Using Agile-IoT technologies in an IoT solution for energy saving in vacation rental properties

The domain of vacation rentals has drastically evolved over the last few years, thanks to popular online platforms like AirBnB and HomeAway. Unlike hotels, which are usually equipped with complex automation technologies, vacation rental properties are still running behind and have not yet adopted connected home technologies. The reason is usually the lack of dedicated IoT solutions which do not require complex house renovations and high initial investments. The lack of connected home technologies turns out to be a missed opportunity for the owner or manager to save energy, money, and time and to simplify the management of the property.

Modosmart (www.modosmart.com) wants to solve this problem and has developed ELIO, an IoT solution which reduces the energy expenses in vacation rental properties thanks to the automation of air-conditioning and heating based on presence detection technology. The system includes two devices developed by Modosmart, namely a window sensor and a room sensor unit which includes presence detection and temperature and humidity sensing. The devices are in pre-commercial state, tested and validated with a set of early adopters. They use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for communication. In addition, the solution is equipped with an off-the-shelf air-conditioning controller able to control any type of infrared based A/C split machine.

Modosmart was selected as one of the eight startups awarded in the first open call launched by the Agile-IoT project and which had proposed project ideas to integrate the Agile-IoT gateway into existing IoT solutions. Our project aimed to integrate the Agile-IoT gateway hardware and software stack into the Elio solution.

The project started on the 1st of January and ended on the 30th of June. During the first half of the project there has been a thorough analysis of the gateway stack with the aim to allow the gateway to speak with the custom devices developed by Modosmart. The outcome of this phase was a proof of concept demo showing the gateway communicating with an ESP32 board, equipped with BLE communication and using the same Nordic nrf51822 microcontroller used in our custom BLE devices.

During the second three months of the project, the proof of concept board has been replaced by the real devices of the Elio solution. At the end of this phase the gateway was able to collect presence, temperature and humidity data from the room sensor unit, to monitor weather a window is open or close and to control the air-conditioning by speaking to the off-the-shelf controller.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Agile-IoT project and to the received funding, the Elio solution is now able to rely on a modular, robust and flexible gateway which can accelerate the time-to-market. The modularity, robustness and flexibility is a result of the fact that the Agile-IoT gateway is built on top of a Docker containerized system powered by ResinOS, which is an operating system bringing the containerization approach to embedded systems. The benefits of using  a modular containerized framework is demonstrated by the fact that by developing our own container we have been able to connect the Agile-IoT gateway to our devices without any modification to the other parts of the system.

Developing on top of a Docker based system has been the first experience at Modosmart, and thanks to the possibility offered by the Agile-IoT project and to the support received by the project’s technical team, we have been able to achieve our objective in a relatively short time and without facing major obstacles.

 

Image from PxHere

Agile for the retail analytics industry: Thinkinside experience

Thinkinside is a company specialised in retail analytics. It’s flagship product RetailerIN (www.retailerin.com) allows to analyse customers behaviour in retail stores and to suggest possible interventions on how to optimise store operations and organisation. The product exploits IoT devices in store in order to collect anonymous information on customer’s behaviour. Examples of such IoT devices are Bluetooth Low Energy TAGs placed on products, or people counters at the entrance. Such devices are typically connected through an in-store gateway to the cloud where data is processed and analysed at scale.

Being a software company, one of the key challenges we face on a regular basis is on how to design and develop custom hardware components in order to either explore new services or accommodate specific customer needs. This typically involves specific hardware and IoT devices to be integrated. With the IoT ecosystem comprising many hundreds of new players offering one or two parts of the IoT puzzle, finding the right hardware + software solution is often a time-consuming task, especially for small companies like Thinkinside.

The Agile project allowed us to tackle one of the key pain points of ICT companies working in the IoT+retail sector, and in particular

  • Interoperability and integration of IoT hardware platform and components: by relying on the Agile gateway and the readily available hardware and software components, integration and interoperability can be simplified a lot, especially during the initial design and fast prototyping phase of the solution.
  • Fast implementation and prototyping: the Agile hardware and software modules allowed us to develop solutions and prototypes in a very small time. This is considered as key when developing Proof of concepts for customers or when developing new solutions.
  • Support for many different standard hardware solutions covering different options in terms of connectivity, sensing boards, costs, form factors, etc.: the Agile software can run on many different hardware platforms. This allows us to easily scale the solution to the most appropriate hardware platform required to address customer needs.
  • Allowing companies to focus on value added services (rather than hw design and maintenance): our focus is software and the creation of innovative retail services and solutions. By mitigating the risk involved in the design and implementation of hardware component, we can focus on our key expertise (software) and create, in a faster way, new services to ne introduced in the market.

Iacopo Carreras, CEO Thinkinside

 

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

AGILE Workshop at EclipseCon France

We are pleased to announce that we are organising an AGILE Workshop during the Unconference event at EclipseCon France 2018. It will take place on June 12th, from 14:00 to 17:00 at Hotel Pullman.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to learn more about our AGILE Gateway, challenge our APIs, and ask questions you never dared to ask our technical project manager, Csaba Kiraly.

You will leave with a RaspberryPi and AGILE installed on it.

So come and meet us at EclipseCon France, in Toulouse. Register here

AGILE-IoT presented at Techforum eXplore at Worldline

Techforum Iberia is an internal event within Worldline, where experts come from different locations around the world to Barcelona. At the event, they share technical knowledge around innovative and disruptive topics such as blockchain, Big Data, IoT, the main achievements of various projects, and more.

It’s the perfect opportunity for experts and managers to interact, share ideas, and exchange experiences in a friendly atmosphere. It’s recognized by our company as a best practice to host this event to share internally. That’s why Techforum Iberia 2018 has been our 3rd edition of this successful event.

The event was held on the 30th January 2018 and offered twelve 45-minute sessions.

AGILE-IoT was presented in one of the sessions, where our development team showed a short demo. It demonstrated how the AGILE gateway can connect different IoT devices, showing its added value to improve the user experience.
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AGILE-IoT is participating to the Open Education Platform. Join us!

The Open Education Platform (OEP) proposes a comprehensive, coherent and standardized education offer on IoT. The user can provide a course or take one, recommend a book, look for an event and much more. Furthermore, it is possible to use the search engine for exploring OEP database or browse among resource categories to sort contents. Once you found what you were looking for, you can rate the resource and leave a comment.

If you couldn’t find what you were looking for, you can ask for help on OEP Marketplace. If you have a specific issue you want to share, you can launch an OEP Challenge and let OEP community find the right solution with you.

If you searched through the platform but did not find the lesson you were looking for or you see one essential IoT-related topic which is not addressed among the courses available, you can let OEP know and the platform will identify the organizations, teachers, and trainers who could provide you with adapted resources.

If you are an entrepreneur exploring new grounds and willing to improve your proof of concept, or if you developed a solution and want to assess its field of applications, you can put your innovation between the hands of the IoT community and reinforce its value through co-creation.

AGILE Open Call #2 – Have you submitted yet?

We launched our second AGILE Open Call on February 1!

Are you an IoT Hardware and software developing SMEs, entrepreneurs or start-up? Then this open call is for you!

We are looking for companies to evolve and enhance the AGILE gateway software and find new hardware applications for it. Both hardware and software related projects that use the AGILE IoT stack are eligible for this open call.

The total amount of funding is 400,000 € and a maximum of 8 companies will be selected for a sub-grant of 50,000 € each.

So don’t wait, start your application now! You have until March 30, 2018 at 17h00 CET to submit your project.

Find out more

FORSEC Published Book – AGILE Collaboration

AGILE has collaborated with a Bavarian project called FORSEC. FORSEC has recently published a book collecting their results, in which they mention their collaboration with AGILE. In particular, they mention how UPFROnt, a policy framework developed within FORSEC, that is also used by AGILE, uses the AGILE Identity Management Framework.

Moreover, as UPFROnt is included as part of SEDARI, a framework to store and apply policies to data in the Cloud, the collaboration with AGILE turns SEDARI into an Oauth2 server and OAuth2 provider. They also mentioned that these capabilities are considered essential for IoT applications.

Thank you FORSEC for acknowledging our collaboration. We are pleased that both projects could help each other to achieve their goals!

Announcing the 8 winners of the Agile IoT Open Call #1

This first Open Call was a great success: As Agile’s first open call for projects came to an end, 56 companies from all over Europe submitted their ideas to our open call. After a rigorous selection process, 8 companies were selected as the best fit to continue their project with the Agile IoT Gateway.

AGILE is an adaptive and modular hardware and software gateway for the Internet of Things (IoT) with support for protocol interoperability, device and data management, IoT apps execution, and external Cloud communication, featuring diverse pilot activities, Open Calls & Community building.

Over the first 6 months of 2018, the 8 selected companies will continue to integrate the Agile IoT gateway into their products. Keep reading below for more information on the exciting ways in which the 8 projects will work with us on extending the Agile IoT gateway into their project.

The eight teams, which have been selected by our jury, are the following:

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