Business models are studied in management science and are investigated in practice to create a common understanding of how companies create and capture value. Mostly, business models are examined from a company perspective to reveal the role and capabilities of the company in a market. In complex network-based industries this perspective neglects the importance of relationships to partners and customers. The Internet of Things (IoT) serves as the paragon for a business network that is missing out network-based business models to propagate groundbreaking products and services. The main goal of this master thesis is to foster innovative business models for the IoT by providing a network-based business model framework. The framework, called NBMF, is first defined in theory, then implemented as a web-based design tool and finally evaluated by conducting an IoT case study. To gain concrete insights into challenges and opportunities in the IoT, business models of the most common types of companies in the IoT are analysed in the graphical form of the Business Model Canvas. The limitations of the Business Model Canvas for modelling the companies and their relationships in the business network are resolved by extending the Business Model Canvas. The NBMF introduces intra-company relations between its building blocks and inter-company relations expressing the exchange of value propositions and financial transactions. Furthermore, the NBMF integrates amongst others concepts the e3-value ontology and the IoT Business Model Builder. The resulting coherent framework for business models includes a customer viewpoint, a network viewpoint, a company viewpoint and a statement for an automated profitability calculation. A case study about a Home Automation Ecosystem shows the functionality of the web-based design tool and its underlying theoretical framework. Additionally, the case study reveals opportunities for business model innovation in the IoT.
Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think. (Steve Jobs). Acodemy – a young Austrian startup company – offers coding classes for children between 5 and 12 years of age, with special attention on making programming fun and enabling children to learn various relevant skills thru the coding experience. With acodemy, coding is really fun, because we combine coding with games and stories. With things, that kids keep doing on their computers and mobile phones day by day. We use this fascination and combine it with skills like problem solving, structured thinking, creativity, independent working and learning from mistakes. Kids learn not only to consume, but to create games and stories based on their own ideas. Website: http://www.acodemy.at
SzeleSTIM is a 2015 founded Start-Up launched by a highly professional and interdisciplinary team from academia, medicine and engineering. We focus on product development and applied biomedical/clinical research in the field of wearable electromedical devices for auricular vagus nerve stimulation. Auricular vagus nerve stimulation is an innovative and non-pharmacological treatment option for acute/chronic pain and peripheral vascular disorders. The stimulation modulates sensory fibers in the ear and thus transmits information to the brain. We activate the autonomous nervous system, which allows a broad application and a sustainable, regenerative effect. Our product AuriMod is a body-worn electrical stimulation device for the application at the auricular vagus nerve. A highly innovative concept of personalized stimulation for the individual patient allows an optimized therapy even for otherwise treatment resistant patients. Awards: Seal of Excellence by the European Commission, as the institution managing Horizon 2020 Website: www.szelestim.com
Find your way in a self-reorganizing virtual maze
Redirected walking techniques enable natural locomotion through immersive virtual environments that are larger than the real world workspace. Existing techniques rely on manipulating the connection between real and virtual motions while the environment remains constant. Humans’ sensitivity to large manipulations of this type limits their application. In this project, we present an entirely different strategy. We developed Flexible Spaces – a novel redirection technique that enables infinite real walking in virtual environments that do not require replication of real world layouts. Flexible Spaces overcome the manipulations’ limits and use the impossible overlapping spaces with change blindness by employing procedural generation of environment. Our approach allows designers to focus on the virtual content and be independent of the implementation details, thereby making spatial manipulation techniques more practical for use in a variety of application domains.
Awards: Honorable mention for concept publication-Symposium on 3D User Interfaces, Orlando, Florida,USA 2013
Immersive Deck - A multi-user VR System
A scalable untethered platform for real-time multi-user Virtual Reality experiences
We present a low-cost multi-user immersive Virtual Reality system that enables collaborative experiences in large virtual environments that support real walking. Multiple users can walk and interact freely and untethered in a large real and even larger virtual spaces. Low latency is achieved by local rendering for each user, minimization of the network communication and use of mostly user-worn equipment. Inside-out optical marker-based head tracking is easily adjustable to the changes of the real workspace. A low-cost motion capture suit allows to track the motion of the full body. Our system supports a realistic communication by voice. Users’ movements and voices, as well as interaction with virtual and selected real world objects are synchronized and distributed over a wireless network. Our modular, flexible, and high-fidelity solution can be successfully applied for training, rehabilitation, education, gaming, and many other scenarios.
Awards: VR Now Tech Award, Berlin 2016; FutureZone: Smart Invention Immersive
Share experience while away and explore distant places at home
We introduce a novel framework that enables large-scale dense 3D scene reconstruction, data streaming over the network and immersive exploration of the reconstructed environment using virtual reality. The system is operated by two remote entities, where one entity - for instance an autonomous aerial vehicle - captures and reconstructs the environment as well as transmits the data to a human observer - that can immersively explore the 3D scene, decoupled from the view of the capturing entity. The performance evaluation revealed the framework´s capabilities to perform RGB-D data capturing, dense 3D reconstruction, streaming and dynamic scene updating in real time for indoor environments up to a size of 100m2, using either a state-of-the-art mobile computer or a workstation. Thereby, our work provides a foundation for enabling immersive exploration of remotely captured and incrementally reconstructed dense 3D scenes, which has not shown before and opens up new research aspects in future.
Robot Supported Virtual and Augmented Reality
Touchable Virtual Reality relies on Robotic Arms
The issue of inadequate haptic feedback in VR/AR setups is an open problem. Haptic or tactile gloves as well as force-feedback devices approach the issue, but only pose a rudimentary solution since it is still very easy for the user to look through the illusion. The most convincing haptic representation of a physical object in a VR/AR environment is the object itself, so called “Passive Haptics”. Nevertheless such objects cannot be manipulated by the computer and therefore would have to be available in every form and on every position required by the simulation. Our approach allows a new level of immersion in VR/AR systems through actuated Passive Haptics. It significantly improves the applicability of VR/AR systems for all purposes, ranging from training of emergency service personnel to medical scenarios. Simulation of small interface elements for virtual instruments is possible as well as interaction with larger virtual objects like furniture.
Immo-Insight is a professional automated real estate valuation service based on geostatistical calculation engines scalable throughout Europe. Transparently displaying micro-market information, like recent sales or location-specific attributes, it provides a solid decision basis for real estate participants. Immo-Insight has been developed for real estate professionals and is available via as a web-solution or as SaaS.
iniGrid innovates the way electric energy is brought to end-use equipment by providing innovative sensor and actuator technology for actively managed and fault-protected distribution grids. Essential future functionalities such as dynamic management of line use as well as fault detection and fast service restoration are only possible with appropriate sensors and actuators in place. These sensors and actuators are missing today on the distribution level of a power grid. Radically new semiconductor-based components that will be developed by iniGrid, alongside the necessary IT and secure networking concepts, will address this shortcoming, and are aimed for commercial and grid applications.
Awards: Funding as Flaship project in the program e!MISSION 2013 4.AS, 2014
One module consists of a musical interface and the associated instrument. Two modules or more allow cooperative interaction between the users. The interface consists of a table top, color markers and wooden blocks to control parameters like e.g. the pitch. In a loop, four 4/4 times are passed through for an indefinite time. The instrument, in the prototype a guitar, is played by a system of motors and solenoids. The entire installation is used in the context of the museum, but can also be used for any kind of event.
In the EU the Directive 2000/53/EC has introduced minimum standards for the recycling of end-of-life vehicles. After crushing the vehicles about 75 % of the vehicle’s weight goes into the metal fraction which is feasible for recycling. However, about 25 % of the input material ends up in the shredder light fraction (SLF) mainly landfilled or incinerated. Recently so-called post shredder technologies have been developed which process SLF into useful fractions. However, for the fluff fraction largely consisting of fibers no adequate utilization is available today. The new method processes the fluff fraction into an aggregate for asphalt pavements which can substitute state-of-the-art solutions based on virgin materials. The upper temperature limit and the tensile properties are improved but a higher concentration of aggregate is required to obtain the same properties as compared to today’s state of the art additive (Arbocel). A monoaxial pressure fatigue test determined a tremendous improvement. Whereas asphalt containing Arbocel fails above 6,000 cycles, the asphalt with aggregate did not fail even at 10,000 cycles indicating an improved rutting behaviors.
Urban visualizations, computer games and CGI effects in movies all require production of highly detailed 3D virtual worlds. Digital models imported from common market places lack any flexibility. Architects and artists waste a lot of time integrating them to their projects. Generative design tools allow efficient mass production of variable 3D objects, but they lack high-level diversity required for realistic appearance of virtual worlds. We decided to address this issue by introducing the first generative tool for crowd-design.
Awards: i2c Innovation Award 2015, INiTS Award 2016
The prototype of a fluorescence scanner shall be developed with the aim to improve quality inspection and testing of asphalt streets. Bitumen for roadworks exhibits strong fluorescence signals in the visible range reflecting the molecular composition of the asphalt binder. Using a fluorescence scanner will enable us to stimulate fluorescence selectively and to detect and analyze the answer. From this spectral information we can draw conclusions concerning the alteration of the molecular composition and thus the state of aging. The fluorescence scanner shall be broadly available in the whole value added chain from the bitumen production in the refinery and the asphalt mounting down to the asphalt recycling. Our team has a strong background in Information Retrieval and Machine Learning in general, but particularly also in Music Information Retrieval, since 1999. We are researching for ways on how to make the massive music content available in music portals and on the Web better accessible and unlock hidden content. We demonstrate our most recent, Deep Learning based, approaches to music analysis, segmentation and classification by the example of live concert video synchronization. Further, we demonstrate our semantic music video search pilot. It combines visual computing capabilities with our audio analysis tools to facilitate the semantic search for instruments, clothes and other objects. Another demo is the GiantSteps Rhythm Agent, a tool designed to support dance music producers and musicians in the drum track creation process. It uses artificial neural networks trained on a drum pattern database to create variations of genre specific rhythm patterns. It is available as an iOS app utilizing the well-known step-sequencer UI paradigm, which makes interaction and integration for studio and stage setups easy.
2016: Detection and Classification of Acoustic Scenes and Events - Winner Task 4: domestic audio tagging; MIREX - Task Winner: Classical Composer Identification, Latin Genre Classification, Music Mood Classification, K-Pop Genre and K-Pop Mood Classification; Best Paper award at CBMI 2016;
2015: MIREX - Task Winner: Music vs. Speech Discrimination; Generative Music and Lights Award, Music Tech Fest Ljubljana 2015
While global spend on marketing and advertising is continuously increasing, the potential customers are seeking ways to get rid of irrelevant and often annoying commercials and promotions. In the meantime, many customers subscribe to various club-cards, loyalty cards as these offer some benefits in exchange for monitoring their buying habits and sharing their demographic information. In turn, these monitoring tools could be used for efficient, relevant and person specific targeted advertising, yet they are currently under-utilized or completely ignored by large stores and chains. Better exploitation of the available information on the customers would allow dynamic (“on demand” adjustable), targeted promotions, thus ensuring that customers are exposed to relevant ads only at the right moment and right place where they can actually shop the desired goods. This kind of engagement would significantly improve the quality of consumer journey. For the sellers, this solution would not only generate lift in sales and increase in loyalty, but it would offer a smart way to consider other factors like storage cost or fast sell of perishable goods when calculating price.
Visiting a museum of fine arts is not always fun. In European countries the building sector accounts for 20 % to 40 % of the total energy consumption, whereas two-thirds of this energy are used for heating and cooling. Effective building automation solutions are therefore of increasing importance to reduce energy consumption and enable integration in future smart grids. Model predictive control (MPC) optimally utilizes predictions of future disturbances (ambient temperature, solar radiation, occupancy, availability and price of electric power), and it is the ideal control strategy to deal with conflicting optimization goals. Maximization of user comfort, minimization of energy cost, and maximization of renewable energy use are the typical optimization problems in the building. Furthermore, MPC is perfectly suited for including thermal and technical constraints in the optimization criterion. MPC also enables integration of buildings into future smart grids. In the project SMARTmsr an innovative nonlinear MPC has been successfully implemented in a complex building and obtains promising performances. In the project intelliEE-Home an adaptive MPC algorithm is going to be developed for energy-efficient smart homes.
Awards: Lions Sonderpreis 2016, Resselpreis der TU Wien 2016, Staatspreis „award of excellence“ 2016
The project "Rauchfrei für mich und mein Kind" aims to explore the situation of pregnant smoking women and their partners in order to support smoking cessation. Within an iterative user-centered design approach we developed a novel device with the goal to influence the smoking craving. By utilizing tactile and visual feedback the device offers an alternative to lighting a cigarette.
Access to text for blind people can be achieved in two ways: Transforming the text into synthetic speech or into the worldwide acknowledged Braille-alphabet composed of up to six tactile dots. To read text from a computer or an e-book, blind people use refreshable Braille displays. These devices show characters as a pattern of mechanically raised dots to be perceived with the fingertip.For technical reasons, these devices only show one line of text at a time. For mobile Braille devices this line has to be kept short and thus the text will be hard to read. Desktop devices offering long lines become bulky and also very expensive. Tetragon is developing an innovative Braille reader that will be small and nevertheless be capable of showing long lines of text. This is achieved by a ground-breaking technology which presents the Braille characters on the inside of a rotating ring. The reader will slide his/her finger as usual along a line thus stetting the ring into rotation. While reading text at the bottom of the ring, characters in the upper half of the ring are updated to show new text. A first (enlarged) prototype was successfully developed in two diploma theses and a patent is pending.
70.000 tons of originally packed or opened food of households, industry or trade, are disposed of into Viennese residual waste, while at the same time 22,7 % of the inhabitants are at risk of poverty. To take counteractive measures, this project develops the base for an area-wide, low-threshold offer to share food on a local level, including all relevant gender and diversity aspects in the development of cooling stations. The so-called UrbanFoodSpots consist of a cooling station and an information system. The UrbanFoodSpots reflect the needs of the various groups of users and will be developed to be realised in different places and organisational forms.
Awards: Sustainability Award 2016, 3. Platz Kategorie „Kommunikation“