USW experts address SMARTer Homes Summit

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University of South Wales (USW) experts joined specialists from across the globe at Wales’ first SMARTer Housing Summit.

Held at ICC Wales in Newport and sponsored by Respiratory Innovation Wales and the Wales Institute of Digital Information (WIDI), of which USW is a partner, the event focused on SMART living and digital technology.

Its aim was to assist in the development of an infrastructure and state-of-the-art manufacturing capability to improve the health, wellness, and wealth of Wales through SMARTer Homes, which would be achieved through collaboration on a regional, national, and international basis through advanced physical and digital engineering based on existing expertise and skills.

Attended by experts from across the housing sector, it heard from a number of speakers in industry and public sector who looked at the SMARTer Homes concept.


 Professor Andrew Ware, Professor in Computing at USW and Director of Research at WIDI

“A key aspect of Smarter Housing is the collection of data from homes in an anonymised and secure manner.

“This data, generated from a variety of sources, including smart devices and energy usage readings, has the potential to be federated and used for the benefit of individuals and the wider community.

“While the concept of federated data is relatively new in the context of smart housing, it has already been shown to offer advantages in other areas of daily life. 

“One such example is Google Maps, which can provide real-time information on such things as traffic congestion. Google Maps does this using anonymised data, continuously received from the phones running their app, about location, speed, and direction. Google then federates that data to calculate traffic flow speeds.  This federation of data benefits all users of Google Maps.

“Similarly, it is hoped that the federation of data gleaned from homes will help individuals and communities.”


Professor Sandra Esteves, Director for Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion at USW

“My presentation - ‘Turning Wastes Into Resources’ - highlights the potential role of bioprocesses in turning wastes into numerous resources, these being energy, chemicals, fertilisers, proteins, and polymers.

“The wastes are wide-ranging and include materials and gases such as CO2 emissions, sewage, food wastes, galvanised steel, thermal insulation foams, toothbrushes and orthopaedic boots.  

“Biological processes are carried out at low temperatures and pressures, microbial catalysts are diverse and deliver conversions directly or indirectly when using the intermediates or products from the bioprocesses to aid in the conversions.  

“These can then yield sustainable circular economies, linking the housing sector with the water and waste treatment, energy, chemical, and industrial sectors.”


Leshan Uggalla, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at USW

“Digital connectivity plays a vital role in the modern technological revolution and the way we live.

“We have made significant advancements over the years in making those connections through various technologies and keep expanding by reaching all corners across the world.

“The novel concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT) provide a new dimension to how we see the world through the means of big data, cloud computing, and the use of Artificial intelligence.

“These concepts/technologies will support vital sectors such as healthcare, housing, manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation, by increasing their overall efficiency and creating better user experience for our communities.”