Verizon 5G Hub creates new IoT use cases

  • January 25, 2023
  • William Payne

Verizon and Canadian incubator Centech have published results of the first cohort of start-ups and scale-ups in the 5G Development Hub. The Hub is focused on developing new use cases for 5G in industrial, logistics, energy, supply chain, transport, smart cities and utilities.

Outcomes from this first cohort include innovations in continuous monitoring of manual production operations through 5G-enabled camera and machine learning, a 5G application for smart cities, transportation and supply chain that transfers sensor fusion to MEC devices, 5G-based real time monitoring and control of energy grids, a 5G mixed reality system designed for power utilities and nuclear installations, a data fusion and analytics system for real-time multi building and campus management, and an open architecture for process deviation detection in real-time; 5G-enabled virtualisation of master scheduling nodes for industrial and manufacturing asset tracking, resulting in lower costs, simplified deployment and maintenance.

Based in Montreal and launched in May 2022 by Verizon and Centech in collaboration with Bell Canada, the Hub is focused on development of new use cases created by start-ups and scale-ups building on 5G and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) in multiple industries including manufacturing, supply chain, transportation, smart cities, energy and utilities.

Seven start-ups were selected to participate, and have worked alongside network experts from Verizon to create new 5G use cases and incorporate 5G and MEC-enabled technologies into their services. Selected companies tested their solutions on Bell’s 5G network and mobile edge computing platform. Mentoring was provided by Centech on business development and growth strategy.

“Verizon has a vested interest in the 5G future, and we see an extraordinary opportunity to encourage entrepreneurs to leverage the advanced capabilities that 5G offers,” said Jeff Frantz, Executive Director of Ecosystem Development at Verizon. “These programmes enable start-ups to test, explore and create the products and ecosystems of tomorrow.”

“The 5G Development Hub brings together Canada’s booming start-up ecosystem and the expertise of leading 5G and MEC providers,” said Richard Chénier, General Director at Centech. “5G is important for the future of innovation and this first cohort has proven to be successful. We look forward to continuing to create a space where we maximise the potential of start-ups through the use of 5G while equipping them to transform key sectors such as manufacturing, energy and smart cities.”

The 5G cohort companies include: industrial IoT and AI developer Peytec; computer vision specialist I-50; haptic control specialist Haply Robotics; IoT connected ecosystem provider SmartCone; smart energy technology developer Edgecom Energy; edge analytics specialist FuseForward; and mixed reality developer Kognitiv.

Peytec is an Industrial IoT and AI company that builds and sells hyper-accurate location tracking and sensing solutions. Peytec specialises in inventory tracking, asset management and real-time quality control. Peytec mainly serves industrial sectors including mining, manufacturing and agriculture. The Peytec 5G application takes advantage of the low latency provided by 5G and MEC to virtualise master scheduling nodes to reduce hardware costs for asset tracking, while also simplifying deployment and maintenance.

I-5O has built a deep learning powered computer vision platform which helps manufacturers track, measure and improve their manual production operations in near-real time. The I-5O 5G application continuously generates actionable insights on production operations and detects process deviations in near real-time. Uses 5G to expand where cameras can be used, not just where an Ethernet connection is available.

Haply Robotics develops 3D haptic controllers that replicate tactile sensory input, allowing users to interact with an environment through a screen or VR headset. These technologies can be used to control industrial robots, support workforce training and remotely supervise vehicles that interact with physical environments. The Haply Robotics 5G application leverages the low latency that 5G can provide plus the adaptability of MEC to enable near real-time control of robots with haptic feedback.

SmartCone is an IoT connected ecosystem company with a number of use cases including intelligent transportation systems, asset tracking and mining. SmartCone has created an open architecture system integration platform which includes the hardware and software components. SmartCone has multiple patents and its own full stack embedded programming language. The SmartCone 5G application moves processing and sensor fusion capabilities from the SmartCone device to MEC. Leveraging 5G alongside MEC can allow for greater communication and information sharing between devices.

Edgecom Energy provides custom hardware and software solutions to reduce energy costs and emissions for large energy users, helping decision makers understand, improve and control how they consume energy, water and natural gas. The Edgecom 5G application takes advantage of the lower latency that 5G can provide to not only monitor energy use but also control connected devices in near real-time, allowing for integration with the grid for greater resiliency, demand response and frequency regulation.

FuseForward offers an edge-secure data and analytics platform designed for organisations with multiple applications, data sources and diverse user groups. The company’s integrated, scalable and secure platform provides actionable insights and analysis capabilities supporting both near-real time and historic reporting. The FuseForward 5G application expands smart campus analytical capabilities by integrating sensors in areas without a wired connection and layering in live video analytics streamed across 5G and processed using MEC.

Kognitiv Spark creates Mixed Reality (MR) solutions with their MR platform, RemoteSpark. Kognitiv Spark has helped promote the adoption of MR in sectors where the technology can have a significant impact, including nuclear and power utilities, aerospace and defence and increasingly in the public sector. The Kognitiv Spark 5G Application enhances overall performance of the RemoteSpark MR platform, using the speed and throughput 5G can offer to achieve higher resolution video calls and near-real time transfer of digital assets.