Internet of things – Ecotricity and Stroud Brewery join the connected world where everyday objects talk to each other
A CRAFT brewery nestled in Thrupp is about to get a smart device or app which will allow staff to monitor the brewing process using mobile phones.
It may not sound like much, but this move means that Stroud Brewery is joining the so-called ‘connected world’.
The connected world or Internet of Things (IoT) is the network tucked into electronics, software and sensors which allows these objects to gather and share information.
It is an emerging technology which will allow brewery owner Greg Pilley to manage, for example, the temperature of the beer as it is being brewed from anywhere through his mobile or iPad.
On the wall of his brewery there is a touch screen through which staff control the machinery used to create his popular cask ales and a range of organic and vegan bottled beers.
Soon he will be able to see the same screen on his mobile phone or iPad and control what the machinery is doing at the brewery even when he is not there.
He might be able to turn something on or he could check and change the temperature of the various fermentation vessels.
Greg said: “Soon we will be able to see the same screen on our mobile phones so we can track what’s going on.
“Rather than physically coming in we can remotely switch it on.”
Elsewhere in Stroud, Ecotricity is rolling out smart meters, which all homes must have by 2020 to be in line with government regulations.
It means that the green energy company is also joining the connected world.
Ecotricity will not need to send someone round to read meters – readings will be collected centrally.
“Smart meters can also give you more information,” said Jeremy Green from Stroud, who is an IoT principal analyst at Reading-based Machina Research.
“One of the things that people talk a lot about is a smart grid whereby your electricity meter not only sends information to the utility company but it enables them to give you more information about your usage and pattern.
“So you could potentially reduce your electricity usage but also one of the very big problems for power companies is that they need to have as much power generation as is possible to meet the peaks.
“If they could manage the demand they could turn your fridge off for a little while.
“Your fridge would stay cold and they could produce a little bit less power at the peak.