Academics at Southampton are conducting pioneering research to address the challenges of realising billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and doing so in a way that is effective, sustainable, and safe. Electronics and Computer Science’s (ECS) strategic Centre for IoT and Pervasive Systems benefits from the diverse skills and expertise that ECS offers, acting as a focal point for research into both the underpinning technologies of IoT and its application to solve societal challenges. The Centre involves researchers from all ECS groups, covering topics from new sensor devices and energy-efficient architectures, through to networking, cybersecurity and privacy, data management, and AI.

IoT introduces new challenges around how data can be structured, accessed and analysed to harness its full potential, while respecting users’ data preferences. Our researchers are working across the spectrum of data management, analysis and interfacing, in areas such as the design of infrastructures for the collection, sharing and analysis of data, techniques for intelligent data analysis and assigning data provenance, and the meaningful engagement of individuals and policymakers with the IoT data ecosystem. The use of AI to process IoT data, whether on the cloud or at the edge, has the potential for significant improvements in autonomous behaviour and decision making, and is explored in conjunction with researchers from ECS’ Centre for Machine Intelligence.

IoT is often characterised by very fast development with a focus on time-to-market, and this can result in vulnerabilities. Most devices are highly resource-constrained, and hence cannot be equipped with appropriate software to detect and prevent cyber threats. Our growing reliance on IoT is increasingly intertwining the cyber and physical worlds, widening the attack surface. This leads to many cyber-physical attacks against confidentiality, integrity and availability. Our researchers are addressing this across the system stack, from trustworthy hardware and authentication, to secure IoT systems and frameworks which preserve and manage user privacy.

Researchers in the Centre leverage the University’s strengths in interdisciplinary research, whether applying fundamental research to health and wellbeing applications in collaboration with clinicians at University Hospital Southampton, or using it to address scientific and societal challenges associated with making our cities, homes, factories and infrastructure smarter. The Centre runs a regular programme of seminars, workshops and engagement events, and encourages involvement from anyone in ECS.

Visit the Centre for Internet of Things and Pervasive Systems website