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Type of the action: SME Instrument Phase 1
Start date of the project: 1.6.2015
Duration of the project: 6 months
Summary of the action context and objectives
Elgoline has developed the world’s first affordable and reliable non-intrusive indoor room-level localization, people counting and identification system. The sensor will require no user action nor any wearable tags or devices, will be easy to install in existing and new buildings and will enable connectivity with smart-home and smart-city infrastructure. In addition, the sensor will only collect abstract features about the users - i.e., no sensitive visual or audio data - and process it locally in order to preserve users' privacy. These properties make our sensor unique and ideal for managing future living environments.
At the moment, only 10 million of homes are smart ones; however, by the year 2020 more than 130 million homes will be smart. We believe that our product will become a necessity for every smart building and will even increase the desire and sales of smart building systems.
The objectives of the project were to:
- find out customers profiles and their preferences through a survey,
- create a market entry plan based on evaluation of different strategies,
- examine a scale up process by defining all the crucial components,
- revaluate the Industrial Property Rights (IPR),
- reviewed the regulatory and standards requirements need to be fulfilled,
- identify ethics, legal and personal data management issues, and
- generate a business plan based on feasibility plan.
Work performed during the reporting period and main results achieved so far
To better understand user needs and their perspective a comprehensive questionnaire was presented to the end users. The main observation was that 86% of them would prefer NIRIS over the cameras for non-intrusive room-level localization and identification task. Furthermore, the personal and family security is one of the main reason to purchase NIRIS sensor, following the energy efficiency, well-being and comfort in that order. Overall, 92% of respondents were interested in purchasing NIRIS which confirms our predictions of the NIRIS versatility.
In the market study we explored the global, specifically the EU market trends to predict the NIRIS market size and its growth rate. As a result, Germany, France, UK, Belgium and the Netherlands were identified as the most attractive new market for NIRIS, since this are the countries with the highest smart home ratio in the EU at the moment. At the end of 2014, there were a total of 3.3 million smart home systems in use in the EU28+2 countries, up from 1.75 million in the previous year. Around 0.34 million of these systems were multifunction or whole-home systems. In 2014 the EU market revenues grew by 60 percent to € 0.77 billion. The market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 58 percent between 2014 and 2019 to reach € 7.6 billion at the end of the forecast period.
Based on the market study results an entry market plan was made. Since NIRIS is an Internet of Things (IoT) device and has to be connected to a smart home system we decided to sell it to the smart-home manufacturers. This way we will penetrate to the market through the established selling channels and will not need to deal with the end customers directly. On the other hand, the companies who will include NIRIS in their systems will gain a great advantage over the competition.
The company’s scale up process will require an integrated approach in order to meet all the market needs. In this process all the key player will be involved from the electronic suppliers all the way to the end customers. This way optimised production will meet all the users’ needs. The key task is to obtain the most recognised smart-home manufacturers to include NIRIS into their system.
Industrial Property Rights (IPR) for the NIRIS are owned by Elgoline or are in public domain. The most important IPR – the sensor hardware and method for sensor operation – is protected by the patent owned by Elgoline, which was filed on July 30th 2014 at the Slovenian patent office (P-201400271) and on to the PCT office at May 18th 2015 (PCT/IB2015/053638).
In general our technology is not challenging concerning conformity with standard requirements. In any case we have to fulfil all necessary regulatory and standard requirements related to this kind of products like CE label for electrical equipment, IP security standard, ROHS certificate for conformity (degradable and non-toxic) of used materials, IPC standard for flexible circuits etc.
From the ethics, legal and personal data management point of view, the law doesn’t regulate the question of the use of such sensors in public buildings or on public areas. The analogy with video surveillance can be used as a guideline for the use of sensors in private or public buildings.
Expected final results and their potential impact and use
Results of our efforts during Phase 1 fully support our initial idea regarding development and marketing the world’s first affordable and reliable non-intrusive indoor room-level localization, people counting and identification system. The business plan which was based on the feasibility study will be used to obtain financing in order to bring NIRIS to the market.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 673436.