Smart Villages (Smarta Byar) have recently taken an important step by establishing a location in the middle of Veberöd. In collaboration with companies and academia, Smart Villages will now work to produce in-depth knowledge of how smart technology can make society more sustainable. Previously they have connected to cows' water troughs, lighting, and bicycles - now a 3D model of the town can collect flows and activities to identify important links.
In recent weeks, Smart Towns has set up its new premises in central Veberöd. The idea is to create a meeting place where, with the help of residents, companies, and academia, they can explore what is smart and sustainable.
– It may sound a bit arrogant, but it is an attempt to do good for the world, says Jan Malmgren at Smart Villages. We want to explore what total sustainability means, something that encompasses all the aspects that exist in Agenda 2030. An important aspect of this is to acquire knowledge about how circular economy works.
It was in 2018 that Veberöd became part of Future by Lund's SOM project (Smart Public Places). A gateway was then installed on a mast in Veberöd for the LoRa technology. This way, it was possible to connect the cows' water troughs, bicycles, trees, and much more. During the autumn, Smart Villages also started up to create rural development and to be a test bed for IoT in a town, as an addition to what is happening in smart cities.
Premises of almost 200 square meters on Södra Järnvägsgatan 3 in central Veberöd is now the next important step.
– We grasp the whole picture, and Veberöd can become a town for research, which would provide knowledge for all of society, says Jan Malmgren. We have good conditions as we have been able to put together a village through the website veberod.nu and a village app that has created trust, commitment, and opportunities to provide feedback. We also want to show that something similar could be done in any village or town. One tool to highlight these issues can be AI. We can engage the residents and through anonymized data on, for example, health that is linked to water, energy, and exhaust fumes, it would be possible to identify links that have not been seen before. These insights can provide knowledge that increases sustainability, not only in Veberöd but in society at large.
Smart Villages collaborates with organizations and institutions such as, Kraftringen, FabLab, Halmstad University, Lund University and Luleå University. The collaboration is the basis for testing new things and for creating new digital services.
– A dream is to create a virtual university with a 3D model of Veberöd, says Jan Malmgren. It could be similar to a computer game and students would be able to complete projects in the model remotely. If the bus runs through Veberöd in real time, it must also be visible in the model. We also hope to be able to be a FabLab with prototype production linked to universities.
Jan Malmgren first met Future by Lund in 2016 when Barcamper traveled around Skåne to find new innovative ideas that did had not reached the startup scene. Since then, Jan and Byutveckling have been involved in Future by Lund's SOM project, and through Smart Villages Veberöd has been linked up, both through the LoRa network and Telia Narrowband. Smart Towns have tested many things. In addition to the cows' water troughs, trees and bicycles, they have shown how to secure bicycles through an app, how to construct a 3D model of a town to get a holistic perspective of the town, how drones can be used to help society and how to use smart lighting on one of the residential streets. Veberöd's fire brigade has also been a test site for a way to train triage with the help of AR.
Read more about Veberöd and Smart Towns below (in Swedish):
Translation: Ben Dohrmann