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OriginIoT - Expediting Cellular IoT Device Development

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OriginIoT (OriginIoT - Expediting Cellular IoT Device Development)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-09-30

Substantial pain points exist in the IoT industry. Start-ups, makers, design houses, integrators and other SMEs and large companies are developing solutions in this area to meet the demand. To win large IoT projects, these developers are pressured to deliver qualified IoT solutions quickly, efficiently and at a low cost. They need to invest resources to provide a functional end-device on time, otherwise, the IoT project may be procured from another developer in a competitive selection process.
Notwithstanding, the development of IoT devices is a challenging, multidisciplinary, cost-intensive and time-consuming task. A Cisco IoT industry survey (2017) is cited: over 60% of respondents admitted that they substantially underestimated the complexities of managing their own IoT initiatives. Even more alarming, the same survey also found that 75% of self-initiated IoT projects were considered a failure.
Creating an IoT device, ready for mass production, is one of the most challenging engineering processes there is. This is because many IoT products, while appearing sleek and simple, are extremely advanced engineering projects that span many historically disparate disciplines: electrical engineering, firmware development, mechanical integration, wireless networking, mobile app development, server and database design, etc. A key frustration in developing an IoT prototype is in the skillset required to create an interconnected program, which is different than that required for a hardware device to develop and maintain a web server, and vice versa.
Today, these challenges are faced by long and time-consuming integration activities, processes, fundamentally isolated from solution to solution; knowledge is not preserved from solution to solution, thus significant time and cost savings not realised.
This aim of this project is to introduce a game-changing solution to the market. The solution, generally termed OriginIoT™ is composed of unique hardware and software for expedited Cellular IoT development cycles, with the vision to reduce time-to-market drastically for the customer and providing a competitive, modestly priced solution, whilst benefitting OriginGPS, the innovation industry and the economic added-value of IoT-supported projects.
The general objective of the project is to deploy a certified solution and start to work with customers on IoT applications in order to validate our business plan and to expand the technical capabilities of the platform. The expected impact is a quicker time to market among IoT developers that will result in added value to the economy and to the growth of both OriginGPS and its customers.
The scope of this report covers the activities carried by the beneficiary from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. The process included activities related to all WPs hardware and cloud development, QA, certifications, and a first pilot demonstration.
In WP1 we expanded the FW functionality; all the basic firmware capabilities to enable commercialization have been added. Additionally, developed capabilities and features can be delivered to existing customers via the FOTA procedure. Quality Assessment and code optimization, as expected from any novel development, several bugs were discovered and much exploration of core firmware elements was required during the first year of the project.
Also in WP1, complementary cloud tools were developed. The cloud tools enable non-experts to work with the evaluation kit of the product without writing a single line of code and to immediately start their PoC development. EU regulatory requirements pertains to complying with the European safety and environmental regulations; CE and ROHS, were achieved.
With regards to WP2, we completed the first out of three planned pilot demonstrations. We have shown superiority in time-to-prototype and development costs in a smart city scenario. We worked with DeviceTone, an Israeli company which supports product companies and IoT system integrators to deliver mass-produced connected products that can be deployed, managed and secured at scale. DeviceTone were looking to implement motion sensors in load disposal bins and route the data to their cloud to locate all bins belonging to a municipality within its jurisdiction area. This use case demonstrated working with a company with advanced knowledge in electronics, and cellular and software development (design house). It also generated knowledge to be replicated in similar motion projects. This project showed that OriginIoT can provide a competitive and even superior technical performance (battery lifetime, operational wakeup mechanism, position accuracy and reliability of cellular connection) while maintaining extremely low development costs compared to an alternative (from 18 months to 3 months, and from EUR 600Kto only 101K in development costs).
We have made some commercialisation and communication activities under WP4; we arranged training to five of our existing distributors to help them sell the novel product and development methodology to customers. We have made significant work with the EASME appointed coach for fine-tuning our commercialisation plan. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and general slow-down in business activities, we altered our dissemination and communication activities and changed the focus towards online marketing and sales. To cover the loss of potential leads from planned conferences that were canceled, the company kept investing in upgrades to the websites (20 new content additions) and initiated campaigns on Google AdWords to attract new leads.
The work in the first reporting period contributed towards the realization of the main step forward beyond the state of the art that the project introduces: A first, no embedded code programming solution for the development of cellular IoT products. It is expected that by the end of the project we will be able to prove that the methodology of defining edge device behaviour periodically from the cloud, with any need for firmware development or changes, is viable in at least three different pilot scenarios. This proof, along with the appropriate commercial and logistical activities will pave the way for quick growth in sales and successful commercialisation.
In general, the expected impacts of this project have not been changed. The targeted customers, the target market, the market segmentation, the competition and the barriers to enter the market remained the same.
The impacts of this project are contributing to the development of the IoT industry. Demand for IoT solution in all aspects of life is growing steadily. Governments, municipalities, utility companies, telecommunications companies (telcos), are requesting IoT solutions from the innovative tech industry. C-suite managers are aware of the IoT trend and seem to grasp the added-value in IoT implementation. In general, deployment of IoT solution is beneficial for the service provider or manufacturer (the seller) and also for end-consumers (the buyer).
Successful implementation of the project will remove many of the barriers that the developers in the IoT industry today face; The result of the development process is a fully functional product, ready for certification and mass production without any further development efforts.
DeviceTone Product Prototype, 3D enclosure with OriginIoT system and Add-on in a pilot demonstration