Platform realising the Cloud-to-Things Continuum concept
From Embedded Systems to Edge Computing to Cloud Computing
From Nano-Systems & Wearables to Data Centers
The success of the IoT world requires service provision attributed with ubiquity, reliability, high-performance, efficiency, scalability. Towards this goal, the iKaaS project (http://ikaas.com/) merges IoT with Cloud Computing concepts by combining global and local clouds, security gateways, communication interfaces, storage units and applications for the realization of an intelligent Knowledge-as-a-Service platform. The introduction of cognition was the first step for the IoT success, as it brought essential self-management/ awareness. iKaaS aims to proceed to the next vital step for the IoT success and for new business value propositions for the IoT world combined with cloud principles.
iKaaS develops an intelligent, privacy preserving and secure Big Data resource and analytics engine built atop a multi-cloud infrastructure that will be fed with large scale ubiquitous data collected from heterogeneous sensing networks and data sources. A key objective of the project is to showcase through pilots and applications focusing on smart city and smart health aspects, the power of the iKaaS platform, in terms of combining Local and Global Clouds to provide optimal service deployment, smart virtual object as a service and Knowledge as a Service for building innovative, cross-border, situation-aware applications.
The iKaaS platform is essentially an intelligent and secure multi-Cloud IoT platform based on Semantics and Data Models, Big Data resources and heterogeneous Cloud environments, with data collected from a variety of sensors from IoT environments deployed as mobile terminals, smart devices, and smart homes. The platform offers features for Smart City applications promoting self-management of health and safety of citizens, as well as offering enhanced data analysis for deriving ways to improve quality of life in a city (improving commuting, experience of public transport, participation to events, etc.). The platform approach focuses on semantic-data models for the description of heterogeneous devices, services, applications, as well as on the development of a decentralized heterogeneous secure multi-Cloud environment, comprising multiple Edge/Local Clouds and a Global (Federated) Cloud. The separation between ‘Edge/Local’ and ‘Global’ cloud, in the context of our implementation, is determined as follows. The ‘Edge/Local Cloud’ is characterized by the existence of IoT devices attached, can have geographical characteristics in a specific time period, and provides sufficient computing, storage and networking capabilities, responsible for the provisioning of particular services. The ‘Global Cloud’ is considered as a traditional cloud infrastructure that provides on-demand/elastic (illusion of infinite) processing power and storage capability, ensuring at the same time the increase of the business opportunities for service providers, and the ubiquity, reliability, performance, efficiency, scalability of service provision.
The project focuses on the following use cases:
Aspects showcased and validated through the corresponding project pilots and prototype include for example a town management application, which is provided by using virtual reality technology and head-mounted display to enhance the user experience in immersive environment, and an Ambient Assisted Living application (by WINGS) where the iKaaS platform is exploited for services to improve the quality of life of elderly/disabled individuals. Moreover, security aspects addressed in the context of the project are validated through a prototype implementation of the so called security gateway concept, through which the provision of access control to each local cloud while interpreting the differences in regulations between countries is showcased and validated.
“WINGS Knowledge as a Service for Smart Living in the City”
The WINGS Knowledge as a Service for Assisted Living in Smart City (KaaS_SCL) is a solution for Smart Home and Smart Health Care that comprises of an implementation of the Cloud-based iKaaS platform and an accompanying mobile AAL application for home automation and remote health monitoring aiming to provide the following services:
The scenarios implemented, scale from the initialization processes in the system for the introduction of real-world devices and the registration of simple services that actually allow the association of data sources to the local cloud, to the dynamic creation, provision and reconfiguration/migration of complex services for automated home environment adaptation, remote health monitoring and smart mobility. In the following, the focus is on the dynamic reconfiguration of the services for Assisted Living through the switch from a Smart Home Local Cloud to the Smart City Local Cloud triggered by a change in context, i.e. the location of the user. The user is originally located within the home and when his/her location changes this triggers a “handover”/service migration to a different more appropriate Local Cloud; in this case the Smart City Local Cloud.
Overview of dynamic reconfiguration of the services for Assisted Living through the switch from a Smart Home Local Cloud to the Smart City Local Cloud triggered by a change in the location of the user
Initially communication between the mobile AAL application and the Global Service Manager is established. The Global Service Manager works as proxy for the federation of multiple Edge/Local Cloud environments and provides service management capabilities, such as the service deployment and reconfiguration. Initially, (step 1) the application informs the Global Service Manager that the user is located in the Smart Home Edge/Local Cloud, and in its turn the Global Service Manager acquires appropriate information from the Global Service Catalogue (step 2) and the Global Data Processing (step 3) with respect to the AAL service deployments that includes the Smart Home and Smart City Edge Clouds. Assuming that the user is initially at home, the application is first connected to the Smart Home Edge/Local Cloud by interacting with the (Local) Service Manager (step 4). The Service Manager acquires information with respect to the available IoT device represented as Virtual Entities (VEs) (step 5) and it works as the proxy for the retrieval of processed data from the distributed VEs, through the Data Processing component (step 6). While the user is moving the mobile application detects the change in location and informs the Service Manager that forwards this change to the Global Service Manager so as to find the new appropriate Edge/Local Cloud where the service will be migrated (step 7). The Global Service Manage detects the new Edge Cloud that can serve the application and informs the latter by sending the appropriate information (step 8). The application starts to communicate with the new Service Manager (step 9) and the rest of processes, follow the data acquisition and data processing flow (steps 10 & 11) from the Smart City Edge Cloud devices.
Currently there are very few – if any – commercial solutions available offering both Smart Home and Smart Health services. Thus, regular consumers, elderly and/or disabled people and their family members have to purchase individual products for home automation and remote health monitoring/mobile health services, which in most cases cannot be linked to each other. Furthermore, a majority of offered solutions, especially for remote health monitoring/mobile health and fitness services are tied to specific devices, thus regular consumers, elderly and/or disabled people and their family members, as well as health care professionals are bound to solutions from specific vendors and face the risk of not being able to access/exploit their existing data when switching to different devices/vendors. KaaS_SCL aims to provide data and service continuity between devices (e.g. if a consumer first has a wearable device from vendor A and then buys another wearable device from vendor B the data from the original wristband is preserved and mapped to the new wearable device). Moreover, automation features and personalisation are very limited in existing solutions. While some products include self-management and learning capabilities these are limited to very specific functions (e.g. in the case of Google Nest they are mainly linked to temperature adjustment within the home). Most commercial solutions available provide tools for users to set up their own rules for automation but this can be very tedious especially for technology agnostic users. Finally, from a vendors and operators perspective the management of IoT infrastructure and services requires a lot of resources for deploying new services, operation, configuration, maintenance and repair of the IoT infrastructure. Many configuration and repair actions require human intervention which can be timely, costly and error prone. Moreover, the provision of personalised services targeted to individual users may require the re-development of specific customers to better suit their needs. KaaS_SCL aims to increase the efficiency of deploying new services and making changes to the IoT infrastructure, allowing for its configuration in an autonomous, cognitive manner taking into account user requirements and context as well as the current status of the infrastructure KaaS_SCL will provide support that will enable reducing the need for human intervention by introducing self-management features of the IoT infrastructure and services thus improving the overall efficiency and reducing errors that may occur. Increased efficiency may also offer opportunities for utilizing IoT resources in diverse ways, potentially opening new revenue streams for operators.
WINGS will exploit iKaaS solutions to enhance the existing WINGS services and will utilise the KaaS_SCL to extend the WINGS product portfolio in the area of IoT/Cloud platforms. iKaaS solutions are exploited to enhance WINGS solutions with extended semantic models able to represent multiple heterogeneous resources (IoT devices and functions, cloud computing, storage, networks, etc.) for supporting a variety of novel applications. WINGS is enhancing and adapting its suite of software tools and APIs for intelligence for cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) applications and services.
Awards & demonstration video
Demonstration video: Knowledge as a Service for Assisted Living in Smart City
The monitoring of water networks is a longstanding topic, as they are extreme-value keystones of life-supporting and commercial infrastructures.
The size and diversity of the networks requires availability of sensors in large number, while a very strong constraint on the final cost of water requires that the cost for monitoring means is relatively low. At the same time, due to dynamics in water networks, they should be able to evolve, while in use if possible.
To that respect, long-term management of water resources requires widespread, low-cost monitoring means with highly differentiated requirements (to monitor networks of drink water, rain water, waste water) and adaptive capabilities (dynamic setup of parameters to monitor and of associated process to follow).
However, despite an increasing demand for adaptability and multi-functionality at ever decreasing costs, the vast majority of water network monitoring systems remains based on sensor nodes with predefined and vertical applicative goals hindering interoperability and increasing costs (OPEX and CAPEX) for deploying new and added value services.
The objective of PROTEUS project (http://www.proteus-sensor.eu/) is to deliver an energy autonomous, highly multifunctional MEMS‐and nano‐enabled sensor node for adaptive and cognitive drink, rain and waste water monitoring. The smart system comprises chemical sensors based on carbon nanotube, MEMS based physical sensors, and a cognitive/predictive engine, providing on the fly reconfigurability. The total system is:
PROTEUS outcome is validated in three (3) use cases, all related to water monitoring, at both lab validation scale and industrial trials.
WINGS is the WP4 (Software implementation and testing) leader.
Designed/developed by WINGS technologies and tools comprise....
....embedded intelligence for smart behavior:
...embedded and cloud-based intelligence for smart application:
Our expected outcome is to enhance WINGS’ Cloud-IoT platform by developing, integrating and validating smart components, for the predictive and cognitive management of water resources; these components will be optimally distributed from the chip/embedded level to the cloud level. WINGS target and expectation from the PROTEUS project is to enhance its expertise by being in position to deliver smart systems that involve physical elements of various scales (i.e., elements of the micro/nano level also, beyond the currently used resources of data centers or communication nodes). In other words the intelligence (decision making, learning) will be optimally (with respect to quality and resource consumption criteria) distributed to the elements of the various scales. The outcome will be an expanded portfolio of competences and enhanced opportunities for products. Specifically, WINGS will contribute advanced functions and powerful APIs to the PROTEUS system. Indicatively, these functions will provide the means for the predictive/cognitive management of water resources, while the APIs will provide the means for intelligent reconfiguration (hence, chip programmability and communication). The functions that will be specified, developed, validated by WINGS will form the cognitive engine that will be integrated on the prototype chips, which will be delivered by PROTEUS. This porting of intelligence at the chip level will offer valuable insight to WINGS and to its PROTEUS partners.
Important conditions needed to achieve these outcomes are first, the interaction with water industry experts for deriving requirements, accessing relevant data and validating the new solutions, and second, the existence of multifunctional and reconfigurable sensing hardware to apply the software solutions. At first stage, both conditions are satisfied through the collaborations inside PROTEUS. At second stage, WINGS aims at developing a complete solution towards full commercialization through point to point collaborations in water management domain, and by seeking funds from venture capitals.
PROTEUS will result into a concrete and exploitable prototype. It is also anticipated that further opportunities for water management (and associated business) will also be available. Therefore, it is anticipated that supported use cases and the associated product specifications will need to be extended to support new deployments and stakeholders.
Further work will also be needed in order to migrate towards the complete product solution, which will enable further commercialization. PROTEUS outcomes may lead to point to point collaborations in water management domain, and will also constitute a concrete basis for seeking venture capital funds (for further commercialization of the PROTEUS results).
Awards /demonstration video
WINGS and PROTEUS received the “WssTP Water Innovation SME Award” in the context of the Water Innovation Europe 2016, June 21-23, Brussels.
Demonstration of our Embedded and Cloud-based software for Smarter Water Monitoring Systems is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8luC9t13eU.
Our team has participated in a number of demonstration/exhibition events with a lot of outstanding visitors.
“Today, to out-compute is to out-compete”. Computing is recognized as a pervasive and crucial technological field in contributing to the excellence of science, the competiveness of Europe’s industry and economy in general, as well as in addressing grand societal challenges such as health, food, energy, transport and climate. However, although computing has reached an unparalleled progress and maturity the last years, it still remains a research topic as new requirements and challenges impose its transformative nature and adaptation.
Amongst the most prominent challenges, the following must be highlighted.
The overall objective of PHANTOM project (http://www.phantom-project.org/) is to deliver an integrated cross-layer (hardware and system software/ programming environment), multi-objective and cross-application approach that will enable next generation heterogeneous, parallel and low-power computing systems, while hiding the complexity of computing hardware from the programmer, thus fostering productivity in programming. PHANTOM targets a range of ‘application classes’ covering the entire computing continuum, from resource-constrained embedded devices up to powerful multi-core compute clusters.
PHANTOM outcome is validated in three (3) use cases, in order to prove a cross-application and scalable market approach, at both lab validation scale and industrial trials.
WINGS is the Technical leader of PHANTOM and WP2 (Multi-dimensional optimization on heterogeneous systems) leader.
Designed/developed by WINGS technologies and tools comprise.
Programmer- and productivity- oriented software tools:
Multi-dimensional optimization on heterogeneous systems:
WINGS delivers software-intensive services and products in a range of areas, comprising smart wireless access, cloud continuum, software networks, verticals, big data analytics, security. In order to maximize the speed of implementations, our company has started the stream of work that is targeted to hardware-based smart systems. For instance, in a micro/nano-scale direction, WINGS has the opportunity to participate in the H2020 projects of PROTEUS (related to water monitoring) and PhasmaFOOD (related to food safety). Also with respect to wireless infrastructures, WINGS is participating in the H2020 5GPPP project called Flex5Gware and is coordinated by Intel Mobile Communications. Moreover, WINGS delivers services to the energy, banking and telco sectors through cooperation with large vendors.
Processing/computing is in the intersection of all the above services/developments. WINGS needs to constantly upgrade the services offered by its computing assets, spanning from resource-constrained embedded devices up to cloud infrastructure. In this respect, PHANTOM is a project which will enable WINGS to combine intelligence with low-power, embedded computing systems including the distribution of intelligence to computing elements. Novel prototypes will be used as a basis for seeking point-to-point contracts with existing (e.g. Intel) and new costumers, as well as venture capital funds for development of products in the area of low-power, embedded computing systems.
Public health risk has been recognized as the only basis for restrictions of international trade in food. The authenticity of European food produced with defined quality standards is a key expectation of consumers as well as a key selling point for the European agri-food economy. Whereas food safety within Europe is well co-ordinated and has a high profile, this is not the case for detection of food fraud or the enforcement of associated legislation. Additionally, food spoilage due to microbial activity and other biological and chemical hazards throughout the food chain is one of the most significant threats to food security.
The guarantee of the food security and authenticity in Europe is of paramount importance.
Amongst the most prominent challenges, the following must be highlighted.
The main objective of PhasmaFOOD project (http://www.phasmafood.eu/) is to design and implement a parameterized, knowledge-based, multi-target food sensitive mini-portable system, with heterogeneous micro-scale photonics for on-the-spot food quality sensing and shelf-life prediction. In particular, the miniaturized smart integrated system will be able to detect food hazards, spoilage (incl. early sign of spoilage) and food fraud through the combined bio-chemical data analysis and additionally will be able to perform food components/additives analysis, food identification and prediction of food shelf-life.
Use cases / Verticals
PhasmaFOOD outcome is validated in three (3) use cases, in order to prove a cross-application and scalable market approach, at both lab validation scale and industrial trials.
WINGS is the Technical leader of PhasmaFOOD, WP6 (Prototypes, Testing and Validation Activities) and WP7 (Dissemination & exploitation activities) leader.
Design, implementation and evaluation of the required electronic board
WINGS delivers software-intensive services and products in a range of areas, comprising smart wireless access, cloud continuum, software networks, verticals, big data analytics, security. In order to maximize the speed of implementations, our company has started the stream of work that is targeted to hardware-based smart systems. For instance, in a micro/nano-scale direction, WINGS has the opportunity to participate in the H2020 projects of PROTEUS (related to water monitoring) and PhasmaFOOD (related to food safety). In addition, WINGS is participating in H2020 PHANTOM project, which delivers an integrated cross-layer covering the entire computing continuum. Also with respect to wireless infrastructures, WINGS is participating in the H2020 5GPPP project called Flex5Gware and is coordinated by Intel Mobile Communications. Moreover, WINGS delivers services to the energy, banking and telco sectors through cooperation with large vendors.
PhasmaFOOD will be an opportunity for WINGS to establish and expand their know-how and expertise in electronic board design and prototyping, and in developing innovative miniaturized smart systems. WINGS needs to constantly upgrade the services offered by its computing assets, spanning from resource-constrained embedded devices up to cloud infrastructure. Novel prototypes will be used as a basis for seeking point-to-point contracts with existing (e.g. Intel) and new costumers, as well as venture capital funds for development of products in the area of low-power, embedded computing systems.