The Edge of Tomorrow (ET) project aims to improve the acceptability and adoption of more secure and sustainable IoT devices and systems. The project will work in close collaboration with project partners BBC R&D to generate a set of design guidelines for Sustainable Edge that BBC R&D can embed into the ongoing development of their Edge-based devices and services such as BBC Box.
The number of active IoT devices is expected to double in 2020-2025 and with this rapid expansion comes more opportunities for human and machine actors to carry out cyber attacks upon devices and systems. Such attacks can increase both the volume of datafication generated and the amount of energy consumed by the IoT. Crucially, greater energy use results in the release of greater amounts of harmful carbon emissions (CO2) which directly contribute to climate change. The project will raise awareness of the environmental costs of IoT cyber-attacks and datafication at the Edge with the aim of helping society and government progress towards crucial 2050 net-zero decarbonisation targets.
The ET project will achieve its aims through investigating the relationship between cybersecurity, datafication and sustainability at the Edge. The project will develop a shared understanding of the key parameters that future Edge devices and systems must embody to be considered ‘sustainable’ by exploring how sustainability is perceived as an additional dimension of the IoT by end-users and cybersecurity experts alongside the core parameters of security, safety and privacy, as well as ascertain how users might potentially ‘trade’ these aspects against each other – now and into the future. The ET project will apply novel design techniques to co-create with BBC R&D an interactive demonstrator prototype based on the project’s findings. This prototype will explore and convey the connections between cybersecurity and sustainability in the context of the Edge and will be exhibited at BBC technology events and other public engagement activities.