Smart Inventory System
Entry By: Hisham Daou
Have you ever gotten to the supermarket only to forget what you came to buy? Is it a big burden for you to monitor inventory levels at your office, restaurant or warehouse? Smart Inventory System (SIS) offers you a new way to manage inventory with real-time levels, low level alerts and future inventory level predictions. Using a weight scale, Internet Protocol and smart software, SIS will provide you with a detailed view of inventory levels without the need for any human interaction. No more estimations, only exact inventory levels!
How does Smart Inventory System use Internet Technology?
Smart Inventory System is designed from the ground up using Internet Protocol. At the resource restricted levels (hardware devices), SIS uses 6LoWPAN to exchange messages. The device model is based on IPSO Smart Objects, which makes interoperability possible. Any internet network with IPv6 and a 6LoWPAN access point can integrate with SIS.
By using our router to connect the devices to the internet, the user can benefit from our cloud services, such as Reports, Alerts and Predictions. The cloud data can be accessed by authorized users from any internet connected computer or by using our Smart Phone application. To make advanced features accessible, the server will have to integrate with 3rd party internet services, such as the Google Predictions API.
Why did you choose to invent Smart Inventory System? What problem do you see that it can solve?
Many times, I went to the supermarket, only to forget some of things I came to buy. I tried using grocery list applications, but they required a lot of effort to keep track of what I had in my pantry. This is how the idea for SIS was born, and this is the main problem SIS tries to solve.
Over time, SIS evolved from a residential solution to a solution that restaurants, offices and warehouses can benefit from. These businesses spend a lot of time and money trying to keep track of assets and inventory. SIS can solve the inventory management problems with a smart and affordable approach, offering details not available before.
What is the practical application of Smart Inventory System for the everyday user?
SIS is applicable to multiple types of users. An individual can use it to keep track of home supplies in real-time. When he arrives at the supermarket he will be able to know exactly what he has at home and what he needs to restock. At home he can estimate how long an item will last. He will also be able to get alerts when an item reaches a critically low level. An automated grocery list can be generated based on these predefined low levels.
If we take these things and scale them to a warehouse level, then we can see the real potential SIS can offer.
Are there plans to produce Smart Inventory System for the marketplace, or is it already a product that can be purchased/obtained?
From the technical point of view our first device and software will be ready in a short amount of time. We are waiting for the feedback from the IPSO jury and the Designer of Things attendees to finalize the work.
Being experienced with the process of taking a prototype to production, we are well aware of the large investments that need to be made in order to be competitive. We are working to assemble these assets so we can start selling the product commercially. Hopefully we will be able to reach some interested investors and make the market launch even sooner.
Why would you consider Smart Inventory System to be “innovative”?
According the Meriam-Webster dictionary “Innovative” means “introducing or using new ideas or methods – having new ideas about how something can be done”. And this is exactly what SIS is. Inventory management has been around for a long time. Many people do it in different ways. An individual at home can do it by simply writing down a grocery list; big businesses do it using complicated software algorithms that calculate what comes inside the storage area vs what leaves it. These methods might be sufficient, but they do not offer a detailed view of existing inventory without human intervention. SIS introduces a new way for doing inventory management. This new way is smarter, easier and much more effective. Human intervention is minimal, as it is only required during installation. Once the installation is done, SIS will work autonomously and generate reports, alerts and predictions. SIS offers a detailed insight about inventory levels not seen in the market before, one that can push businesses forward.
What would winning IPSO CHALLENGE 2015 mean for you or your company?
Smart Inventory System (SIS) started as a personal project. In order to make it to the product phase, it will need two major things. The first one is to win consumers’ trust and the second is to make an impact in the tech market. In my opinion, the IPSO CHALLENGE will help in both. Winning this contest means that well-respected and experienced people from the tech industry recognized and chose SIS to be number one. This would be the first step in a journey to make SIS a trustworthy product for the consumers. Secondly, winning the CHALLENGE means that SIS will be a part of press releases and both direct and indirect marketing which will help SIS make the entry it needs into the tech industry market.
If selected as the Grand Prize winner, how do you think you will spend the $10,000 prize?
The number one priority will be to establish a legal company for SIS. This company will be responsible for the development, marketing and sales of the product. The second priority is to implement some mechanical changes to make the product more appealing for personal applications and more durable for industrial and commercial applications. To sum it up, the Grand Prize would put SIS on the right track.
What would you like to see in the future for the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things is a great domain; however, in my opinion, since it is still relatively new there is room for a lot of improvement. Security in the IoT is still a big concern for many. It is not enough to deliver the message to the Cloud – what is more important is the way it is delivered and the way it is stored. Maybe an open security standard will be good for the IoT.
Why should more companies utilize IP?
I am in no way a communications expert but the way I see it is that companies have two options. They can either develop their own communication protocols which will cost millions of dollars in R&D or they can rely on available protocols that are very well tested and widely accepted. For the latter, a company can choose between IP and other available protocols. The advantage of IP in this case is the wide availability of information and the easy access to it. Furthermore, Internet Protocol fills the gap between hardware (devices) and software (Cloud) development. This is due to the high scalability of IP, especially with the introduction of 6LoWPAN. Usually the protocol used for the communication between the devices themselves is different than the one used to relay the messages through the internet to the cloud. With IP this is not true; the same protocol is used from the Cloud to the local router to the devices and between the devices themselves. This makes the development and the communication between the hardware and software teams much easier.
Why did you decide to enter IPSO CHALLENGE 2015?
I first heard about the CHALLENGE from a tweet. In a country like Lebanon, the chances of finding support for starting a new tech-related product are almost non-existent. A competition like IPSO is the light at the end of the tunnel for people like me. Without this, SIS would have remained an idea on the board or a prototype in the drawer. The CHALLENGE opens new doors for SIS. An opportunity like this only comes once, and I am happy that I decided to enter the contest and that I didn’t hesitate and miss my chance.
Featured on the Lebanon Prime Time News