The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe how multiple physical devices or objects – even people – can be connected across a network. Thanks to embedded software and sensors, these connected objects – be they lights, buses or entire buildings – can collect and exchange data. Where this gets really exciting is once you turn this data into insight that helps us to do things more easily, quickly or more effectively.

Of course, there’s also the opportunity to achieve what was previously unimaginable and help to “wake up” the world around us in ways we’ve never seen before.

So what does this really mean?  Well, we’ve reached an era in which everything from cars, bus stops, street-lights and clothing can be connected to the internet and become part of an ever-expanding network. Practically, it’s about transport operators enhancing the passenger experience with real time updates. It’s about connected patients who track and monitor their own health through wearables; providing valuable real-time insight to doctors. Likewise, it’s about creating an intelligent lighting network to help create an environmentally sustainable city whilst simultaneously increasing public safety.

Ultimately, the IoT can help to create deeper, smarter connections between services in a way that enables a city to function more efficiently, become safer, and provide an enhanced citizen experience.

Through the IoT, we’re making Manchester smarter, connecting people and things within the city to help drive innovation and commercial opportunity. Then, over time, using the insight generated by IoT devices to deliver a citizen experience that both inspires and empowers them to experience a better quality of life.