Society is at the beginning of a new era, driven by ever accelerating social and technological trends; a shift to high density urban living, artificial intelligence, smart infrastructure and the connected citizen.

At the core of this revolution are advances at the interface between data analytics and distributed digital infrastructure – the cyber-physical domain – that collects data and informs decisions.

The impact will be similar to the emergence of the internet in the 1990s and is driven by rapid uptake of a new generation of Internet of Things technology.

For the first time, very low-cost battery-powered devices are able to exchange information over long distances for many years.

The first wave of IoT applications is having a profound impact on smart cities in areas as diverse as street lights that respond to need and report faults, to improving energy efficiency and life conditions for the poorest in society by effectively targeting fuel poverty.

Smart infrastructure’s global potential

CENSIS is working at the forefront of this revolution, supporting Scottish companies to exploit these new technologies and create solutions of huge global market potential and societal benefit.

Cities are the engines of our economic future, but the IoT opportunity transcends these boundaries to encompass the whole country. This wide-ranging nature of the challenge demands we deliver seamless capability within, between and beyond our cities, to enable our cities to flourish and to be a true “IoT nation”.

Scotland is well positioned, with the Scottish Government making a strategic commitment in March this year to national IoT coverage and putting delivery of this at the heart of the 2017-18 Programme for Government.

We can look forward to a future where companies, cities and citizens, across Scotland, can all benefit from the dawn of this new era.

Mark Begbie is business development director at CENSIS, the innovation centre for sensor and imaging systems. @CENSIS121

CENSIS 4th Technology Summit and Conference 2017