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IoT and 5G adoption get a boost in New Zealand

A New Zealand-based telecommunications company has opened the doors to its newly launched Innovation Studio, which the company hopes will help New Zealand businesses to test the latest technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things.

The company says the studio aims to demystify emerging technologies by placing them in real-world examples that businesses can relate to. They claim to know the New Zealanders and the business community understand the value of digitisation but often struggle to move from insight to action. That is where the Innovation Studio comes in – it is hands-on, practical, and collaborative and a place where businesses can learn how to become more productive, resilient, and sustainable through technology.

In partnership with a multinational tech company that provides cloud services, the Innovation Studio supports technologies across networks including 4G, 5G, Cat M1, LoRaWAN, and NB IoT.

The Innovation Studio comprises four interactive zones that cater to different business applications: The Asset Management Zone, the Emerging Tech Zone, the Smart Environments Zone, and the Utilities Zone.

The Asset Management Zone concentrates on how IoT asset tracking devices can be used across different verticals, such as retail, manufacturing, transport, healthcare, and the public sector. The zone features three organisations: Blackhawk and Digital Matter created end-to-end asset management; and Zebra, which maintains asset visibility through RFID tagging.

The Emerging Tech Zone showcases how 5G and IoT can help create solutions that may have been previously thought impossible. From intelligent lighting to augmented reality, these technologies can make businesses more autonomous. The zone features a VR experience for customers’ buying journeys.

The Smart Environments Zone is all about how IoT sensors can improve utilities and services operations in both urban and rural environments – for example, farmers can leverage real-time data from IoT sensors to reduce their environmental impact. The zone features Qrious and Auckland Transport, to create a pilot project for urban street maintenance.

The Utilities Zone provides an overview of end-to-end connectivity for utility businesses. Applications include water or power management, right down to cleaner waterways. The zone features a data buoy named ‘Murray’ that monitors water quality.

The tech developers view New Zealand as a hub of innovation, and they are excited to work and explore their shared vision of IoT and its role in driving the digital transformation in the country. They also hope to give local businesses a hands-on opportunity to explore the uses and benefits of IoT within a cloud environment, in a way that is easy, accessible, and efficient.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment believes that the Internet of Things is one of the most disruptive technologies to emerge in decades, and the possibilities for New Zealand are significant. It is vital to better understand and take advantage of the benefits that IoT promises across sectors as diverse as agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, logistics and smart city services. The Ministry has welcomed the opportunity to work with industry to support this research and the New Zealand IoT Alliance.

Moreover, joining up across the public sector and with industry is critical to seize the opportunities and address the challenges of disruptive technology and the changing digital world. The New Zealand IoT Alliance was formed to promote and advance IoT for the economic and social benefit of New Zealand. It brings together a community of digital technology innovators, investors, researchers, educators, social entrepreneurs, and government, all working towards a common goal. Emerging technologies also bring new challenges.

The mission is to ensure that the focus is on the right areas that enable New Zealand to become a leading digital nation – a nation with a thriving digital sector, where businesses, people and government are all using digital technology to drive innovation, improve productivity and enhance the quality of life for all New Zealanders.

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