London in line for new Internet of Things hubs

Billy Bambrough
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The Internet of Things is expected to change how people use cities
The Internet of Things is expected to change how people use cities (Source: Getty)

The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) scene in London is set to get a boost from the government.

The Innovate UK-funded Digital Catapult – set up to help small businesses grow their digital capabilities – is rolling out 50 IoT hubs around the capital, called the Digital Catapult Things Connected programme.

Businesses will be able to connect to the hubs to test IoT software and introduce it to consumers.

Read more: What the Internet of Things means for marketers

The IoT marketplace in the UK is currently worth £13.3bn, and expected to rise to £20bn by 2018.

The use of drones for deliveries and bicycle safety on roads are two areas Digital Catapult thinks could benefit from the scheme.

“London is already a global force in the tech and digital industries but if we are to stay competitive, increase productivity and make the most of opportunities for growth in this crucial sector, innovation is key,” Rajesh Agrawal, deputy mayor for business, said.

“Digital Catapult Things Connected will help to drive business innovation by embracing internet of things technologies across London.”

Read more: 10 London startups named the hottest in Europe

Digital Catapult is working with telecoms giant BT, and IoT developer Everynet to deliver the 50 hubs around London.

Chris Sims, MD of BT, said: “The Internet of Things has the potential to fundamentally change how we live, work and do business. But only by taking an open, collaborative approach can we truly maximise that potential.”

Recently however there have been reports consumers may not be so interested in the Internet of Things.

A survey into connected devices from consultants Deloitte found that while two-thirds of UK consumers said they believed IoT gadgets could make their lives better, only half of us own a smart device and these are almost exclusively entertainment systems.

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