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ENTOURAGE project among the winners in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s Smart Service World competition

01-28-2016 11:19 AM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Fraunhofer IAO

ENTOURAGE provides a hub for data and services (© Fraunhofer IAO)

ENTOURAGE provides a hub for data and services (© Fraunhofer IAO)

ENTOURAGE, an interdisciplinary project involving Fraunhofer IAO, has succeeded in attracting funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) through its Smart Service World technology competition. ENTOURAGE is one of 16 successful projects selected from among 130 entries. Over the next three years it will seek to build a bridge connecting the Internet of Things with smart assistance systems.

The Internet of Things connects things, products and services. It relies on a wide variety of data supplied by sensors such as traffic monitors, weather stations, thermostats or GPS navigation devices, and by other sources such as timetable information services. Smart services transform all of this data into tailored solutions – but so far there is no established, open way to connect data and services easily. However, that’s precisely what’s needed for smart assistants, which filter, aggregate, and process data from a variety of sources to make it easily accessible to the user and are even capable of making autonomous decisions within the boundaries of pre-defined user preferences.

Ecosystem for smart assistance systems

To fill this gap, the partners in the project “ENTOURAGE – Smart Assistance – Enabling Trusted Ubiquitous Assistance” are developing and testing an open ecosystem to support smart, secure, and reliable assistance systems in the Internet of Things. ENTOURAGE provides a hub for data and services, functioning as the link between IoT-platforms and services. It unites technical, organizational, and legal components, and lays the groundwork for innovative, open assistance systems. The BMWi is funding the project as part of its Smart Service World program.

“The nub of the problem is that all the various data sources supply their data in different ways. That leaves providers of assistance systems with the challenge of how to accommodate each data source individually – making it much harder to develop smart assistants that can provide intelligent support by combining all sorts of different information,” explains Dr. Michael Kubach, project manager for ENTOURAGE at Fraunhofer IAO. The hub developed as part of the project is designed to act as the intermediary between the various data formats and services, allowing assistance systems to easily make use of and respond to data from a range of sources. “This new approach overcomes market barriers and paves the way for cross-application and cross-manufacturer smart service solutions. It’s an extremely promising area, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises both in Germany and across Europe,” forecasts Kubach.

Fraunhofer IAO analyzes and develops business models

Fraunhofer IAO’s main focus in ENTOURAGE is on analyzing and developing business models. “We’re also contributing our usability expertise, to make sure that security doesn’t conflict with user-friendliness,” Kubach says.

Further information:
Fraunhofer IAO: http://www.iao.fraunhofer.de/lang-en/about-us/press-and-media/1237-platform-for-smart-assistance-systems.html
»Smart Service Welt« (German): http://www.bmwi.de/DE/Themen/Digitale-Welt/Digitale-Technologien/smart-service-welt.html
BMWi's press release »Smart Service Welt« (German): http://www.bmwi.de/DE/Presse/pressemitteilungen,did=720380.html

Fraunhofer IAO:
How will people live and work in the future? Asking this and similar questions, researchers at Fraunhofer IAO apply their findings in practice to achieve concrete results. Our experts shape the interaction between humans, technology and organization with a view to the whole, keeping each customer’s specific needs in mind. We help companies and institutions recognize the potential of new technologies, harness them for profit, and open up attractive future markets.

Contact:

Dr. Michael Kubach
Identity Management
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2428
E-Mail: michael.kubach@iao.fraunhofer.de

Dr. Heiko Roßnagel
Identity Management
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2145
E-Mail: heiko.rossnagel@iao.fraunhofer.de

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