engaged in SmartSantander and jointly pushing for making technological development to serve social development.

Just as an example, the pictures show the act where the Chancellor of Universidad de Cantabria, Santander’s Mayor, Regional Government Ministry for Industry and Technological Development and regional director of de Telefonica in Cantabria were presenting the deployment of SmartSantander nodes at the university campus.

As a conclusion, SmartSantader is building something else than an experimental facility. We are placing, from the very beginning, the bricks that will form the Future Internet and we are getting the technology closer to their final users so that technology development will not only get valuable feedback but it will start to be known by their consumers.

Disclosure and disclaimer: I am engaged in the SmartSantander project, on behalf of Universidad de Cantabria. However the opinions expressed in this post are my personal, and not those of the SmartSantander project or my employer.

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