Vodafone connects the internet of seals

seal15Orkney’s harbour seals will be connected to Vodafone’s M2M network as researchers try to work out why populations are falling.

The move to connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) is part of a study will be conducted by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews.

Marine telemetry tags will be attached to a number of seals and will send data on their location, dive behaviour and oceanic environment back to researchers using Vodafone’s M2M network.  The scientists will be able to monitor the state of each SIM card in each tag from one PC.

Harbour seals are just one of two seal species in the UK, but numbers have fallen by up to 90 percent in some areas around the north and east coast of Scotland since 2000 and researchers are not sure why.  The theory is that by connecting them to the Internet it will be possible to assess the causes, management and mitigation options.

Of course the risk is that the seals will work out a way to get net access and will spend all their time posting pictures of amusing pictures of penguins on Facebook.

It is also chance for Vodafone to show of its Internet of Things (IoT) skills. After all it can connect seals then your fridge should be a doddle. It has been backing the power efficient Nb-IoT (Narrowband-IoT) standard and has a deal with Philips to power the latter’s smart lighting platform.