We got inspired by the fact that one of us [Roberto] is waiting for his new house that is under construction, but when the virus exploded, everything stopped. So, we were wondering: even when the pandemic situation will be over, how will workers be protected and guaranteed from the fact that the places they go to for work could be crowded? Are they supposed to count the number of people before entering the work canteen, the meeting room or the construction site they work in?
On Social Media there are groups formed for the quarantine period where there a lot of people not knowing each other, but bound by this virus blocking everybody at home. So, they exchange ideas on recipes, tv series, but also concerns about their current situation and the future one. They want to come back to their jobs, but they are afraid by the new world because they do not know how they should behave.
On the other side, entrepreneurs, managers, heads of companies, are thinking they need to restart as soon as possible, but with all the guarantees for their employees. In an article of CNBC, the Italian company Fiat-Chrysler declared “As a result of these actions, we will only restart operations with safe, secure and sanitized workplaces to protect all of our employees”. A lot of players would like to implement the restart phase by looking at what China did. The most important thing is to restart and we want to help companies in doing it.
What it does
SensIC is the solution. It is a software making real time monitoring of density in a specific space through beacons linked to the platform and to an Android app installed on smartphones that interacts with the beacons. SensIC also works as an artificial intelligence since it can perform a background work that, by training on historical data of monitoring done, can give insights to the users.
In few words: WE provide the online website, the Android app and the configuration of both users and beacons and THE CLIENT buys the beacons. WHY? Save time, be ready for Phase 2 of Covid before the others!
How it works in 8 steps:
1 – Decide how many beacons and what types (enter, exit or POI) you want and where you want to place them in your company.
2 – Buy them, we will give advice where to buy the beacons. We make digitalization of 2d maps in order to show where your beacons will be on the map.
3 – How many users will use the App? We create the n° of users id you need.
4 – Download the Android App; tell your employees too to download the app!
5 – Log in with the data given by us.
6 – Forget about the app, it will work by itself! Differently from a camera, it is not invasive, your privacy will be guaranteed!
7 – If you approximate a beacon, the app will warn you if the area you want to enter is too crowded or if you are near an “interesting point” such us a place where there is disinfection gel or gloves you would need!
8 – Get insights thanks to our machine learning gathering data and giving statistics to you. I.e. “In the past month 100 people more with respect to the maximum number of people allowed would have accessed the canteen”. Maybe you should build another canteen? Rethink your spaces?
How we built it
SensIC is a heterogeneous platform built with differente technologies; each and every single technology has a very precise scope. Backend infrastructure managing data uses LEMP stack [Linux, Engine MySQL and PHP]. The frontend is realized with ReactJS/Redux and it is designed for functioning on every type of device [from personal computers to smartphones]. Moreover, there are also satellite projects allowing to offer much more functionalities. We have Sentinel, a software for PC Desktop, realized with .NET (4.0) technology that lets to transform a personal computer in alarm generator in real time if needed and a Android app permitting to activate other monitoring sensors, realized with Java technology.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
What we are proud of the most is the fact that in an emergency situation, we really believe that our product, combined wht IoT such as beacons, could give a real help to employees. Many of them are afraid to come back to work, even if they need that job. We are porud of the fact that not only we could guarantee business continuity, but also employees protection: they need to feel and be "safe" when they go to work. And companies too can take the same advantage, in addition to the insights they could get from the “machine learning” in order to always give a safe working place.
From the development point of view, we are proud of the Monitor Engine. It does a background work on our Cloud platform and works as a controller. It is in charge of evaluating data, analyze them, sampling historical series and get relevant info. It works like an Artificial Intelligence that, by training on historical data of monitoring done, it is able to give insights and learnings. Another aspect we are proud of is that on this platform we can integrate every IoT device, as we have done with the beacons in order to monitor the proximity and guarantee the respect of social distance.
Challenges we ran into
The connection of beacons to the platform is not as immediate as can be imagined while reading the product presentation. The calibration of beacons has required [and it is still requiring] a lot of trials and errors. Differently from other monitoring systems, SensIC offers an asynchronous tool for evaluating data gathered. Usually IoT platforms evaluate data when they get them and presume potential anomalies. Our challenge has been focused on the possibility to offer asynchronous monitoring tools permitting to make evaluations on data samples [also on a huge amount of data] in order to obtain accurate evaluations by making calculations on historical data taken as reference. So, by leveraging on the context of "Big Data" and advanced tools for elaboration, we realized the "Monitor Engine", the Engine of our infrastructure, a control active 24h that monitors and analyzes data and gives insights to the users.
What we learned
For sure we learned that from problems there is always room for new opportunities and sometimes, something we already have next to us could be the answer to our problems. SensIC is a platform we have developed 3 years ago, but it was associated only to a Sensbox [an hardware tool we developed for monitoring environmental parameters such as PIR movement or carbon monoxide]. But then, due to Covid crisis, we thought of associating this cloud platform to beacons in the project above mentioned.
What's next for SensIC
We are developing the Android App; beacons too are under trial and test because we know the computation of distance is probabilistic, but we want to give to our clients a perfect service. The aim of the project is to be ready by the beginning/mid May. SensIC requires a strong sales and communication plan based on social media. We believe in this product, but we need to spread the word about it in order to make companies know the potentialities of our Software.