iNUIT – Internet of Things for Urban Innovation

iNUIT is part of HES-SO’s large-scale thematic research programs 2013 - 2016. In 2050, more than 86% of the world population will live in a city. This growth raises major challenges in relation to individual and public mobility, physical security of persons and infrastructures, resource and waste management, urban development and the life quality of citizens. The objective of this research program is to provide responses to these challenges based on the possibilities of the newest information and communication technologies.

From Smart Events to Smart Cities 

Cities being extremely rich and complex spaces, the first phase of iNUIT is dedicated to Smart Events. Big events, such as music festivals, sport events or political summits provide many of the characteristics and challenges of entire cities, but concentrated in space and time. In particular, transportation and mobility, physical security, resource and waste management, as well as the urban planning are city-related issues that present themselves on a smaller scale during big events and are therefore more easily observable and measurable. 

The Internet of Things

The principal objective of this 3-year research program is to establish a technological “spine” of this new urban space, based on the paradigm of the Internet of Things (IoT). It equally aims at advancing the state of the art of this technology, which still raises many challenges. Most importantly, it is the issues related to security, trust and privacy must be taken into consideration. The goal is to find equilibrium between the need to provide useful information to decision-makers and citizens and the minimization of the intrusion in the private life of individuals. 


The main focus of iNUIT is to make use of rich data provided by sensors and other data sources to gain detailed, quantitative insights into the many aspects of an urban space, to enable decision makers to respond to the need of a city and its population, and thus support the development of the city’s infrastructure and services. 

Societal goals 

  • Improve the quality of life in an urban space by providing a platform to create new services and information sources which allow the citizens to organize their lives within the urban space
  • Provide a platform, which supports decision makers and politicians in their efforts to tackle the many challenges of a city, such as resource consumption, mobility, physical security and the particular needs of elderly and disabled people.
  • Support organizers of large events in their need to monitor and manage the event, in particular during crisis situations. 
Scientific and technological goals
    iNUIT uses the paradigm of the Internet of Things as a technological platform to reach these societal goals. It contributes to the development of the Internet of Things through scientific research and development of real-world applications. In particular, considers the following challenges:

  • Integration of a diverse array of “objects” and sensors (smartphones, video cameras, environmental sensors, …) into a coherent infrastructure
  • Development of a generic, wireless communication infrastructure to allow the objects to auto-organize themselves into a secure and reliable network
  • Development of innovative methods for modelling of very large and heterogeneous data sets, information retrieval, knowledge extraction, and machine learning.
  • Devise methods for security, trust and privacy of the Internet of Things infrastructure and the collected data. 



inuit goals. Photo :
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