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A “movement digitisation” sensor as a brick for disruptive IoT services

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LEGO (A “movement digitisation” sensor as a brick for disruptive IoT services)

Reporting period: 2020-02-01 to 2021-01-31

Look around you, people and objects are moving! Terabee’s mission has always been to enable digital transformation by providing information about movement. In collaboration with our customers and based on market opportunity assessment we identified the need for application-specific products to gather data, process it and provide valuable decision-making information. By doing so, Terabee moves further along the value chain, delivering higher value products and solutions that are easier and faster for our customers to deploy and use.
With the help from the European Commission and specifically EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), Terabee has fulfilled new Internet-of-Things (IoT) needs by exploiting its proprietary sensing technology to create high quality, cost-competitive, sensor-based products with efficient and customizable onboard intelligence.
Terabee targeted five large markets with high-growth potential, focusing on applications in the fields of Smart Buildings and Smart Retail, Smart Agriculture, Mobile Robotics and Industry 4.0. Nine different products (mostly based on Time-of-Flight technology) were developed. These include solutions for people counting for smart buildings, stock and materials level monitoring for smart farms and cities, absolute and relative positioning systems for mobile robotics and sensors for movement and temperature monitoring.
The products developed build on Terabee’s core skills and foundation technology by adding on-board processing and algorithmic intelligence to create turnkey solutions that are easy to deploy at scale and easy to use. Where required, the products are designed to operate in harsh environments, featuring Ingress Protection rated enclosures and communication interfaces commensurate with the market demands. Subsequently all products developed under this program can be considered ‘smart’ devices with on-board edge computing algorithms and user interfaces.
These products provide direct benefits to both industry and society. We enable better safety/control systems that can reduce risks and accidents in industry. Our people counting devices enable considerable energy savings when connected with the heating ventilation and air conditioning systems of large buildings. Our stock monitoring solutions help reducing food waste. And in light of the Covid-19 outbreak our devices are being used to monitor people density to ensure appropriate social separation in shops and other buildings.
The world is changing, fast. Terabee enables a better change through digital transformation.
After a two-year-long feasibility study based on numerous field tests for a variety of applications, Terabee selected the six most mature Application Products embedding Terabee’s sensors in a Development Phase, ready for a large-scale industrialization during this Phase 2 project. These products included many single-pixel or multi-pixel sensors associated with appropriate processing and algorithms, suitable power supply and communication protocols and finally, when needed, dust and water-resistant casings to address harsh environments.
During the project, Terabee prototyped, tested, optimized, finalized and fine-tuned the 9 Application Products answering the 5 of the 6 Applications identified at the start of the project, while running pilots involving many Industrial companies with which field tests have been conducted. We conducted as many customer pilots as we could, as we believe that the best way to test the products is to use them in real conditions. It was seen as critical by Terabee to get as much feedback as possible, in order to address at best the market.
In parallel to the products' developments, we undertook a major market study which refined our business understanding and strategy and that we extended by one month compared to our initial plan. By conducting interviews with customers, it brought additional confidence in our positioning and products and in validating the product definitions. Also, on some other occasions, we used the interviews as a very important input to adapt our specifications to market needs that we had not previously identified.
The market study also led us to abandon the road monitoring application, at the end of the first year of the project, in agreement with the EASME project coordinator, as our partner completely steered away from the topic and the applications were then more complex to identify with the technology we wanted to use (outdoor Infrared Time of Flight). However, this left us the opportunity to propose and develop different solutions and products for the remaining applications that were identified. It allowed us to bring more focus and build stronger products for specific applications that we identified as more robust, such as Smart Building, Smart Agriculture and Industry 4.0.
Finally, we anticipated the Go-to-Market Phase 3 through a detailed Marketing plan and Communication and Business Development actions. Two of the Applications that are part of the program, People Counting and Stock Monitoring, have high market potential and strong demand and we have focused a lot of our communications and business development actions towards this during the two years of the program.
An important learning from the project was: less applications, more target customers, which sounds a serious gain in terms of better probability of success, while focusing energies on less topics. Our vision was supported in the year 1 General Review Consolidated Report, where "the logic to narrow down to fewer products to be completed" was seen as "well aligned for the overall target and project". Therefore, at the end of the LEGO program, we can say that we have narrowed down our scope of applications to 4 : Smart Buildings (WP2), Smart Retail (WP2), Smart Agriculture (WP5) and Industry 4.0 (WP4, WP6 & WP7)
However, our unique selling proposition, providing inexpensive sensor-based industrial products with efficient and customizable intelligence onboard, is still a key advantage. The economic benefits to the user/customers remain unchanged and our LEGO products provide an increase in profitability and productivity thanks to the optimisation of resources.

As well, in the scope of the LEGO program, the application products were developed in alignment with the UN sustainability goals. Indeed:
Terabee's People Counting solutions can have a great role in the development of smart cities and smart buildings, allowing for efficient space occupancy counting the people entering and exiting a building, or controlling the HVAC and workplace occupancy at any time during the day.
Terabee’s stock monitoring solutions help reduce food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses. Moreover, food / materials / waste transport optimization thanks to actionable stock monitoring data significantly improves carbon footprint and energy waste.
Terabee’s industrial sensors help having more optimized and safer industrial processes.
Follow Me - picture
Localisation System for Navigation - picture
IND-Thermal-90 picture
Follow Me software illustration
IND-TOF-1 picture
WP4 software illustrations
People Counting M - picture
Stock Level Monitoring system - picture
People Counting L - picture
Anti-collision- picture
LoRA Level Monitoring - picture
People Counting - Mobile Phone application
WP5 software illustration
People Counting - picture