Sydney Fish Market lures consortium to test IoT

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Sydney Fish Market lures consortium to test IoT
Credit: KPMG Australia

Backed by KPMG, Microsoft, CBA and more.

Sydney Fish Market has revealed its internet of things ambitions after deploying a smart waste monitoring system from a high-powered consortium that includes KPMG, Microsoft and CBA.

The project was initiated by KPMG as a result of a call to industry by the IoT Alliance Australia last year to come together and produce “real-world IoT” use cases.

KPMG identified Sydney Fish Markets as a potential IoT user and pulled together a consortium of heavy-hitters to get the project off the ground.

The market’s general manager Bryan Skepper said waste management at the “busy, crowded site” - which hosts about three million visitors a year - is an ongoing challenge.

“We have a system whereby we have cleaners operating, emptying bins on schedules, and sometimes they empty them early and sometimes they empty them late,” Skepper said.

“How can we create an experiment to see how we could improve the customer experience?

“We settled on the idea of a monitoring system where we can manage the waste in the bins, how quickly they fill, and map it against weather conditions [and] day of the week, and build a pattern.”

The myriad pieces of the end-to-end system were provided by consortium members.

Regular bins at the site are now fitted with smart sensors provided by Solar Bins Australia. These collect a variety of data and transmit it over the global ‘Things’ LoRaWAN network, which was brought to Australia by the start-up Meshed.

An ultrasonic sensor measures the fill level rate of rubbish inside the bin. The ambient temperature inside the bin is also measured, as is the bin’s status - whether it is still standing or has been pushed over - which is measured using an accelerometer.

Microsoft is said to have contributed unidentified services or compute capacity running on its Azure public cloud, and KPMG overall offered “governance and program management”.

Importantly, the Commonwealth Bank is identified as a consortium member “who in part funded the project”, though it is not clear what CBA stood to gain from its investment.

What is clear is that the project has stoked Sydney Fish Markets’ ambitions to scale up its use of IoT.

“There is almost endless opportunity to use this live monitoring of services, energy, water, to improve the level of service delivery to customers,” Skepper said.

“In our case, [the customer] is the consumer, but also it is our tenants, our tenants’ staff and our fishermen as well. It is quite exciting.”

KPMG is intending to use the market as a showcase for the capability of IoT in smart city applications.

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