Telefónica NEXT at CeBIT 2017:

“We take the internet of things to the consumers”

Dr. Nicolaus Gollwitzer (l.)
As part of its digital transformation, Telefónica Deutschland, with its start-up Telefónica NEXT, is advancing the Internet of Things (IoT) for end consumers. At CeBIT, Telefónica NEXT for the first time presents a number of concrete products that are made smart by the specifically developed IoT software platform “Geeny.” As a start-up within Telefónica Deutschland, Telefónica NEXT is a significant part of the digital transformation and, by consequence, an essential part of the company’s appearance at CeBIT. Both data analysis and the internet of things – the core topics of Telefónica NEXT – are an important leverage for the transformation. At CeBIT, the start-up presents first examples of applications for end consumers from the internet of things, including a smart shirt, a smart dog’s collar, a connected gas bottle and Smart Care, a solution thanks to which elderly people can remain independent for longer using digital technology.

Bringing smart products to market faster

“We are working on topics of the future, which can already be seen and touched at CeBIT. With our IoT software platform Geeny, we take the internet of things to the consumers. With our help, companies can for instance develop a smart shirt for preventive health care – in a fast and cost-efficient way,” explains Moritz Diekmann, General Manager of Telefónica NEXT for the area of IoT, at CeBIT. “With regard to consumer application, the internet of things is yet at its beginning. We see great potential for growth.” Telefónica NEXT enables companies to bring to market their own IoT products for end consumers. With Geeny the Telefónica start-up offers ready-made services, like intelligent algorithms. Once programmed, IoT solutions can be reused over and over for different products and need not be developed from scratch every time. The connected partner ecosystem also helps get smart products ready for market quickly: Independent developers can use the platform to offer their own algorithms, for instance for pattern recognition or the analysis of the human heart beat, for companies interested, even without an IoT product of their own.

Smart Care and Smart Shirt as examples of successful cooperation

The cooperation with Develco Products shows how Telefónica NEXT makes end customer applications smart while providing a benefit for society. As a result of the cooperation, first applications of Smart Care have been developed based on the Geeny platform, which are being demonstrated at CeBIT. Smart Care comprises a number of different elements from smart home, thanks to which people can better support elderly and dependent family members. These include for instance sensors such as smoke or motion alarms and smart power outlets that measure the electricity consumed by individual devices. Based on algorithms for pattern recognition, the Smart Care system can set off an alarm and notify family members via app when it detects irregularities. In cooperation with the design agency Colorfy, Telefónica also demos a smart shirt. The sensor woven into the cloth tracks the heart rate, which can be analyzed via app. Via the mobile phone, stretch sensors in the fabric give feedback on posture. Using control elements in the fabric, connected devices can be controlled, for instance taking phone calls or adjusting the volume of the music on the phone. The Smart Shirt will be marketed in a first version through a crowdfunding platform. Further variants of the shirt could be used for end customers – for instance for sports – or for business partners, for example for health care.

Combination of data and application

Geeny tells apart devices from applications and data. This way, entirely different apps and devices, even from different manufacturers, can be connected by Geeny, enabling all new services for end customers. In future, consumers will benefit from an overview of all their smart devices on the platform, including the respective apps and generated data, and will be able to manage them centrally. At the same time, the platform will serve as a market place for new apps and services from the internet of things. In the case of the smart shirt, for instance, this would mean that, thanks to the connection to Geeny, the person wearing the shirt can combine the data from other manufacturer’s devices and analyze them together. The shirt could also be borrowed by a friend, for whom an individual user profile may be created. This data would then be recorded separately.

Safe data and smart products – these go together with Geeny

Both during the development of Geeny as well as now that it is up and running, Telefónica always makes it a priority that customers and users maintain sovereignty over their data and know data is safe. For this reason, all users of Geeny are given the possibility to manage their data themselves. They can decide for themselves which data they want to transmit and who may be entitled to use it for analysis, improving products and services. Data is not forwarded without the customer’s approval. Further, the devices only communicate with the Geeny platform via encryption, so that they are protected against misuse of data and hackers.