The Internet-of-Things (IoT) landscape is characterised by the rapid emergence of new standards. In many cases no reference implementation is available for said standards, or only partial ones. Companies developing IoT solutions based on such standards face therefore two important issues:
- Conformance: is my solution compliant to standards? How can I guarantee that?
- Interoperability: is my solution able to interwork with other implementations of the standard by different vendors? How can I verify that?
This pain is particularly relevant for innovative SMEs, IoT startups and Web entrepreneurs active in the IoT area. The reason is that conformance and interoperability represent key marketing assets for them to emerge in a competitive market and gain the trust of customers. At the same time the traditional way conformance and interoperability are tested do not fit their needs. Doing it within the company would require expertise that is often not available in-house, and would anyway be a lengthy and cumbersome process (therefore slowing down the go-to-market). Resorting to specialised certification consulting companies is expensive, and often out of financial reach for such companies.
That is why the European Commission, within the framework of the H2020 R&D&I programme, and in particular the FIRE+ (Future Internet Research and Experimentation) initiative, has funded the F-Interop project. F-Interop is developing an online testing tool, allowing researchers and companies to test online conformance and interoperability of their IoT solution. As a solution developer, what you need to do is to connect your IUT (Implementation Under Test) to the F-Interop online platform. The platform includes a set of test suites, you select the relevant one, configure it and execute the tests online. The platform runs the tests and give you pass/fail results: if all tests are passed, you can safely move on with your solution and bring it to the market.
As part of the second F-Interop open call, U-Hopper got selected for running usability tests of the F-Interop online testing tool and platform. The bottom line is that, in order for the F-Interop platform to be useful (in particular for IoT startups and SMEs), it has to be easy and effective to use. Over the next three months, U-Hopper will carry out three rounds of usability tests. The tests will be carried out by IoT experts working in the local Trentino innovation ecosystem. The tests will provide actionable suggestions for F-Interop partners to improve the usability of their platform and the overall user experience. In carrying out the tests, U-Hopper will be supported by Hub Innovazione Trentino, a consortium that promotes the results of research and innovation in the Trentino system in order to support the development of the local economy, and which has a long-standing expertise in the testing of innovative solutions, in particular through its SmartCrowds service.