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Final Report Summary - EASY-IMP (Collaborative Development of Intelligent Wearable Meta-Products in the Cloud)

Executive Summary:
A (Meta-)product is now a customer driven customisable entity that integrates sensory/computing units, which are in turn connected to the cloud, leading to a paradigm shift from mass production to intelligent, over-the-web configurable products. Product design and production is however becoming highly complex and requires interdisciplinary expertise.

The partners of the project EASY developed new methodologies, tools and ready-to-use components for designing and producing intelligent wearable products as Meta-Products. We designed a Cloud Computing enabled framework for the Collaborative Design and Development of Personalised Products/Services, combining embedded sensors and mobile devices with facilities for joint open development of enabling downloadable applications. The EASY-Meta-Products consist of intelligent wearables (clothing, footwear, accessories) equipped with embedded networks of sensors. Sensorial data is transmitted to smart phones via Bluetooth or Wifi. The required functionalities are configured by the end-users; the design, selection of components, sourcing of materials and sensors, virtual prototyping, as well as production planning and services integration is designed as a collaborative process of all involved companies, designers, sensor producers, software developers and application experts. This EASY-infrastructure also enables interested 3rd parties to offer new services to smart phone and EASY wearable users, resulting to an open platform of literally infinite applications in many target markets. The EASY approach has been validated in three different industrial scenarios, i.e. rehabilitation, sport and games.

Project Context and Objectives:
The objectives of EASY were the following:
Objective 1 – Definition of Meta-Products Development Methodology
The development methodology is closely linked to the Meta-Product requirements and the related new needs along its lifecycle. It has an objective of:
- Giving the process of defining the architecture, components, modules, interfaces, and data for the system to satisfy the specified requirements, and
- Smoothly connecting the MP lifecycle phases (design, development and testing, production, use, etc.)
This had raised some challenges in the development phases, such as the collaboration between different disciplines and cultures, the management of globally distributed development locations, and the integration of customers and suppliers.
To handle multiple alternatives in parallel, representing digital as well as physical yields, we use Set-based concurrent engineering (SBCE) paradigm. Exploring alternative design solutions and studying the feasibilities using
proven data and knowledge at early stages support engineers to find more innovative and robust solutions. To capture configurations (alternatives) from an evolving baseline structure, specific Configuration Management is
needed. Combined with instantiations, configuration management generates bills of material representing physically and digitally assembled and tested prototypes. This should be done by assigning a unique supplier or shop-floor serial/lot number to the prototype and handled as an instance.
Beyond their initial design and production stages, novel MPs are expected to be self-innovative and become smarter while ensuring simplicity for users. They are upgradable through software applications or hardware module enhancement, which extend their lifespan, and reduce the environmental impact. The lifecycle management approach track their lifecycle information through mechanisms related to the configuration management
(revisions, versions, iterations, instances and so on).
Objective 2 – Definition and Development of Meta-Product Cloud Services
For the design and manufacturing of personalized MPs there is a need of a highly effective and responsive collaboration between different actors (sensors designers and manufacturers, software programmers, clothing
designers and manufacturers, medical and rehabilitation experts, sports training and games experts, etc.). This can be enabled through the integration of online communication, collaborative design, virtual prototyping and e-SCM (Supply Chain Management) tools, situated in the cloud and developed in modular form (Service Oriented Architecture model). A loosely integrated platform situated in a dedicated cloud (Meta-Products Cloud– MP) has
been developed in the form of a private cloud with access to public marketplaces.
Objective 3 – Development of End-user MP related Innovative Services
The ability to fulfil individual user needs by traditional products necessitates the capability of producing a large number of product variants, which includes high cost at both operations and manufacturing-related tasks. Product
personalisation has been the “next big thing” in product strategy for a very long time now, however where traditional products are concerned the complex and costly configurations needed to make products truly customisable and personalised have restrained the success of relevant attempts. Meta – products however come with inherent personalisation capabilities as the combination of available services (applications) alone offers a
wide choice of different uses for one particular product (for example a pair of shoes with sensors can be used for both sports competitions as well as rehabilitation purposes by just downloading the appropriate application).
Combining this with personalisation of form and aesthetics of the product in the cases where this is already an option (e.g. the colour or type of the shoes) allows the user not only to truly configure the meta-product to his/her
particular taste and needs but to also to provide input and feedback thus participating in the design of future metaproducts.
Objective 4 – Sensorial Networks and their Integration
The S&T objective 4 is dedicated to research into new adaptive, intelligent, miniaturized and non-intrusive sensorial devices and networks (optimally integrated to the garment, shoe, etc) with smaller footprint, easier
integration to the clothing/footwear materials and new functionality.

Project Results:
The main goals of EASY were therefore:
• To implement and test the Collaborative Meta-Product Development Lab (WP2)
• To develop and evaluate the production planning environment (WP3)
• To improve the simulation environment and user interface of the collaborative lab (WP4)
• To provide an consolidated Body-Sensor-Network set-up (WP4)
• To develop a Front-End Meta-Product Marketplace (WP5)
• To refine and finalise the individual and consortium exploitation plan (WP8)

Methodology & Architecture for the Development of Personalised Meta-Product
This SBCE Prototype is taking place in the Meta-Product Collaborative Lab since it is the engine that drives the development of the Meta-Products.
The SBCE system will require data and information from other systems of the Meta-Product Collaborative Lab:
- The PLM system and its numerous important modules and functionalities (Parts management, BOM management, Documents management, Workflow and lifecycles,...)
- The ERP system used to create the manufacturing process of the Meta-Product.
- The Virtual Reality Simulator used during the virtual testing of the Meta-Product.
The PLM is the backbone system of the collaborative platform, it is a central federating tool and a driver that enables innovation and enables the collaboration of the multidisciplinary team.
For the being time, there's no PLM available on the market for Meta-Products or that includes a SBCE engine. Hence, the SBCE solution will be implemented on top of a standard PLM getting benefits of its basic functionalities.
In fact, the idea of developing the SBCE on top of the PLM system is innovative and more coherent with the collaborative platform than to develop a standalone application that interconnects with all the systems (mainly the PLM) and needs to be integrated and maintained up to date. In addition to that, information will be stored in the PLM database which will assure the coherence, management, accuracy and non-redundancy.
For the Easy-Imp project, the open source Cloud PLM “ARAS Innovator” was selected in Deliverable D2.2. ARAS Innovator will be then customized shifting from baseline to Meta-Product customized PLM with SBCE engine. This prototype covers the Meta-Product development process activities related to the SBCE. As explained in Deliverable D1.3, the standard Data-Model of the ARAS Innovator needs to evolve to fully support the complex Meta-Product data structure.

Collaborative Meta-Products Design and PLM Services
The EASY-LAB Front-end is the central point for accessing the different tools to the EASY-IMP collaborative Meta-Product development platform; it is a web based collaborative application developed as a responsive web application in order to be used in different devices like personal computers, laptops, tablets and phone mobiles adapting the User Interface for all of them. In this aspect, the EASY-LAB Frontend has been developed based on MEAN (MongoDB - Express - AngularJS - Node.JS), which is a free and open-source JavaScript software stack, that allows to implement User Interfaces easily adaptable to new devices that support web browsers. From the functional point of view, it is responsible for consuming most of the services exposed by other components that make up the EASY-IMP collaborative platform and allows the exchange of information between them in a transparent way. To integrate with the Front-end, the EASY-LAB offers several APIs developed with the objective to allow external services to retrieve information about the Meta-Products Models and Applications, which can be sold in the eSHOP.
Configurable Embedded Sensing and Body Sensor Network
The main achievement was to provide a final robust embedded sensing system connected to interactive tools working on embedded platforms such as smartphones. The sensors are mainly motion and hear-rate monitoring sensors. A major challenge has been to develop a robust and highly integrated bus system, basing on I2C, and the corresponding sensor hubs, which are synchronised and collect the data from the different sensors. All sensors communicate with an external client (PC, Smartphone) oder Bluetooth or Wifi. A clear interface allows the development of any applications.
Different pilots have been conducted:
The consortium developed four prototypes of metaproducts: a prototype for the medical pilot; a prototype of the game pilot is related to commercial interests of TIMOCCO; two prototypes of the sports pilots are linked to tsport and rehabilitation monitoring. One major component is a harness, a textile component with sensor adapter boards, cables for differential data transport, and sensor hub to integrate data from different sensors. The technology integrated in the harness can be applied to other metaproducts and textiles with wearables.

Potential Impact:
Developments and research in EASY-IMP project have resulted in a set of exploitable outcomes. Among all these exploitable assets, four solid solutions have been selected to be the core of exploitation objectives and activities. They are:
• The Easy-Imp Collaborative Lab Platform.
• The Integrated Sensors Network Platform.
• The Medical Pilot Solution
• The Game Pilot Solution.
A full and highly detailed exploitation plan has been written. More over a first IP agreement among partners have been drafted. Last but not least, dissemination activities have been planned accordingly and implemented during the last period of the project. In additional to many conferences and presentation, the presentation of EASY on the two following fairs generated a large impact and open to new business opportunity. The two events were:
- EASY IMP was present at ICT2015 event organised by the European Commission in Lisbon. EASY IMP was one of the 5 projects the European Commission chose to showcase at ICT2015 in Lisbon in the centre of town in Praça do Comércio. The consortium partners were present at the EASY IMP booth, explaining and presenting the status and progress of the project. In this way, EASY IMP had a large visibility from specialized industry but also the public – some 3000 people in total.
- The EASY IMP project has been promoted by FESI together with EPSI at the ISPO Conference in Munich. Every year, more than 2,600 international exhibitors present their latest products from the segments of Outdoor, Ski, Action, Performance Sports, Textrends, Health & Fitness and Sourcing at ISPO MUNICH to over 80,000 visitors from 110 countries. The highlight of this event was that the EASY IMP project has been the winner of the ISPO Award 2016 for the metaproduct running pad.

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