Successful IMPReSS Project Speeds up Developing for the Internet of Things

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Teatro Amazonas, Manaus.

The IMPReSS project designed and implemented a software development platform that will reduce the development costs of Internet-of-Things applications by up to 30 percent. The platform was used in the project to develop several pilot energy-saving applications, among others for the famous Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil, and for the university campus in Recife. In the IMPReSS project, 11 organizations from Europe and Brazil worked together, coordinated by Fraunhofer FIT.

Developing prototypes for the Internet of Things (IoT) is costly and time-consuming today, due to heterogeneous platforms, hardware components and communication protocols. At the same time, the prospective users of the system must be involved very early in the development cycle in order to capture the full range of functional requirements and to make the solution truly usable. In particular small and medium-sized companies may find these challenges hard to meet.

The EU-Brazil project IMPReSS thus aimed to speed up the development process for IoT applications and in particular to make it easier to create lightweight prototypes that help match the solution to user requirements early in the development. The platform provides tools for frequent tasks in the development of IoT applications, which can reduce development costs by up to 30 percent, for example, toolkits for locating devices and services in the overall system, managing priorities of different applica­tions that access resources concurrently, as well as managing and evaluating data. Ten industrial and R&D partners in the project were involved in developing the toolkits.

Fraunhofer FIT acted as IMPReSS project coordinator and led the development work in the fields of merging sensor data and Big Data analyses. In addition, Fraunhofer FIT contributed a lightweight variant of its LinkSmart middleware, which runs on low-cost hardware that is widely available.

To showcase the benefits of the IMPReSS platform, the project built energy monitoring systems for the Teatro Amazonas, the famous opera house in Manaus. This application also aims to make the spectators aware of energy efficiency as a general topic: Using QR codes and their smartphones, they can access information about the energy consumption of the building. For the campus of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, the IMPReSS project also built a system to monitor and control electricity-consuming devices and a system to manage power outages.