Manchester Gets £10m to Test Talking Bus Stops, Biometric Sensors and Bike-Sharing

By Gary Cutlack on at

Manchester has been given a governmental handout of £10m, to help drive the development of the "Internet of Things" in the city. You can expect to see some talking bus stops rolled out, plus "sensors in parks" so app developers can award you with smiley faces when you bravely go out for a walk.

The initiative is part of the CityVerve Project, an effort to see if there are actually any good real-world uses for the "Internet of Things" yet. Manchester's fund was announced by Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, who said: "The UK’s tech sector is renowned for its creativity as well as pioneering research and development. The Manchester project will help the UK to be a world leader in the adoption of Internet of Things technologies and inspire others around the world to create smarter cities."

Plans were put together to cover four areas -- healthcare, transport, energy and environment, culture and community -- with other schemes including a "biometric sensor network" to check health of patients, smart street lighting, bike-sharing and advanced air quality monitoring.

If it works and doesn't break all the time, the idea is to use Manchester's IoT learnings as a template to smart-up other UK cities. [Gov via The Register]