Dr. Roesch gave a keynote address to the 2017 edition of Housing Technology Conference & Executive Forum (http://www.housing-technology.com/events/ht17/), held at Q Hotels’ Oxford Belfry, 7-9 March, 2017. This yearly event, organised by Housing Technology, is the one national event in the UK that gathers professionals of the housing sector wanting to make the best out of technology and share best practices.

The address presented Cocoon, and fleshed out a vision of tomorrow’s landscape for the housing sector. Three key challenges will have to be met by housing professionals, in the coming decade: the Internet of Things, big data, and security. Cocoon sits at the very centre of this triad, and places the tenants at the heart of this complex and adaptive system.

  1. For good or ill, the Internet of Things will change the way we do things; it is coming, for sure, for many reasons, from the smart light bulb that will send regular updates of its status to the smart meter that monitors and regulates energy consumption. The IoT will save the housing sector money, just because it will be easier to know when to send out a technician for maintenance.
  2. Big data, because managing health status data from a million light bulbs will unravel challenges one never even imagined existed! What is more, having access to this kind of data will allow the deployment of large scale experiments; answering questions like, “By how much do we need to deem the light in public places to reduce electricity cost by say 20%, while making sure that everybody’s happy and the street remains safe?”
  3. Security, because it is inevitable that cyber-physical attacks will become the new buzz for hustlers; it took a year and a half for Bennett Aaron (an other keynote at the conference; http://www.bennettarron.com/) to realise someone had stolen his identity; how much time could it take to realise that the reason the lights bulbs keep dying more often than usual, is because of a surge of power in the meter, because someone hacked the smart boiler to send a large scale denial of service attacks?

The Cocoon project and Housing Technology (http://www.housing-technology.com) have also announced they will be working together to produce a comprehensive report about the state of IoT for the housing sector. A wide committee is steering this project; if you are interested to know more about that report, want to be kept updated on developments or actually want to help out, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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