The Internet of Things (IoT) Laboratory of the Communication & Information Research Centre (CIRC) at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) was opened on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 at a function held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Hamad bin Salim Al Rawahi, Executive President of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority. The IoT Lab is set up at SQU with the support of Omantel and Momkin companies with the aim of transforming SQU campus into a leading developer and exporter of smart campus solutions in the region by 2022 by utilizing ICT and other technologies.
The IoT lab at SQU will support the development of Smart City solutions in order to improve the quality of life of Omani citizens. It will use, develop, test, study and conduct researches in the Internet of Things and related domains. The lab aims to act as a platform for the development of different vertical applications that are also dedicated to other research areas of the University. The lab is equipped with sufficient advanced resources including computers, switches, access points, smart board and others to conducts research and run most of the software scenarios, software development and testing. The IoT lab has different IoT tools including Arduino kit, Raspberry-Pi 3 kot, IoTfy simulator, Open Rex and more. In the current IoT lab setting, each student has an access to a workstation, and the instructor can provide instruction to many students at a time. In addition, graduate students can use the lab for self-directed research projects.
CIRC at SQU seeks to make this lab an open platform for developing various Internet applications in smart cities. The lab also aims to promote awareness of the use and development of smart city solutions, provide an attractive environment for research and communication between users and Internet experts, smart objects and cities, and provide space for sharing experiences and discussing future applications of Internet and Smart Cities. Students and academics can use the full range of Internet technologies to increase research capabilities, and use of Internet objects and other technologies in the development of health care, social care and energy management in an efficient and inexpensive manner.
The Internet Lab is the first of its kind in the Sultanate. It will be used in scientific research, graduate students ‘projects and graduate students’ projects for obtaining masters and doctorate degrees. The laboratory is equipped with modern computers with several different groups for Internet applications. A research group has been formed at the university, which includes many researchers from various faculties of the university to work in this lab and implement the smart campus project. Researchers at the university are expecting research grants to implement projects related to smart cities.
At the opening ceremony, Prof. Abdulnasir Hossen, Director of the CIRC, highlighted the features and capabilities of the lab and its importance to the university, and students and researchers specialized in Internet related research. Fadi Nasser, General Manager ICT Business, Omantel delivered a talk on “Oman’s IR4.0: Owing our own future”. Nicolas Lesconnec from Sigfox, gave a talk on “Building IoT Revolution with Sigfox”. Thereafter, the lab was inaugurated by a workshop held in its premises located on the first floor of the university’s commercial center building. Nicolas Lesconnec gave the technical speech, which was followed by CIRC researcher Dr. Mohammed Sarrab’s speech on “Educational affordances of IoT”.