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Connectivity

Enabling the Connected World.

Challenges

The world we live in is increasingly connected, with an extensive mesh of connected machines, devices and systems estimated to grow to 50 billion in 2020. The ubiquitous access to information and data available on the Internet is giving rise to new ways for people to interact and for companies to do business and generate revenues.

The rise of intelligent systems is highly linked to this connectivity trend – enabling new smarter services, taking advantage of new data, exploring seamless ways of interacting with devices across all sectors. Examples include:

  • In the Automotive sector, connectivity technologies create new expectations of consumers to use their own device and data in the car, and create new demands for sophisticated IVI as well as new safety considerations in terms of driver distraction
  • In the Rail sector, the connectivity for passengers on-board trains (WiFi, entertainment systems), off-board with intelligent information systems, the use of intelligent logistics technologies for freight trains
  • In the Energy sector, the demand for wireless/over-the-air (OTA) sensing to replace traditional wired monitoring installations for improved asset management or for monitoring remote locations such as oilfields as well as for smart grid / smart metering
  • In the Healthcare, connectivity is enabling new types of tele-care for home-bound patients (connected patient) and also introduces new considerations around safety for the use of communications technologies for medical usage
  • In the Telecoms and Media sector, the increased demand for connectivity is an opportunity for telecom operators to penetrate other industries, while putting a high demand on seamless, end-to-end continuity of services across devices and machines, over private and public infrastructure, in a secure way
  • In the Aerospace sector, the problematic of replacing black box recording systems with real-time telemetry data from aircrafts, enabling WiFi connectivity for passengers or electronic flight bags for pilots
  • In the Defence sector, the use of top-end connectivity technology to bring an edge in areas such as UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles), advanced sensors for digital battlefield applications or cyber-security

With the diversity of usage growing every day, new challenges such as increased reliability, security, interoperability, and profitability are all emerging. These challenges need to be addressed holistically, while ensuring the best user experience and differentiation in an increasingly crowded space. This means seamless interactions even for complex functionalities, and attractive applications to ensure customer satisfaction and commercial success.

This trend for engineering connectivity has technical and business implications and Intelligent Systems / Altran focuses on ensuring all industry sectors can meet the challenges of these new technologies, and manage the complexity of the product and associated business models.

Offer description

Intelligent Systems / Altran defines connectivity as the technology, infrastructure, processes and usage models to interface machines, people, organisations and business.

The objectives of our Global Connectivity Practice are to:

  • Enable and improve the communications between machines (machine2machine)
  • Drive improvement in the usage and desirability of human-machine interfaces (human2machine).
  • Create rapid cross-sector fertilisation by taking the different advances in architectures, technology and usage in each industrial sectors and making them rapidly available to our clients in all sectors

These objectives combine to provide a one-stop Connected World solution for our clients for all aspects of connectivity.

Our expertise covers wired and wireless, short and long range, automated and interactive, industry-specific and generalized connectivity. We provide our clients with:

  • Industry and market insight, thanks to our involvement in a number of industries we enable our clients to benefit from cross fertilisation from one application to another e.g. from automotive infotainment to in-flight entertainment
  • Prototyping solutions through our prototyping lab to enable you to rapidly transform your ideas into fully functioning proofs-of-concepts. By providing early access to a working system, your prototype can easily be evolved to a successful product by taking into account feasibility results and early user feedback, thus reducing technical and business risk
  • Engineering solutions where we apply our expertise from multiple industries and practices to engineer the end-to-end systems for your intelligent solutions. We offer global delivery combined with local support to help you reduce time-to-market while maintaining highest standards in terms of security and reliability
  • Expertise and technical consultancy on multiple technical topics when you need specific advice or support for example on network architecture, performance, protocols integration etc.
  • Product engineering services including the management of product variants, the maintenance and sustenance of platforms for you or your clients world-wide

Packaged offers list

Advanced user experience

We offer user interface development to enable ergonomic multimodal human interaction with connected devices using technologies such as voice control, touch screen, 2D/3D displays, gestures and physical input devices like click wheels or jog-dials.

 

Prototyping lab

Our Prototyping lab supports you in developing a fully functioning sample of your next generation intelligent system – from user interface prototyping through connected device prototypes to working models of end-to-end systems and services including cloud connectivity.

 

Connectivity technology and performance

With a deep knowledge and understanding of virtually every connectivity technology, we select, implement, deploy and validate the right one for your business needs.

 

Communication stack integration

To enable seamless connectivity, connected devices need to implement common standards for signalling, authentication, communication and error detection. We offer solutions to deploy existing communication stacks as well as to design and develop new protocols using formal methods.

 

Connected product engineering

We offer end-to-end product engineering services for connected devices including the design and development of hardware, software, user interface and service implementation. This includes also the maintenance and sustenance of products over their life-cycle e.g. management of variants, as well as off-shoring for cost optimisation.

 

Device test

Complex technology needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure flawless operation as well as satisfaction of the end user. We offer device test solutions for functional testing, interoperability, stability and performance testing as well as usability and application level testing of all connectivity technologies.

 

Intelligent logistics

Connectivity technology is increasingly used to optimize logistics and supply chain processes. Altran offers solutions for intelligent logistics covering identification, localization and tracking of items.

 

Connected Car

Automotive OEMs and Tier1 suppliers are developing In-Vehicle Infotainment systems that offer new services and user experiences. The complexity of such systems requires a strong partner. We have demonstrated our expertise by fully integrating a connected car platform into a series production car.

 

Automotive networking tools and technology

We offer complete solutions to design, simulate, implement and test automotive networks using CAN, LIN, K-line, Flexray, MOST and automotive Ethernet.

 

Automotive Ethernet

More complex car applications such as ADAS and IVI simultaneously require more bandwidth and scalability. We offer full solutions for migrating to an IP based communication infrastructure.

 

Civil aviation: Cabin connectivity

Airlines are deploying more advanced cabin connectivity systems (CCS), bringing new information and communication services to passengers and crew members alike. We develop CCS for in-flight entertainment and cabin operation.

 

Civil aviation: Electronic Flight Bag

The electronic flight bag (EFB) is an iPad based application specifically designed for airline pilots. It enables them to input various aircraft configuration parameters, and external conditions like geographic location and weather, and obtain, in a very user friendly manner, the various parameters like aircraft speed for take-off, landing or any other phases of the flight of the aircraft.

 

Civil aviation: Flight management and control

Connected devices are increasingly used to support flight controllers and pilots in their day-to-day jobs of managing and controlling flight operations. We offer advanced solutions for air traffic management and flight control as well as aircraft operation and maintenance.

 

Connected TV

Connected TVs enable viewers to interact with the content displayed on TV. Intelligent Systems / Altran is your partner for end-to-end connected TV development – from provider solutions for content creation and provisioning to consumer device development and integration.

 

Connected health

Intelligent Systems / Altran delivers innovative solutions throughout the whole healthcare value chain – from development of intelligent medical devices to integrated systems for hospitals, clinics and medical care centres.

 

Connected home

Advanced solutions for the connected home allow for optimized power consumption and more efficient energy management. Intelligent System / Altran develops connectivity solutions for smart metering and home automation addressing both consumer’s and supplier’s needs.

 

picoTCP

As all communication towards, or from, Internet of Things nodes will be using the TCP/IP network protocol, we've designed our own very small TCP/IP stack, called picoTCP. The best stack for embedded devices with a small footprint. PicoTCP was built with quality in mind. No overload of unused functionality, but focusing on stability and reliability. 

 

ZeroMQ

To connect devices to remote applications, the M2M protocol ZeroMQ is a good solution and connects your code in any language on any platform. It’s an efficient and ready to use protocol for embedded devices. Altran prepared this well-known protocol from computers and servers to embedded software to reduce time to market and to increase quality. ZeroMQ allows application developers to connect their applications with only a few lines of code into complex message queuing connectivity topologies with the highest possible reliability. 

 

Upgradable devices

We want our customers to be the first to hit the market with only a limited but useful feature set, and give them the right way to frequently upgrade their devices in the field, constantly bringing new exciting features to their customers. 

 

Power management

The consequence of connecting devices is that we will have to bring electrical power to devices that have never been connected before. Altran is building up  expertise in all aspects of ultra low power embedded systems, focusing on power consumption and power harvesting.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Connectivity

Case reference

Telecare system using TV environment

 

Objective:

Development of a remote, home-monitoring healthcare system adapted to the TV and Set-top box environment

Development of a set-top box application and graphical user interface allowing the patient to:

> Enter health records and personal information
> Access information on schedule of personal and healthcare activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle
>
 Communicate with key contacts (e.g. call center, GP, family)
>
 Monitor and control home and healthcare equipment for more efficient and safer lifestyle
> Facilitate link towards shopping or other basic requirements when home-bound

Results:

Simple/intuitive navigation using remote control

> Open API allowing easy integration of 3rd party solutions e.g. for Home Automation
> Easy UI customisation enabling patient specific functions