Innovation Lab for Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing
Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing
Controlling technology in your home from the other side of the world, using tiny sensors knitted into shirts to track vital parameters all day long – these seemingly futuristic ideas of immersion in a digital world are increasingly becoming a reality in our everyday lives. The miniaturization of electrical devices and clothing are just a selection of the ways in which our environment is becoming smarter. This fast changing environment provides the platform and opportunities for innovation. Students of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) can harness the opportunities of this platform by visiting the Innovation Lab for Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing, funded by the Center for Digitalization Bavaria.
Innovation Lab for Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing at the FAU
Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing is a large future growth market. One pillar component of this market is wearables – sensors which can be attached to the body and are capable of measuring various parameters such as heart rate, movement and muscle activity of the user. According to Frost & Sullivan, the market volume of wearables will rise to 10,6 billion dollars in 2020 – from 3,1 billion dollars in 2015, displaying a yearly growth rate of 29,9 %. Ubiquitous Computing connects more and more devices in our environment and allows them to communicate smartly with each other, leading to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). Due to the huge market potential of this sector, the industry requires exceptionally educated students who will expedite the advancement of software and hardware within the system of wearable and ubiquitous computing.
The goal of the Innovation Lab is to work with students to solve practical questions involving system and software engineering in conjunction with wearables and IoT-devices in a creative and innovative way. The infrastructure of the lab gives students the chance to execute their own product ideas or to work on topics from industrial partners, the university, or the ZD.B. By applying industry standard techniques and team management, students will develop, independently and within a team, their problem-solving and creative skills. They will implement their ideas as prototypes by applying agile software development methods.
Entrepreneurship – powered by the FAU Digital Tech Academy
Due to the high market potential of wearables and IoT-devices, the results of these projects are eminently suitable for the creation of Startups. That’s why we also want to teach our students the basics of “How to create a Startup”. In a series of workshops hosted by the Digital Tech Academy the students acquire the necessary skills to take their innovative prototypes and bring it to the market.
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Innovation Labs for students – An Institution by the ZD.B
In order to design the digitalization process and seize the opportunities of the digital transformation in Bavaria, the Bavarian government has developed the “BAYERN DIGITAL” strategy. The Center of Digitalization Bavaria (ZD.B) is a core element of this strategy, having created several plans to encourage digital transformation, one of which is the establishment of innovation labs for students at state universities for applied sciences in Bavaria.
The Innovation Lab for Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing at FAU is one out of ten innovation labs funded by the ZD.B. Students work in teams and develop innovative prototypes in the field of digitalization. The ideas for these projects come from different sources, including companies, students and other platforms of the ZD.B.
Information & Motivation for students
The course Innovation Lab for Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing at the Machine Learning & Data Analytics Lab started in the winter semester 17/18 at the FAU! Teams of 5 – 8 students work on different projects to create products within the wearable and ubiquitous computing field. From VR Glasses to smartwatches and ECG-sensors, our students will have the chance to turn their ideas into reality!
The Innovation Lab provides them with everything they need to develop their prototypes, including:
High quality laptops, smartphones with augmented reality technology, software, tools and measuring equipment for the hardware development and a 3D Printer. The resources available to participants are designed to enable them to develop a fully functioning prototype.
The Innovation Lab students will develop their ideas and prototypes within the structure of a 10 ECTS course. The student teams employ agile development methods (Scrum) for the prototyping process. Besides the great practical experience gained during development, students also learn about entrepreneurship. There will be tutorials covering design thinking, market analysis, management of development processes, securing intellectual property, and business plan creation. At the end of each semester, the students will have a prototype of an innovative wearable/IoT device, and a business plan in their hands. This will empower the enthusiasts to continue their work, pitch ideas for future funding, and possibly build their own startup!
One of the core thoughts of the course is to form interdisciplinary teams for a broad expertise when it comes to prototyping. So ideally, you already have gained some experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Programming in general
- App Development
- Sensor applications
- Data analysis
- User Interfaces
- Machine Learning
- VR applications
The Innovation Lab course can be attended by master students from the following fields:
- Computer Science
- Electronic and Communication Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Advanced Signal Processing and Communications Engineering
- Communications and Multimedia Engineering
- Information and Communication Technology
Note 1: Students from other scientific fields can also attend the course – but only in specific cases. This must be discussed individually.
Note 2: Bachelor students can also attend the course – but only in specific cases. This must be discussed individually.
How our industrial partners profit from a cooperation with the Innovation Lab at FAU
Working on a project together with our student teams is greatly beneficial for you! You will have the opportunity to meet and work with highly motivated, flexible and performance-oriented students over the course of a semester. This is potentially and interesting chance for recruitment. Through these innovative student projects, ideas and prototypes can be generated that the company can benefit from and for which there is no capacity to develop within the normal structure of the company. Furthermore, a collaboration with the FAU – ranked the 2nd most innovative university in Germany by Reuters – opens great research opportunities for your company. You will be uniquely placed to discover new talent and technology as well as develop groundbreaking prototypes in the field of wearable and ubiquitous computing.
Agile Development Method: Scrum
Scrum is a framework for managing software and product development. It is an agile development method, which means that solutions evolve through a collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams. In comparison to other development methods, it prioritizes responses to change over following a set plan. The product owner is involved in the product development process by giving feedback to the development team and ensuring the correct implementation of all product features.
Scrum Life Cycle
Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier
Matthias Zürl, M. Sc.
Philipp Dumbach, M. Sc.
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