The adoption of the "internet of things" in Scotland is expected to improve as a result of new dedicated networks being introduced.
Businesses, the public sector and retail consumers could benefit from a low-power, wide area development that provides a way to deploy the technology across rural and urban areas at lower cost.
The specialist network should make it easier for fridges and thermostats, for example, to send and receive data more reliably. It is hoped that it will also make the use of items such as environmental monitors, pollution sensors and social care devices more widespread.
The network, known as LoRa, has been developed through a partnership which includes Stream Technologies, Boston Networks and Censis, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems. It is being launched in Aberdeen, Paisley, Dundee and Orkney after successful trials in Inverness and Glasgow.
Mark Begbie, business development director at Censis, said the networks would be "a force for public good".
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