FRIBOURG NETWORK FREIBURG
HEAD OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL
The Institute that you run is one of Western Switzerland’s largest software factories. What would you say are its core activities?
We are very active in the fields of eHealth, eServices, eGovernment and eEnergy. For example, where eEnergy is concerned, we mostly use machine learning-based predictive models that let us forecast with close to 100% accuracy such things as wind conditions in a given region. If it looks like not much wind power will be generated, certain devices can be programmed to shut off automatically if they are not needed at that particular moment in time.
The Internet of Things is one of your Institute’s key strengths. How did this come about?
I discovered the Internet of Things during the couple of months I spent at Swissnex Boston in 2002. I had the opportunity to talk to specialists from the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) about it. I was totally won over and decided to import the idea to Sierre. That was 15 years ago, and we still haven’t scratched the surface in terms of our research. I believe that the next stage will be the Internet of Everything, in other words devices that have a host of functions and are based on blockchain technology.
From the consumer’s point of view, how can a company use new technologies to stand out from the competition?
Consumers increasingly want their products to come with digital services that can be accessed in one click on their smartphone. This could be information on the origins of the product, advice on how to get the most out of it or loyalty points, to name but a few.