Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living

New agreements and multiple projects for LabVI

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Launched in 2016 by Vidéotron, Ericsson, ÉTS and Montréal’s Quartier de l’innovation (QI), the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living (LabVI) is thriving. It recently enhanced its offer thanks to three new partners: Québec-based K2 Geospatial, tech giant IBM and the ENCQOR consortium. In addition, a number of future projects are currently being deployed within LabVI’s one-of-a-kind ecosystem.

After laying the foundations for its optimized connectivity infrastructure, LabVI, which is located in the heart of the QI, achieved another milestone earlier this year when it was recognized by the government of Québec as a Centre for excellence in the next-generation advanced network and the Internet of Things.

Innovative projects that bring the future closer to reality

LabVI opened its doors to projects from the scientific community and companies last fall, and is currently working on a number of initiatives. (See mock-ups of the projects [In French])

The projects include the development of technology for measuring the emotions that are being experienced, in collaboration with Montréal-based start-up MoodShine. With the ability to measure emotional intensity using standard video camera equipment, this innovation offers a number of interesting applications, including enhancing the experience of users at a given location by measuring their emotional changes. It is important to note that the entire process is carried out with full respect for the confidentiality of individuals by using only anonymous data.

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LabVI’s partners are also working on a unique concept for a smart bus shelter. Equipped with Internet access and a variety of devices, the goal of the smart bus shelter is to improve the well-being of mass transit users, most notably by optimizing transportation resources and providing access to weather forecasts, the condition of the transit network and content adapted to the specific context and the emotions experienced by users.

A pilot project involving a self-driving shuttle operating within the territory of the QI is also underway. In addition to the demonstration of technology, the goal of this initiative is to meet a real need expressed by the community. The self-driving shuttle has also enhanced the LabVI infrastructure by allowing for prototyping and tests in the area of intelligent transport, in collaboration with the citizens, who are able to take advantage of the service.

LabVI is currently studying the development of technological tools for data governance, in cooperation with the Computer Research Institute of Montréal (CRIM), to ensure a high level of security and confidentiality of information. If the tests prove conclusive, these innovations can be deployed outside of LabVI, to the benefit of all.

Finally, next-generation systems that allow for high-density interconnectivity of multiple objects (AKA Massive IOT) are currently deployed inside LabVI in order to provide a unique testing environment.

Promising partnerships

Two new contributing partners have joined the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living, namely K2 Geospatial and IBM.

Québec-based K2 Geospatial is the publisher of JMap software, a cartography platform that allows for the connection of systems that are often designed in silos, which is used by more than 500 municipal, port and airport organizations, and by road authorities and public services companies. Thanks to this partnership, the researchers and companies operating within LabVI have access to the JMap platform. This technology allows for multiple data sources to be represented on a single map interface, which simplifies data management, communication, collaboration and decision making.

For its part, tech giant IBM offers valuable tools to start-ups to speed up their development by awarding them credits, up to a limit of $120,000, for the use of cloud computing services. More than 130 of these services are available, including Watson, Blockchain, analytical services and cybersecurity tools. The start-up companies also have access to IBM’s network of contacts, and some will be able to join the IBM partnership program.

LabVI has also signed a cooperation agreement with ENCQOR (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation), which plans to install the first research-focused 5G pre-commercial digital infrastructure corridor between Québec and Ontario. The objective of this partnership is to make 5G networks accessible to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), researchers and the academic community, which is in keeping with LabVI’s mission. A joint effort between ENCQOR and LabVI will make it possible to better respond to the needs of start-up companies and researchers.

See also: Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living

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