About the innovator
UNPARALLEL (Unparallel Innovation, Lda) is a Portuguese hi-tech SME which presently employs 15 professionals (12 men; 3 women) that develops digital technologies and provides consulting services on digitisation with a strong foundation on research and innovation. UNPARALLEL develops new products ranging from hardware devices, software/web solutions or mobile applications, and provides high-value consulting services on technology development, strategic insights, market intelligence, etc. Research is at the core of the company as it guarantees a continuous innovation for products and services based on up-to-date scientific-technical knowledge. Main target markets include (but not restrict to): Internet of Things, Industrial IoT, Agri-food instrumentation, Smart Cities solutions, Water-smart Systems, Smart Factories/Manufacturing, Consumer Products and Mobile Apps.
UNPARALLEL key competences include (but not only): Web development including e.g. web portals and e-marketplaces; Design and engineering of electronic systems with special emphasis on sensing technologies; Continuous systems’ integration of both/mixed software and hardware solutions; Data technologies including data acquisition, data integration/interoperability, edge computing, etc.; Digital ecosystems’ building/support including digital platforms, digital innovation hubs (DIH), training, etc.; Graphic design of GUI (graphical user interfaces), websites (web design), products (virtual product design), visual identity development, etc.
UNPARALLEL is the proud owner/developer of the ‘IoT Catalogue’ a one-stop-source for use-case, products, applications, solutions, etc. to support users (developers/integrators/advisors/end-users) developing their projects or products, learning from others’ innovations, sharing their experiences, etc. UNPARALLEL is also the developer and supplier of the SPL Meter hardware board that enables IoT solution providers to develop products that can measure the loudness of sound (Sound Pressure Level, SPL) in a target environment.
Waziup project on Twitter
What is the innovation
The ‘IoT Catalogue’ is the hitchhiker's guide for the Internet of Things (IoT)(*) - a standard repository for knowledge and technology on the IoT for helping users (developers/integrators/advisors/end-users) to take the most advantage of the IoT for the benefit of the society, businesses and individuals.
The ‘IoT Catalogue’ is a web-based catalogue from where to pick & choose IoT solutions; it is an explorer of innovations in IoT applications and technologies. The ‘IoT Catalogue’ aims to be single entry point to support IoT developers/integrators/advisors/end-users in the process of identifying and selecting IoT technologies (ranging from complete end-to-end solutions to tools and components/parts) but also inspecting a wide set of IoT use-cases, their validations, associated contact persons/organisations, detailed characterisation (value propositions, ICT problems, functions, target, domain), supporting technological solutions, and much more.
A key purpose of the ‘IoT Catalogue’ is enabling users to explore IoT solutions based on domain-related value propositions and/or ICT problems described on use-cases defined along applications domains (e.g. Smart Farming and Food Security, Industry4.0, etc.). The ‘IoT Catalogue’ also enables users to inspect solutions and technologies from other domains that might fit to their intents or analyse use-cases similar to their projects thus promoting synergies and reusability between application domains.
Key features of the ‘IoT Catalogue’ include: (i) Use Cases’ Explorer - Discover of real-world uses and applications of IoT; (ii) Products’ Inventory - View products, its characteristics, from where to buy, at what price, etc.; (iii) Value Propositions’ Directory - Inspect the needs for IoT described in domain-specific words; (iv) ICT Problems’ Directory - Identify the problems that are addressed by IoT technologies; and (v) Solutions’ Catalogue - Study the solutions (set of products) that solve ICT problems. Other features are: components, platforms, learning, stores, manufacturers, libraries and more.
The ‘IoT Catalogue’ is presently at TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 7 with a system prototype demonstrated in an operational environment (on smart farming & food security). Presently, the system is being completed, qualified and scaled-up to additional application domains (particularly smart-cities, automated driving, smart banking&insurance, and active & healthy ageing) and technological domains (e.g. blockchain technologies and others.).
(*) The Internet-of-Things (IoT) qualifies a computational system composed of physical objects inter-networked altogether using Internet technologies and ultimately connecting to the Internet; it is the extension of Internet connectivity into physical devices and everyday objects. This includes everything from smartphones, coffee makers, washing machines, lamps, wearable devices, cars and almost anything else you can imagine including machines or equipment like industrial machinery, measurement instruments, robots, sensors, actuators, probes, etc.
Out of the lab. Into the market
The ‘IoT Catalogue’ development is being done with permanent direct contact with pioneer/champion users (e.g. as in the context of framework programme WAZIUP project and other pilot projects) for making sure that the solution provides real value while being easy to use; it this sense, the market is itself the lab environment for the development and evolution of the ‘IoT Catalogue’ innovations.
The approach to market the ‘IoT Catalogue’ is to develop around specific vertical application domains and key horizontal technological fields. The market development strategy first builds-on the establishment of strategic collaboration agreements with reputed organisations/initiatives per application domain (Farming&Food, Industry4.0, Smart Cities, etc.) that represent/account large user bases and that both takes-up and promotes the tool thus acting as patrons that adopt and influence others to use the ‘IoT Catalogue’. This adoption of the ‘IoT Catalogue’ by these patrons makes available valuable content to populate the tool. The same strategy will be used for the horizontal technological domains (IoT, blockchains, AI, Edge Computing).
Additionally, UNPARALLEL will engage the top online stores and reference manufacturers of IoT technologies for agreeing to make their products listed in the ‘IoT Catalogue’. Making products advertised via the IoT Catalogue will make possible for many more individuals and businesses to reach out for and potential buy products. This, as the IoT Catalogue is attracting a wider community of technologists/practitioners that includes technology providers/integrators, general solution providers, makers, researchers, technology developers, etc.
Then, the ‘IoT Catalogue’ is open to all that want to add their content in the tool - share their experiences (use-cases), advertise their products (components, platforms, etc.), and much more. Users are attracted into the ‘IoT Catalogue’ by the support of patrons, advertisement on social media, technology blogs, online technology stores, etc. Users have full control over their content in the ‘IoT Catalogue’.
Various digital business models have been identified to capitalise on the ‘IoT Catalogue’: (1) Digital Ecosystem driver; (2) On-Demand e-Marketplace; (3) Data monetisation; (4) Online Advertisement. 1- Digital Ecosystem driver focuses on making available world-class content (use-cases, solutions, products, etc.) to targeted (vertical and horizontal) Communities of Practice (CoP). 2- On-Demand e-Marketplace focuses on making available the platform for buyers to reach out for sellers (and vice-versa). 3- Data monetisation explores the opportunity of providing rich IoT market data and insights to market research and advisory firms. 4- Online Advertisement will explore high traffic volumes to generate income particularly on displaying advertising messages and/or referring visitors to the advertiser’s website.
Benefits of participation in Horizon 2020
The ‘IoT Catalogue’ has been developed with the support of funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Namely, the WAZIUP EU-Africa ‘Open Innovation Platform for IoT-Big Data in Sub-Sahara Africa’ research project (GA 687607, www.waziup.eu) where the tool was initially developed to catalogue the project’s IoT solutions for Agriculture, Cattle Rusting and Fish Farming (www.iot-catalogue.com/waziup).
The participation in the WAZIUP project enabled UNPARALLEL to develop, trial and demonstrate a solution that addresses a key need for massive adoption and deployment of Internet-of-Things solutions worldwide. The WAZIUP EU-Africa collaboration context presented the perfect setting for developing a solution that can support the needs of both high-income regions (like the European Union) and low-and-middle income countries (like countries in the sub-Saharan Africa) in respect to the use of IoT systems.
Presently, the ‘IoT Catalogue’ is being further developed/scale-up with support of framework programme funding, namely: (1) IoF2020 ‘Internet of Food & Farm 2020’ EU IoT Large Scale Pilot where the results of the project’s agri-food use-cases’ synergy analysis results are been integrated in the IoT Catalogue; (2) QU4LITY ‘Digital Reality in Zero Defect Manufacturing’ digital transformation light-house project (GA 825030, www.qu4lity-project.eu) extending the tool with classifications, use-cases and technological solutions for Connected Smart Factories and a new software licenses analysis tool; and (3) INFINITECH ‘Tailored IoT & BigData Sandboxes and Testbeds for Smart, Autonomous and Personalised Services in the European Finance and Insurance Services Ecosystem’ big-data light-house project scaling-up the tool for the Smart Banking & Insurance application domain and adding new features.
Overall, the participation in the framework programme has helped UNPARALLEL to initiate the development of the ‘IoT Catalogue’ and to further develop it to achieve the bold goal of becoming the one-stop source for Internet-of-Things worldwide.