CARDIGAN mayor Cllr Clive Davies hopes the town can continue to be at the forefront of digital innovation in Ceredigion with the use of LoRaWAN technology.
The town’s free WiFi system is already viewed by many other towns as a model to follow and now Cllr Davies, who was a driving force behind that scheme and has been appointed the digital champion for Ceredigion, wants to develop further.
Relatively low cost, LoRaWAN technology (Long Range Wide Area Network) is designed for long-range, low-power operation with sensors and controls that work off batteries or energy-harvesting devices.
One example highlighted by Cllr Davies would be fitting a sensor on the lifebuoy at Prince Charles Quay. If the buoy was disturbed, an alarm could be triggered with the local Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Another example would be for a farmer to put a sensor on a gate. If the gate was opened, it would trigger an alert on his mobile phone and could help to tackle rural crime.
Senors could also pick up the temperature of road surfaces and alert local authorities to when roads need gritting, or a sensor could alert social services if an elderly person was in trouble.
“It could provide a high tech, low impact solution with so many uses but is relatively cheap,” said Cllr Davies.
“Signals can be picked up miles away and it is a simple system to install and use.”
Welsh Government and local authorities such as Ceredigion are looking into the technology and its wider applications.
“It is developing slowly in the background and perhaps we can come up with a project for the wider town,” said Cllr Davies at a meeting of the town council.
“Maybe Cardigan could be one of the first to do something with this and help develop the technology.”