Binando Newsletter

All Binando updates directly into your mailbox!

The future's here! What is a smart city?

Tatjana Krieger
15. Jun 18

The future's here! What is a smart city? The cities of tomorrow are digitalised, connected and intelligent. They rely on information and communications technology to make them efficient, eco-friendly and safe, improving the quality of life for everyone who lives there. So, what exactly makes a city smart? What is a smart city? To put it simply, smart cities use the latest information and communications technologies to ensure that even huge urban areas remain desirable places to live. From public safety to cleanliness, healthcare, mobility and administration, hardly a single aspect of life will not be affected by digitalisation in the city of the future. As urban populations increase worldwide and the consumption of resources grows, this transformation is more necessary than ever. Why cities need to become cleverer The fate of the world's population will be decided in its cities. Over half of humankind already lives in urban habitats, a figure set to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Metropolises will become the main source of emissions and the main consumers of resources and energy. At the same time, cities will be faced with a whole range of daunting challenges. Their ability to use digital technologies to develop sustainable concepts that enable huge numbers of people to live comfortably side by side will have a key effect on the future of humanity. Smart cities serve human needs For this reason, politicians, researchers and companies all over the world are experimenting with ideas to make cities smart and fit for the future. Around 20 billion Euros per year are already being poured into smart city technologies. The focus is on complex questions such as how mobility can be preserved without private car use causing emissions to spiral out of control, how quickly and efficiently municipal authorities can meet the needs of residents and visitors, and how public safety, public spaces and the cleanliness of urban areas can be improved. Technology is not an end in itself, but a way of making life easier, safer and healthier for the people it serves. Case study: environment and energy Sensors which monitor and transmit air quality data can form the basis of intelligent traffic control systems. Devices which gauge how full recycling containers are lead to sustainable waste management concepts by ensuring that bins are only emptied when necessary. Smart offices and residential buildings generate their own electricity and feed the surplus back into the public electricity grid. As these examples show, urban planners and developers are working round the clock to reduce emissions and the amount of resources consumed in smart cities. Case study: civic life In a smart city, queuing up for public services is a thing of the past as apps and online forms replace piles of paper and official stamps. Online petitions allow citizens to participate actively in shaping society, and the internet is the perfect way for civic authorities to inform the town's residents about things that affect them directly. Which roads are currently snarled up in traffic jams? What are air pollution levels like today? What concerts and events are on next weekend? Smart cities make life easier and more efficient for residents and tourists alike, with everything they need to know available at the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen. Case study: economy Smart economy is not just about processes becoming faster and more efficient, it also refers to the individualisation of products and services. Think apps which, Tinder-style, automatically match job seekers with vacancies; assembly lines which exploit human-machine communication; shopkeepers who, thanks to a smartphone ID, know what the customer who has just come in has been looking for online; intelligent route planning in logistics and waste management. Alongside all this, concepts from the platform economy are providing new impulses and ideas for sharing which motivate people to become responsible consumers. Case study: education and healthcare Evening classes, night school - the very words conjure up stinky gyms, ancient desks and musty classrooms. Smart cities, on the other hand, offer a wide range of online courses which encourage inhabitants to continue learning throughout their lives - via apps, webinars or learning platforms. And hey, even if your yoga course does demand your presence at the local school gym - at least you can register electronically and from anywhere. Healthcare is another area in which the benefits of smart technologies are already being felt. Finding the nearest casualty department or a chemist which is open on New Year's Day now takes mere seconds. Doctor's appointments can be made by smartphone, and you can even "see" a doctor remotely if that makes life easier. From psychologists to dermatologists, the number of healthcare providers offering virtual consultations is on the rise everywhere. Digital all-rounder What is a smart city? The opportunities afforded by digitalisation have radically changed the prospect of the city of the future. Until a few years ago, our planet's growing cities threatened to become inhospitable urban jungles, but the smart city has replaced this with a far more promising vision. Intelligently connected cities are somewhere it is a pleasure to live and work, rather than the backdrop to a struggle for survival. Smart cities are a digital all-rounders in which technology is used to serve the population and improve almost every aspect of life. They are low in emissions, careful with resources, green, healthy and timesaving. Smart cities provide hope for the future.

Read More...

Binando and ZENNER Connect confirm cooperation

Tatjana Krieger
15. Mar 18

Partnership between digital pioneers Two trailblazers in the field of innovative IoT solutions are joining forces to revolutionise waste management in Swiss towns and rural communities. Binando and ZENNER Connect AG, which is based in Regensdorf in the canton of Zurich, recently met in the Black Forest town of Deißlingen to seal the deal. Moritz Pfeiffer, Martin Sigrist, Nikolaos Baltsios and Alex Nanzer (left to right) present the Binando fill level sensor. Smart City solutions for Switzerland The Minol-ZENNER Group subsidiary ZENNER Connect operates the Switzercloud, on which open and technology-independent applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) run under the smart anything approach. As all data are processed and stored exclusively in Switzerland, both public and private sector users are guaranteed the highest possible data security. Starting now, the Stuttgart-based startup Binando is to make use of Switzercloud's technological infrastructure when it comes to pilot projects in Switzerland. This gives municipalities, utilities companies, manufacturers of recycling containers and waste management firms the assurance that all the data collected will remain in trustworthy hands. The cooperation between Binando and ZENNER Connect paves the way for greater sustainability and efficiency in the field of logistics planning in the waste management industry. Once installed inside bins and recycling containers, Binando's fill level sensors detect via ultrasound which containers are ready for emptying, and transmit the data to the Switzercloud servers in Zurich. The software element of the smart waste solution then automatically works out the shortest and quickest route for the next day's collection rounds. Avoiding empty runs reduces emissions, fuel consumption and wear and tear to the collection vehicles, and simultaneously saves a considerable amount of time.

Read More...

Route planning: using algorithms to make the most of data

Christian Enchelmaier
06. Dec 17

Smart city apps arrive in the home A medium-sized town somewhere in Germany, where residents separate their rubbish into glass, paper, food waste, plastic, old clothes and various other categories. All the bins are fitted with sensors to measure the fill level, and all the data is transmitted to a central server. We're talking here about thousands of bins. Millions, even, in large urban areas. Reliably transmitting signals, day in, day out. But who's supposed to process this information? The sheer amount of data generated would be way too much for even the brainiest human being to cope with. Big data needs smart software Even if we're not quite at the stage described in the scenario above, Binando already has the technology to make it happen. It only makes sense to collect data for the waste management industry, however, when this data can be turned into intelligent solutions, calculated using the right software. The solution which Binando has developed promises to help companies identify the shortest and most efficient routes for their waste collection vehicles. This is good for the environment, reduces congestion on the roads, and saves time and money. Accurate digital cartographical data is required for optimum route planning Artificial intelligence to improve urban living Binando has developed a complex algorithm which takes account of a number of factors. These include not just the actual fill level of bins or recycling containers, but predictions about when they are likely to need emptying. At the moment, the predictions are based on data collected in the past, but machine learning technology means they are set to become more and more precise as time goes on. On top of this, the system is able to prioritise individual containers according to their location, allowing bins in busy inner-city areas to be emptied more often than recycling containers out in the middle of nowhere. Once this has been factored in, it becomes clear exactly which bins need to be visited on any given day. Another thing to be taken into account is the fact that not every waste collection vehicle is suitable for every location. Imagine a huge rubbish lorry stuck in the narrow streets of a historical town centre, and the chaos that would cause. Binando's data processing software ensures that this kind of fiasco can never happen. The Binando app displays the planned route inside the vehicle, so the driver knows exactly where to go - all day long. Unbeatable: when humans team up with machines Once the software has identified which containers need to be emptied next, it begins to calculate the best possible route. Taking into account the number of vehicles available, the location of each and the amount of waste each can carry, the algorithm directs them round the relevant bins and then shows them the shortest route to their ultimate destination, e.g. the rubbish tip or landfill site. The software uses metaheuristics to generate the best course for the vehicles by checking, comparing and constantly optimizing all the routes found. The calculation process is stopped at a pre-defined point and the route last calculated is deemed to be the best. This proposal is then passed on to the planners at the waste management company. In the light of the volume of data likely to be generated once the system is fully in place, it is obvious that no human being will be capable of calculating and optimising routes with anything like the accuracy of the algorithm. This is not to say that human planners will become superfluous, however. They will still have to check and approve the routes generated automatically - here as in so many other areas, the best results are achieved when man and machine work together.

Read More...

Binando at Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon

Tatjana Krieger
15. Nov 17

The ultimate technology conference When the Portuguese capital gears up for Web Summit, the technology scene is already packed and ready to go. Representatives of established technology companies, eager young startups, digital experts from academia and industry and even big name stars make the pilgrimage to Lisbon in their thousands to discuss the latest trends, their visions for the future, and, this time, the risks associated with advancing digitalisation and artificial intelligence. Attracting over 60,000 participants and more than 1,200 speakers from at least 170 countries, the mega-event, now in its second year, lavishly confirmed its reputation as the largest technology conference in the world. As a digital nomad it's easy to forget where you are. This arrangement of brightly-coloured dustbins provides a reminder. Get-together for digital insiders As the guests started to arrive in Lisbon, the Stuttgart-based startup Binando, purveyor of intelligent waste solutions, was first off the plane. Founders Nikolaos Baltsios and Moritz Pfeiffer met up in Portugal with colleagues Niklas Karoly (backend development) and Mohammed El-Serougi from New Cairo, who is helping Binando with the development of its app. The team spent the four days of the summit making contacts, collecting information and batting new ideas about. As a participant in the Alpha startup programme, Binando had a small exhibition stand from which to present its logistics-based business model, gather feedback and get talking to potential partners. Ready to go: Mohammed El-Serougi, Nikolaos Baltsios, Niklas Karoly and Moritz Pfeiffer (left to right) in front of the event venue Stars of the tech scene In addition, the team checked out many of the events on the Summit's programme, including an impressive opening lecture by astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, and attended talks by executives of companies including Slack, Intel, Uber and Reddit. The evening programme was all about networking and exchange, and with the thermometer showing a pleasant twenty degrees, the organisers simply moved everything to the bar and restaurant-lined Pink Street, where visitors could chat informally while enjoying drinks and tapas. Waiting for Stephen Hawking: excitement mounts at the opening event on 5 October 2017 in Lisbon Bustling crowds in Pink Street, whose paving stones do actually glow pink during the day

Read More...

Binando set for success in Austria

Tatjana Krieger
16. Oct 17

WeXelerate chooses Binando for its first accelerator programme Europe's largest innovation hub, WeXelerate in Vienna, has accepted Binando into the first round of its start-up programme. The smart waste solution developed by Nikolaos Baltsios and Moritz Pfeiffer was chosen from thousands of other applicants following a multi-level selection process. The Stuttgart-based entrepreneurs now have four months in which to work on their sustainable waste management solution in Vienna. Industry focus point WeXelerate is supported by a number of major industry players (Wien Energie, T-Mobile Austria and Raiffeisen Informatik GmbH to name but a few) which run customised mentoring programmes and put their experience, market knowledge and networks at the disposal of the start-ups selected. Some companies even offer the potential for direct cooperation or joint projects, in this case, for example, Post AG Austria or the manufacturer of hydraulic loading and lifting equipment Palfinger. Source of inspiration "For Binando, WeXelerate represents an incredible opportunity for cooperation and exchange with a wide range of established companies and fellow start-ups," enthused co-founder Nikolaos Baltsios after his first visit to Vienna. "We're confident that at the end of the programme, on Demo Day, we'll have a real technological milestone to present." Over 1,000 companies from 72 countries vied for a place at WeXelerate during the last round of applications. A programme cycle lasts 100 days, and the plan is to run two accelerator cycles per year. Each cycle involves around 50 start-ups, which are invited to actually move into the innovation hub for the duration of the programme. The WeXelerate headquarters are located in the appropriately-named Design Tower on the Danube Canal in Vienna, and provide over 8,000 m2 of working and meeting space.

Read More...