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Sick Building Syndrome and IoT

Sick Building Syndrome describes a situation where the occupants of an office or building suffer from nonspecific health issues or feel under the weather when spending time in the building. Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can monitor several parameters that may contribute to sick building syndrome, including pollutants, legionella, VOC (volatile organic compounds), temperature, moisture, CO2, light and noise levels.

Building owners and organisations are turning to IoT technology to monitor building conditions, optimise the working environment and generate alerts in the event thresholds are reached.

In this article, we look at a range of IoT sensors that will measure the indoor environment to optimise working and living conditions for the building’s occupants.

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Fortinet » Gartner Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls

MQ For Network Firewalls
Gartner MQ For Network Firewalls

Fortinet has been recognised for the 10th time in the Magic Quadrant for Network Firewalls. MTG has been designing, installing and managing Fortinet firewall solutions for ten years – for SMB, SME and Enterprise clients. Gartner’s continual recognition fo Fortinet is a testament to the quality, security, flexibility and value offered by Fortigate firewalls.

Key Features of Fortinet that set them apart:

  • Secure SD-WAN. SD-WAN helps reduce the cost and complexity of WAN solutions while simultaneously enhancing levels of security. SD-WAN is integrated into the Fortinet security fabric.
  • Cloud Security. Fortinet solutions can be adopted in cloud environments from the leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers. The implementation of Fortinet in the cloud provides a unified security and management approach for on-premise and cloud infrastructure elements.
  • Single pane of glass management. The entire Fortinet firewall range has consistent management experience and a firewall estate can be comprehensively managed using the FortiManager and FortiAnalyser toolsets.
  • SMB, SME and Enterprise network protection. Fortinet firewalls can be scaled from SMB and SOHO deployments to redundant clusters of high-performance NGFW solutions in banks, governments and financial institutions. Internal and Edge Firewalls.

To learn more about Fortinet or to find out how MTG can assist with your firewall or network security requirements, please get in touch. Our team can also assist with migrating, project managing and implementing new firewall solutions.

E-mail sales@mtg.im, call +44 1624 777837 or submit the contact form on our website.


Measuring ORP/Redox with IoT

IoT sensors can be used to measure ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) in swimming pools, rivers, lakes and drinking water supplies. In this article, we provide an outline of ORP and its relevance in regards to Smart Water applications. When IoT sensors measure ORP, pH and temperature, the data can be transmitted wirelessly to a database server or cloud platform such as  Microsoft Azure. Data can then be visualised in dashboards, mobile apps or using applications such as Microsoft Power BI or Tableau. Read more

IoT, Data and the Digital Mirror

The Digital Mirror concept allows residents and businesses to see their reflection in the form of data. A Digital Mirror reflects the collective impact of peoples’ habits and behaviours, illustrates trends, and provides a stark assessment of the current situation. Internet of Things (IoT) forms the very building blocks of a Digital Mirror; taking millions of measurements relating to air quality, water quality, power consumption, traffic levels and travel patterns.

Abstract concepts such as air pollution, just a buzzword to many, all of a sudden come into focus – with particulate levels displayed with utmost clarity. Reduced life expectancy and increased mortality can also be viewed in the reflection.

It is at this point; most people will begin to see the effect of engines idling, factory emissions, coal fires burning, and the risks of kids walking to school along heavily polluted roads.

Data and the Digital Mirror

Data forms the basis of a Digital Mirror. Governments and local authorities should be pursuing a strategy of hyper-local IoT monitoring to create their own Digital Mirror for the residents and businesses in their local area.

The data will allow residents and business to develop an understanding of the situation; educating and communicating the situation in which they find themselves – rather than continuing to live in ignorance.

We are moving slowly into an era where big data is the starting point, not the end – Pearl Zhu

When people begin to understand the problems, the cause and the resolution – they will start to get onboard. Change becomes less of a burden. People get behind the cause. It then becomes the collective task of governments, councils, residents and businesses to make the mirror image, so much better.

If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it

Isle of Man AQI Map
Example of mobile hyper-local monitoring in the Isle of Man. >100km2

While there are overarching guidelines from the likes of DEFRA and SEPA – the prominence of climate issues has led to more residents, groups and businesses pushing for more localised, more frequent, measurements.

In some cases, IoT is being used for hyper-local measurements, where street-level and mobile measurements are now a possibility.

The good news is that many councils have embraced the concept of real-time measurement, IoT technologies and open-data – choosing to publish the results online.

The resultant data then forms part of the environmental strategy, improvement or operating plan. The results often form the foundation of an action plan; describing the current situation and more importantly, how they intend to fix, mitigate or manage the issues.

In the Digital Mirror; Governments, businesses and residents are looking themselves in the eye. The data is a reflection of what they are.

Unfortunately, many organisations shy aware from real-time or hyper-local measurements; choosing to retain the infrequent, fixed, almost traditional modes of analysis. Rather than develop a Digital Mirror, they decide to remain blind or ignorant to the current predicament.

In many cases, the decision not to invest in an IoT or hyper-local monitoring platform is financial, particularly when more pressing items need investment.

Sadly, many choose not to measure the environment, due to a lack of urgency or fear of comeback, discontent or similar disquiet from residents and businesses

Don’t shoot the messenger

Governments, councils and local authorities need to remember the adage Don’t shoot the messenger.

The Digital Mirror and its data – is a reflection of resident, business and government behaviour.

Rather than fearing disquiet or complaints from residents; Governments and local authorities should put effort into explaining the results, the causes and the impact of the collective behaviour.

When people truly understand the situation and its impact – Governments and local authorities will find it far easier to point residents and businesses towards the direction of positive change.

The beauty of a Digital Mirror and Open-Data is that people can see progress.

Low Emission zones will drive down particulates and VOC levels – in an evidential manner.

Walking a more scenic route to school will reduce your child’s exposure to pollutants while increasing their cardiovascular health.

More people walking and getting on their bikes will have a demonstrable impact on emission and particulate levels.

All of a sudden – the mirror image begins to change, in a positive way.

Build your Digital Mirror


Libelium Plug and Sense
Libelium Plug&Sense measuring noise levels and particulates – in realtime

IoT (Internet of Things) technology and hyper-local monitoring can serve as the foundation of your Digital Mirror.

Alongside the measurements, Governments and local authorities should provide supporting information, educational material and guidelines that explain to people how they can contribute towards positive change.

For children and students, consider age-appropriate educational content to educate and inform, without unnecessary scaremongering.

Learn more

MTG works with governments and councils to develop hyper-local IoT monitoring solutions, and we can also assist with the development of portals, apps and websites that can be used to educate and inform.

IoT can be used to monitoring both air and water quality.

To learn more about hyper-local IoT monitoring, the Digital Mirror concept and air quality monitoring – speak to our sales team. E-mail sales@mtg.im, Call +44 1624 777837 or submit the contact form on our website.

Soil Monitoring with IoT – Smart Agriculture

Soil Monitoring with IoT uses technology to empower farmers and producers to maximise yield, reduce disease and optimise resources. IoT sensors can measure soil temperature, volumetric water content, photosynthetic radiation, soil water potential and soil oxygen levels. Data from the IoT sensors are then transmitted back to a central point (or the cloud) for analysis, visualisation and trend analysis. The resultant data can then be used to optimise farming operations, identify trends and make subtle adjustments to conditions to maximise crop yield and quality. The use of IoT in agriculture is known as Smart Agriculture (or Smart Farming), and IoT is a central component of Precision Farming. Read more

ISO 9001 & ISO 27001

Thanks to the efforts of Kristan McDonald and Abby Chatwood, MTG has renewed our ISO 9001 and 27001 certification status for another year. The ISO QMS and ISMS are used extensively within our business to help ensure consistent levels of service delivery, quality control, and information security. Both standards cover our IT services, IoT and software divisions.

Location, location… air pollution

Air Quality is fast becoming a key factor for buyers during the home-buying process. While crime rates, broadband speeds and school performance remain important; air pollution levels are an essential consideration for the informed home buyer. With the emergence of air quality monitoring systems and IoT technologies, the availability of data relating to air quality and pollutants is increasing by the day. Read more

10 x Benefits of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS)

We look at Ten Top benefits of our ITaaS (IT as a Service) solution. The way businesses purchase IT and software services has changed. With the onset of cloud applications and software as a service (SaaS), there is a move away from the traditional model of purchasing and IT maintenance, towards a subscription-based delivery model such as ITaaS.

A monthly subscription fee (opex) has become the new norm. Businesses want the latest technologies and features, built-in security, predictable costs and the highest levels of service – but delivered using a subscription model. Read more

What can I measure with IoT?

A common question that we are asked at Manx Technology Group is What can you measure with IoT?  To help answer that question, below you will find an extensive list of the sensors that we support.

Using Plug & Sense IoT devices, the data can be transmitted and be stored in a database, Azure, AWS or any other leading cloud platform. From here, the data can be manipulated, analysed and visualised using tools such as Tableau, PowerBI and Qlik. Read more

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