SkyeLab is a Living Lab. A Living Lab is an “open innovation ecosystem in real-life environment using iterative feedback processes throughout a lifecycle approach of an innovation to create sustainable impact.”
In essence, our office is made to mimic a living room for example and we ourselves use off the shelf customer technologies that you can see through our demonstrator. This allows us to analyse products through experience and use.
The customer products are split up into programmes, they would include:
- Smart home devices – Like an Amazon Alexa or a Google Nest Hub.
- Remote Care – These devices would aid in caring for a relative, they could range from telecommunications to entertainment.
- Energy saving and management – Various devices to aid in turning off devices and monitoring energy usage in the household.
There are a lot of projects that SkyeLab is working on also. One of the bigger ones would be our research into LoRaWan.
LoRaWAN stands for Long Range Wide Area Network. It is a communications protocol that is tailored towards a long range and low powered transmission. In essence, LoRa devices consume very little power as they send periodic and small packets via the LoRaWan protocol. Due to the low size the protocol allows for very long range transmission ranges.
LoRaWAN is promising for a rural area like Skye as it could offer a very large area for LoRaWAN compatible devices to communicate.
LoRaWAN devices are often used as sensors, SOS buttons/Beacons, trackers and other similar devices. The application of which could range from facilities management to care at home improvements.
For this reason SkyeLab has been looking into this technology in a rural context. We have worked with Archangel – A LoRaWAN company that specialises in this tech.
We plan to test out a LoRaWAN Antenna on Skye in the first quarter of 2023.
SkyeLab has also worked with the DataLab, HEI and the LSHA to work on a data model to predict future living housing needs in our local area.