A few months project from prototype to production

EDF, the leading producer and supplier of electricity in France and Europe. It is the second largest in the world with more than 35 million customers. Their goal was to enter the smart home market and offer innovative products and services to its customers. They created Sowee, a dedicated subsidiary that would operate in an agile and independent “startup mode”.

The Sowee connected station for the smart home allows subscribers to better manage their heating system and monitor their consumption of electricity or gas. For that purpose, Sowee is connected over the cloud to the home’s heating system and also to the data collected from the home’s energy meter. Sowee also provides additional services such as : air quality, away mode, weather forecast, traffic conditions, and remote monitoring and management from a mobile app.

Their ambition is to improve the comfort of people and energy efficiency with innovative, yet simple digital solutions.

challenge

A complex project facing time-to-market

The major challenge Sowee had to face was time-to-market as they wanted to follow a very aggressive delivery plan combining electronic products and a comprehensive Cloud-based service:

The extremely short project schedule was even more challenging considering that the company was starting from scratch. Sowee connected station is a true IoT device: it has multiple sensors that collect, store and process data, it provides rich GUI features to the user, it runs on battery, it is capable of firmware upgrades, it connects over Wi-Fi. It also establishes connections to several platforms in the cloud: MicroEJ Store for hosting and deploying apps and firmware images, LogMeIn Xively for data collection and firmware upgrade, Salesforce.com for managing customer accounts and aggregating clouds from ecosystem partners.

 

Benefits

4 months from prototype to production

Parallelize software and hardware development process

As the project schedule was very short in time, this was not possible to wait for the station hardware availability before starting the software development. Sowee developers were able to create a home station Virtual Device to start the development of the application on a PC (Graphical User Interface and Cloud connectivity) while hardware was being designed by another team.

100% Agile embedded software development

When the project started, Cloud-based services involing many stake-holders such as Cloud platform providers, CRM and various 3rd parties, specification were far from being frozen.

For the first time, embedded system developers cvould experiment 100% Agility as for Cloud developers thanks to MicroEJ technology including :

  • Virtualization,
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Automatic testing
“With MicroEJ software solutions we developped successfully a robust and modular product which can evolve in time for an always-improving user experience. MicroEJ was a key partner of our innovation.”
Eric Mevellec, IOT Director of Sowee
Benefits

Sowee station benefits from MicroEJ

  • Sowee could dratically reduce development time by developing hardware with low-level software and high-level software independently and in parallel.
  • The Agile process  sustained by MicroEJ developments tools reduced iterative cycles with close interactions between product developers and Cloud developers.

 

product overview

Sowee Home Station

  • Multiple sensors
  • Rich Graphical User Interface
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Process data
  • Software content management
  • Store and multiple cloud connections