IoT In The Home Demonstrator

BRE, an industrial partner of PETRAS – the research hub for the cybersecurity of the Internet of Things – has recently started work on the IoT in the Home Demonstrator project. BRE’s Centre for Smart Homes & Buildings will lead the development of the demonstrator on the BRE Innovation Park Watford and outcomes will be disseminated through the Centre.

The IoT in the Home Demonstrator project will seek to exploit opportunities afforded by BRE’s unique Innovation Park, which comprises houses fitted with sensors; PV generation, battery storage and local energy management, and using the Centre’s fully equipped Smart Home Lab, including voice activated and automated appliances using IoT technology.

The project will demonstrate ‘Knowledge in Use’ bringing findings from PETRAS projects to inform the demonstrator.

This project is highly interdisciplinary and will integrate other PETRAS projects to inform the demonstrator such as:

  • SPIoTSH – reference architecture that facilitates security analysis of smart home components. Checklist tools for the safe and secure deployment of domestic IoT.
  • P2P-IoET – authentication of ownership of renewable energy production, consumption, and demand side response.
  • SECRIS – a new generation of attack graph models capable of describing the attack surface of modern IoT infrastructures for smart buildings.
  • HTIoT – Design fictions about ‘what might be’ in AI / IoT –enabled appliances.
  • STIPS – Prototype smart IoT-based domestic appliances, comparison with existing IoT domestic products

These projects cover an eco-system of technical and socio-economic challenges that range across new economic models, architectures and data flows, and public engagement.

The demonstrator will consider vulnerabilities and resilience issues associated with new cyber-attack surfaces that might be exposed by pervasive deployment of IoT devices, and examine the need for IoT data structures that layer data with contextualised information, device identity, application definition, and permissions for use.

Tools and advisory frameworks for procurement, deployment and maintenance of IoT systems are also in scope, along with the qualification of products and services and supporting the creation of a safer domestic environment.

The key objectives of the demonstrator are as follows:

  • Explore and show the socio-economic benefits of connected homes, enabled by secure IoT technologies, and communicate these effectively to the wider built environment community.
  • Establish an understanding of factors affecting the acceptability of IoT devices as commonplace and pervasive items rather than specialist gadgets.
  • Create recommendations for security architectures, procurement, installation and maintenance (technical and behavioural) practices for domestic IoT devices and networks and are enablers in the creation of safer environments.
  • To provide insight into emerging user centred experiences for domestic environments.

The PETRAS Internet of Things Research Hub is a consortium of leading UK universities, led by UCL, which work together to explore critical issues in privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security.