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21 June 2011
Reply [REY IM], leading in the design and development of solutions based on new communication channels and digital media, unveiled HI REPLY, a services, devices and middleware platform for vertical applications such as info-mobility, advanced logistics, environmental safety, contactless payment and product track-and-trace.
HI REPLY was designed and built by Concept Reply, the research and development centre of Reply for the Internet of Things (a collection of hardware and software technologies for exchanging information between networked devices for automation of mission-critical processes) which opened early in 2009, following Reply’s acquisition of the Motorola research centre in Turin.
The M2M model which underlies the Internet of Things, is a market for which the leading European analysts predict growth rates of over 12% per year in 2011-15, and which is forecast will be worth over 213 billion euros worldwide by the end of 2013. One of the biggest developments in coming years will be the increasing connectivity, not only of computers and devices, but of a huge range of physical objects; creating a network that’s more pervasive than ever and increasingly integrated with the everyday lives of people.
HI REPLY makes communication between networked objects a simple and standard task. It comprises a series of hardware, firmware and software components distributed around the objects themselves, and varying from simple sensors/actuators to more sophisticated systems such as smart phones and minicomputers. The objects, equipped by HI REPLY, become “smart”, with the capability of making their presence known to other networked objects using standard internet technology and a set of basic functionalities necessary for seamless operation (auto-configuration, location, discovery and an ontology of displayed services.
Platform scalability is guaranteed by the use of the ARM family of processors and operating systems such as, Microsoft .NET Micro Framework, which enable pre-developed software or its components to be re-used, depending on the context and the type of device.
Flexibility and the use of standard internet technology also make development of IoT applications faster and easier than existing market solutions, which are normally proprietary solutions and therefore, not inter-operable. HI REPLY already offers 5 vertical applications for the automotive, wellness, toys, mobile location-based advertising and payment sectors.
The context-aware mobile payments module of HI REPLY has been selected by the Banca Sella Group to implement a new service to allow customers to make quick and safe payments from their mobile devices or smart phones.
"Reply – declared Mario Rizzante, President of Reply – is, today, a leading player in the Internet of Things and associated services, two areas, together with Cloud Computing, that are going to contribute more and more to redefining the concept of the network and how we use it. That’s why early in 2009, we have acquired over Motorola’s research centre in Turin to create Concept Reply, with the objective of making it a centre of excellence for IOT in Europe. HI REPLY is one of the first achievements of our researchers and I’m sure it will pay significant dividends for the competitiveness of Reply over the medium and long term".
"The Internet has come to a decisive point in its development.- declared Luigi Cicchese, Partner of Concept Reply - We’re now moving from a network of computers to a network of interconnected heterogeneous objects. The emergence of the Internet of Things in the coming years will be decisive in the search for solutions to the numerous challenges facing modern society, such as an ageing population and the reduction of carbon emissions. The interconnection of physical objects will bring about real changes in the models we employ as a society. In Concept Reply we have the technology and the skills to design services and solutions which can respond to these new challenges, and HI REPLY is the first example of that".
Concept Reply is the research and development centre of Reply and specialises in the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services: a set of innovative technologies for interaction and exchange of information between networked devices, enabling automation of processes and to create alternative communication models. Concept Reply specialises in the development and engineering of hardware and software products, vertical solutions based on the proprietary HI REPLY platform, and consulting services for the Internet of Things. It also works on a proprietary Private Cloud Computing and High Performance Computing platform, E2E Test Services and Quality Assurance.