EfficienSee is an R&D project developed by X DataNet. This project was implemented to create a software prototype for energy management, useful both in offices and production sites. The system integrated indoor positioning capabilities to monitor all the indoor areas of the buildings and the people who attend them, in real time.
The project was co-financed by the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government by a specific tender – “Interventions to support industrial research of the companies operating in the most involved sectors in the seismic events of May 2012” – art. 12 DL 74/2012 (Type 2) – adopted following the earthquake that struck Emilia-Romagna region. The LarcoIcos/ICIE laboratory of Bologna also collaborated on the project.
The project allowed the creation of a software platform prototype that integrates functions of energy management, security management and indoor positioning. This solution is a Web application, users can access from tablets and smartphones too. Some features have been specifically tested on wearable holographic computers, such as Microsoft HoloLens.
This software has been tested in security applications for environments and people (Security Management Systems). This project, that had a duration of 30 months. allowed us to expand the company’s know-how on technologies, design methods and possible applications of this kind of software.
The EfficienSee project
EfficienSee prototype used physical localization capabilities of people in internal environments: the IP system (indoor positioning system, which provides performance similar to an “indoor GPS”) was integrated with Nextome indoor positioning solution, chosen after an analysis of the state-of-the-art on similar basic technologies.
The use of IP features has been indispensable: the GNSS/GPS systems, due to the attenuation of the radio waves, had problems to obtain the required coverage and accuracy. Moreover, the room separation accuracy, a necessary condition of the project, was not precise enough to provide useful information. So these system were considered inadequate.
There’re a large number of potential applications of IPS solutions: indoor navigation and location information at airports, shopping centers, museums, hotels, hospitals, offices and parking areas; support for blind or visually impaired people; logistics (warehouse); advertising and communication; training; audits; augmented reality. There’re already many testing trials in airports, museums, hospitals and shopping centers. These trials are likely to produce other new projects on buildings in the service and manufacturing industry as well as in schools.
EfficienSee R&D project integrates IPS, sensors, meters and wireless sensor networks. It has a focus on energy management and security-oriented objectives (security management subsystem). The correlation between the detection of the presence of persons and their indoor movements and the energy monitoring was one of the most important aim of the project. It was equally important to use of the local information about the users and the knowledge of the buildings (premapping and data from environmental and energy sensors) in order to present in the user’s interface specific features to manage the security and the safety of goods and, obviously, people.
The propotypal system has been designed to adapt to the widest range of hardware (using a hardware neutral approach) and environments. It had been created for multi-company, multi-site and multi-tenant use. It can support companies of all sizes and reduce operating costs.
Based on Microsoft technologies, the solution is a mobile-ready web application. It can be used as a PaaS (platform-as-a-service) and available on Microsoft Azure cloud-computing platform.
X DataNet accumulated vast and valuable know-how carrying on the EfficienSee project. These technologies and applications will have an important role and significant developments over the next decade. We spend indoor from 75% to 85% of our day time. Smart solutions for indoor positioning and localization in large building areas will open the way for a whole world of application possibilities.