"Ruling" the experiment : how openHAB really empowers Living Lab platforms
It is a wonderful time for innovation. Everything can now be smart, connected. An idea can be prototyped in a few days or even hours with all the new hardware and software available. But in this effervescence, and to avoid technological nonsense and danger, we should never forget (especially scientists), to keep the human at the center of the preoccupations. Many projects in computer science labs are now transdisciplinary and include Human Sciences, and real humans.
To that end, the LIG (Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble) built an experimental platform called Domus (http://domus.liglab.fr/), used by reasearchers, PHD students and industrials to conduct experimentations with users interacting with different devices or innovative systems (existing or under development). These users play defined scenarii, and their activity traces are recorded (video, audio, activity traces...). Multimodal corpora are annotated and analyzed for evaluation, validation, and research.
A part of this platform is the Domus appartment. It is a realistic fully functional 40 square meters flat, including a kitchen dining area, a bedroom, a living room and a bathroom. This flat is equipped with hundreds of sensors and actuators from various protocols, such as KNX, RFID, UPnP, DMX, X2d... Subjects can really live in it, even for days.
A part of the Amiqual4Home project (https://amiqual4home.inria.fr) is also to provide a fully fonctionnal appartment near Grenoble, with various protocols, for experimentation in the lab.
The project also aims to produce "Minikits", used to bring the experimentation in the users real environment. It is basically a suitcase containing a server and also full of sensors and actuator easily deployable in any house and adapted to specific experiment fields (energy, food habits, comfort...)
If the system used to manage these appartments and minikits shares a lot with the classical smart home systems (multiple protocols, rule engine, stability...), it also has some specific needs to be suitable for experimentation (data persistence, easy remote access, versatility...).
It should also permit fast integration of external systems and prototypes made in the Amiqual4Home and LIG Fablab, allowing people to easily test any number of iterations of their concept.
With all that in mind, we choose to use openHAB (aka Eclipse SmartHome) in our living lab platform.
The aim of the talk is to provide a feedback of using openHAB in our specific Living Lab field, from our old systems to the successfull experiment conducted (with shiny lights, robots, music and other cool stuff), describing specific needs of platforms, integration process of actuators, sensors, prototypes and various external systems.
We will also show some fun things to do with a fully equipped smart appartment, because we don't forget that a Living Lab is also a showroom, and really a wonderful, shiny, sometimes noisy toy for almost fully grown-up engineers working on it...