Smart Sustainable Living: Social Innovation IoT
Technological Innovation for Social Equality
The Smart Sustainable Living concept is gaining increasing attention from different countries worldwide, in response to future environmental challenges and to the increase in the percentage of the population living in the cities. Metropolitan areas and smaller centres are moving in this direction by adopting intelligent solutions aimed at improving the quality of life in working environments, homes and everyday life in general.
We must first of all, point out that the industrial landscape in this area is mainly composed of small and medium-sized enterprises which would be difficult to communicate and to team up without a strong regional network structure that acts as a glue and allows them to exchange ideas and initiatives. The aim of this network, in fact, is to succeed in uniting all these small local businesses and create an exchange of scientific, technological and professional skills aimed at designing national and international actions (within the framework of Europe 2020). The main focus of the business network is, of course, sustainable technological innovation in living spaces; It is a question of addressing together the issue of independent living and, at the same time, promoting the culture of sustainability.
Therefore, we can say that Smart Sustainable Living indicates all those technologies that the world of Information Communications Technology (ICT) make available to improve the people’s quality of life, make mobility efficient and improve services for citizens of all age groups, with economic, environmental, social and cultural respect. We are talking about technologies such as Internet of things (iot), mobile technologies, automation and domotic and artificial intelligence.
What ICT4SSL is and what is its purpose?
It is precisely in this context that ICT for Smart and Sustainable Living (ICT4SSL) is developed, a network open to all companies and research centers that are active or intend to make their contribution in the theme of sustainable living and of which EDALAB is a member, together with BFT s.p.a, Confindustria Veneto SIAV, CONSORZIO IMPRESA SOCIALE 3VENEZIE, Univeneto Foundation and Videotec s.p.a. Currently consists of 28 subjects including research bodies and small, medium and large companies.
ICT4SSL aims to create actions of design and development of new “living” products starting from an entrepreneurial fabric of excellence but without tools to activate common synergies of industrial research and system innovation. Technical and industrial innovation is a key element of the network as it is precisely through innovation and the interchange of skills and knowledge between networked companies, which starts to design and develop new competitive products in the fields of domotics, automation, smart metering, devices for video surveillance and personal and living places’ safety and of software products also “mobile” and artificial intelligence. Thanks to this synergy that the network favours, partners are always presented with new market prospects in integrated systems for living (market that will soon reach 3.9 billion dollars) and important potential to offer new specialised employment in the medium term.
The network’s commitment is and will always be directed to the respect of the environmental good while maintaining the focus on the person and the quality of life. Through design and technological development projects, the companies in the network aim to create intelligent and sustainable environments in which life acquires quality, safety and well-being. We refer mostly to environments such as the home, the urban environment, the workplace that thanks to the enabling effect of ICT (networks and sensors, mobile technologies, automation and home automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning) will be interconnected and made capable of supporting people autonomously, in particular those more fragile (elderly and disabled), in the various daily activities. Environmental and energy sustainability, in development and product processes, social, cognitive and physical sustainability of the services and functionality offered are therefore the common denominator for the smart and sustainable living network.
Therefore, business creation, innovation and technology transfer are key aspects for which the network works every day keeping connected Universities and research centers with regard to the design and design of the product, development enterprises themselves and end users, associations and social cooperatives to promote their use. So far, the network has had a strong social impact on the active aging strategy as a key element for designing and developing products that improve the quality of life and well-being of citizens, particularly the weakest and most needy sections of the population. All the work done and on which you are still working has not had impact only within the Veneto region, but also on national and international markets thanks to the possibility to occupy in a synergic way the different components of the living market with products that can make system and define the living environment to 360°.
Notably, the 2017-2020 development programme includes several areas of operation along with:
1) Design and development of innovative products for the improvement of the quality of life and work environments also through the introduction of enabling electronic and computer technologies (ICT, robotics/automation, IOT) and the adoption of design and design models centered on the person and the communities of practices.
2) Design and development of new, highly innovative and enabling manufacturing products with a high level of interoperability, interconnection, modularity, with strong promotion of new professional activities and new impetus for the participation of local businesses in international markets dedicated to the technologies of living and active aging
3) Design and development of methodologies and products to improve the accessibility and inclusivity of indoor and outdoor living environments, with particular attention to workplaces in order to achieve a high quality of life for citizens with particular reference to active aging.
4) Increasing multi-sectoral technology transfer actions University-Enterprise-Territory for the design and development of intelligent and sustainable technologies dedicated to living environments with the creation of opportunities for the growing innovative stars-ups and spin-offs.
5) Creation and consolidation of a regional network structure to approach national and international initiatives and actions (in particular European H2020) related to the theme of sustainable technological innovation in living spaces. Development and promotion of a network of orthogonal scientific and professional skills to address the whole issue of independent living and to promote the culture of sustainability
What is our contribution?
Being born in 2007 as a spin-off of the Informatics Department of the University of Verona and operates in the field of the design of embedded network systems. Within the ICT4SSL network of companies, we are a member and Industrial Advisory Board. EDALAB is, therefore, a versatile partner in product creation and innovation, from research, analysis and design to the implementation of software and hardware solutions right in the field of embedded network systems. We are committed to both social and environmental sustainability. In the first fundamental case is the creation of value in sustainable living, offering services and solutions to break down architectural barriers and improve the quality of life of people. In the second case, however, the aim is to develop products and services that help to reduce environmental pollution and stimulate green thinking.
Thanks to the implementation of European and regional projects in smart living, we contribute to the network by providing innovative control and monitoring solutions that use wireless sensors based on iot technologies (Internet of things). In addition, it is able to create synergies with other partners to increase its commercial strength by planning coordination actions and network support.
BOX-IO for Smart Sustainable Living
BOX-IO is an innovative ecosystem iot hardware and software that can collect, manage and network data to control, monitor and manage critical success parameters related to operating flows, business scenarios, individual objects, plants or entire buildings. Once processing has taken place, it is possible to view and control such data via remote control application (available for both web and mobile) and, furthermore, the whole system is fully scalable and customizable according to every need.
The digital transformation, which, especially in recent decades, has prevailed in the real estate market and beyond, has led to the adoption of data collection and data processing systems in information To date, important elements for the creation not only of economic value, but especially social in the sector. In fact, thanks to the information that iot systems are able to process, it is possible to make increasingly precise decisions based on what happens within the structure. This applies both to new buildings whose design covers all the criteria of the“Smart Building” and to the most important renovations in living spaces and workplaces.
Flexibility, energy efficiency, creation of comfortable, safe and socially inclusive environments are factors that have led to value services and people by starting a new model of development in which architecture, energy and digital infrastructures and the social dimension are integrated.
The objective that we intend to pursue through the use of BOX-IO is to fit in with a 4.0 building, that is to say a sustainable, connected, intelligent, secure structure that breaks down social barriers and therefore, that gives an important added value to operate in the field of Smart Sustainable Living.
We are talking about sustainability because Box-IO is able to control and, therefore, regulate, temperature, energy consumption, electricity, lights, ventilation, heating and air conditioning in an intelligent way, that is, depending on whether or not there are people in a room and on the internal and external microclimate. In this way it is possible, therefore, to make the building intelligent and eco-sustainable as it is greatly reduced energy consumption. In addition, the absence of wiring makes the organization of the spaces much more flexible as there is no need to break the walls since only switches and sensors totally wireless.
Furthermore, reference is made to a connected structure because it is able to offer personalised services and micro-services that increase its productive value.
Thanks to the detection sensors, which, identified danger situations, allow to send in automatic way the emergency alarms are guaranteed high levels of safety of people inside the building or workplaces.
Finally, what is essential to give value to the building and improve the quality of life of the people who live it, especially those with difficulties and disabilities is the presence of infrastructures that can break down social barriers. EDALAB has always been a company that has shown an active commitment in this regard, thanks to several projects developed over the years. In fact, with a simple and comfortable touch panel you can manage the whole house and, in particular temperature levels, alarms, lights, windows and blinds. In addition, by voice commands you can activate calls or ask for assistance immediately even in case of detection of people in the home or in situations dangerous to the person. Again, thanks to a connected weareble it is possible to detect the vital parameters of the individual wearing it. All these components help to facilitate the daily lives of men and women in difficulty and who often live alone without any assistance.
This is why we contribute to the improvement of people’s quality of life and usability of the places of life and work, adhering to the project Domho “Smart Sustainable Living”.
Project Domho: IoT for social innovation
The project entitled «DOMOTIC SYSTEM IoT INTEGRATED TO HIGH COMPUTER SECURITY FOR SMART BUILDING” (IoT)» was presented under the DGR Call 1139 of 19 July 2017 (POR FESR 2014-2020 Axis 1. Action 1.1.4“Support for collaborative R&D activities for the development of new sustainable technologies, new products and services”) by the Network of Light Enterprises in Veneto, as the main subject. The project has a duration of about 36 months and a total budget of 4,451,854.60€.
The Domho project was created to promote the integration of products destined to the world of smart building (in particular lighting and access control systems) of home automation technologies, ICT, electronics, photonics and iot (Internet of things). The main areas of application of the project are:
In the area of Sustainable Living, the project aims to position itself in the field of improving the quality of life by proposing innovative solutions in the field of building through the integration of lighting systems and access control thanks to the ICT and adaptive automation with maximum emphasis on system interoperability, accessibility and ease of use of interfaces, remote monitoring and maintenance.
In addition, with regard to the design and construction of buildings, the project proposes innovative technologies for design, integrated design (e.g. materials, plants, ICT), the development and maintenance of buildings and products for living, including the development and adoption of visualization systems based on augmented/virtual reality, aimed at optimizing the system“house-building”to improve the accessibility of places and the removal of architectural barriers. Also included are advanced building refitting technologies.
To help increase independence in the daily lives of people in difficulty in their working and living spaces, Domho offers innovative and interconnected technological solutions that embrace the principles of inclusive design. These are technologies that address the needs and needs of more users (e.g. elderly or disabled) to improve the usability, comfort and safety of the same
Energy Efficiency (Integration of LED lighting systems with adaptive control and integrated with access automation systems in optical iot) and active aging (Systems development with interfaces thought subjects of advanced age) are the main factors that guide the whole project and all the innovative solutions it brings with it.
Finally, in the realization of the project the enabling technologies are:
- micro-nano electronics
Trajectories of development
The development trajectories of this project are multiple and the system is currently being field tested in two different applications:
1) Home automation and independent life automation: 2D and 3D cameras for position and drop detection, intelligent automation for lights, doors and shutters, comfort and microclimate control (co2 sensors, humidity, temperature, organic and volatile compounds, intelligent thermostats),
2) Smart Sustainable Building: technologies for the intelligent design of buildings in a social key, easy to install and configure wireless sensors, high efficiency mechanical ventilation control, control of the energy consumption of boilers, heat pumps and burners, artificial intelligence algorithms for energy efficiency.
Between December 2019 and January 2020 the system will be installed in the Residential Center “Domenico sartor” in Castelfranco Veneto (TV).
In addition, other buildings, including co-housing and retirement homes, are being revised for the installation of the system, the development of which is also being extended to commercial and retail environments.