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Global Internet of Things

Otago Polytechnic, Signal And Gigcity Host Global Internet of Things Thought-Leader

Otago Polytechnic, SIGNAL ICT Grad School and GigCity Dunedin are hosting world-leading Internet of Things expert, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, in Dunedin on July 10th for a session on how the Internet of Things could affect Dunedin.

Alexandra is an interaction designer, product designer, and entrepreneur based in London and director of designswarm. She was named 1st in a list of 100 Internet of Things Influencers (Postscapes, 2016), 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014) and in the Top 100 Influential Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014).

Alexandra’s session will cover questions like: How might data about Dunedin citizens be gathered, and by whom? How might that data be used to improve the delivery of civic services? And how do we benefit from access to valuable information while respecting privacy and data anonymity?

“This event complements our Internet of Things work” says Otago Polytechnic’s Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Professor Leoni Schmidt. “Otago Polytechnic Information Technology students are researching and developing an open IoT network in the central Dunedin area. Utilising the LoRaWAN specification, the network allows users to connect to a city-wide low power wireless network, which will enable smart devices to send and receive small amounts of data," she says.

SIGNAL Director, Dr Stuart Charters, says the timing for Alexandra’s visit and the content of the session is an excellent motivator for discussion, given the challenges that all cities face around data, and the potential of its use for good.

Digital Community Trust chair John Gallaher says as the Southern Hemisphere’s first GigCity, Dunedin has had access to ultrafast internet speeds and additional funding from Chorus that has allowed the city to build a solid infrastructure for tech start-ups and innovative community projects. “As we approach the end of three years as the Chorus Gigatown winner and head towards becoming a smart city, we need to explore ways in which Dunedin uses Internet of Things technologies. Having thought leaders such as Alexandra join the conversation is very exciting,” he says.

The Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino session is open to the public by registration and runs from 5.30 to 7pm on Monday 10 July, at The Hub at Otago Polytechnic. Please register by email to .

SIGNAL, the ICT Grad School for the South Island, is hosting a separate event with Alexandra on the same day for businesses and tertiary institutions.

“We wanted to make the most of having Alexandra in town, so are running a workshop at the SIGNAL site for business leaders, tech teams and educators on the use of Internet of Things in building disruptive tech ideas. It’s really exciting to have someone of this calibre to speak directly to our core interest groups, and in an area that many of us are wrestling with,” says Dr Charters.


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