EASY-IMP is a large initiative started in September 2013. It regroups 12 partners from seven different countries to develop new methodologies for designing and producing intelligent wearable products as Meta-Products.
We propose a Cloud-enabled framework for Collaborative Design and Development of Personalised Products and Services, combining embedded (Internet of things paradigm) and mobile devices with facilities for joint open development of enabling downloadable applications.
The basic idea and rationale of the project is the following:
Recent developments in mobile, ubiquitous and cloud computing, as well as in intelligent wearable sensors, impose a new understanding of products and production models. A (Meta-) product is now a customer driver 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. This evolution triggers an essential change of the whole design/production life cycle and opens totally new perspectives towards person-oriented production models that allow agile, small scale, and distributed production, whith a considerable impact on cost-effectiveness and ecology.
However, product design and production is now becoming highly complex and requires interdisciplinary expertise. The lack of relevant and appropriate methodologies and tools constitutes a barrier in the wider adoption of the new production paradigm.
Smart phones can be considered as the prime example of Meta-Products. Another emerging market with significant econnomic and societal influence, which exposes a high demand for customization, is the market of intelligent wearable products (clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.). Although in the last years new materials and intelligent on-body-sensors have been developed, there is a lack of an integrated Meta-Product approach.
The goal of EASY is to develop new methodologies, tools and ready-to-use components for designing and producing intelligent wearable products as Meta-Products. We propose a Cloud computing enabled framework for the Collaborative Design and Development of Personalised Products/Services, combining embedded sensors (Internet of things paradigm) and mobile devices with facilities for joint open development of enabling downloadable applications.
The customizable Meta-Products consist of intelligent wearable (clothing, footwear, accessories) equipped with embedded networks of sensors. Sensorial data will be communicated in real-time to the new generation of smart phones via Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) and/or wireless (wi-fi) for active data flows and NFC (Near Field Communication) more for passive objects identification (internet of things).
The required functionality will be configured by the end-users (co-design); the design, selection of components, sourcing of materials and sensors, virtual prototyping, as well as production planning and services integration is a collaborative process of all involved companies, designers, sensor producers, software developers and experts (e.g. trainers, medical professionals, game developers, etc).
The EASY infrastructure will enable all interested 3rd parties to offer new services to smart phone and EASY wearable users, thus evolving into an open platform of literally infinit applications in many target market. EASY focus on the following pilot applications:
- outdoor activity and games
- personal training
- functional rehabilitation
- assisted living for the elderly and handicapped
The selected application scenarios will include among other miniature motion, skin-temperature and skin-conductivity sensors. The project will build up on existing games, sport and training applications for testing and demonstration purposes, while focusing on the development of the methodological Meta-Product framework. It will develop guidelines and standards, methodologies and reference-architectures for the design and production of smart garments.