The main objective of the company ifesca, established in 2016, is to facilitate decision making processes with the help of innovative software solutions. Particularly in the field of forecasting and optimizing energy consumption (e.g. of electricity, gas or district heating), ifesca’s cloud-based and AI-supported platform offers maximum operating comfort along with intuitive management of business procedures.
With the opening of the ifesca Future Technology Centre by Thuringian secretary of state Valentina Kerst in May 2018, the town of Ilmenau as an important site of scientific and technological research becomes an international beacon for future‑oriented technologies and cross-sectoral digitalization processes. In this center, visitors can experience AI up close – visually, haptically and acoustically.
As the heart of the showroom and at the same time as physical interface with the platform serves one of Garamantis’ multi-touch scanner tables: it controls the room’s entire audio and lighting system as well as its monitor wall consisting of 2 x 3 Full HD screens. The table’s person sensor permanently monitors the room when in stand-by mode. As soon as a person enters, a light show and an audio welcoming message are played, and the visitor is greeted visually on the table’s surface and on the monitor wall. The operation of the forecasting and optimizing software ifesca.AIVA works by means of capacitive markers, via which visitors can configure, for instance, renewable energy power‑plants, CHP units or storage batteries in a supply scenario. The AI then optimizes the size of the plant accordingly and visualizes the power generation capacity to be expected during one whole month, split into 15‑minute intervals. The computing process proper is executed in the cloud by ifesca.AIVA, with which the multi-touch scanner table has an API-interface. The feedback from the AI can not only visually be perceived on the screens and by a change in the lighting situation (e. g. red lighting indicates a possible undersupply), but acoustically as well.
Another of the table’s applications allows the control of the ifesca.AIVa dashboard via capacitive markers. Settings that usually require a mouse and a keyboard can simply be entered immediately on the multi-touch “table-top”: targeted set-down and rotation of the markers, for instance, changes the chart settings of the dashboard or alters the time-range of the visualized forecast period. The table is linked via network to the monitor wall in order to perfectly harmonize control and display in real time.
Furthermore, the table’s presentation mode makes it possible to project specific content onto the monitor wall by swiping orbs, representing individual slides or graphics, into its direction, whereupon they unfold into full representations on the monitors.
The ifesca Future Technology Centre is a place designed for the presentation and immediate experience of AI and modern cloud services and planned to be extended by additional use cases and scenarios in the future.
The objective of our project was to make Artificial Intelligence and human-machine communication in the energy sector both accessible and tangible. In order to achieve this, we apply Garamantis' multi-touch technology in our showroom. The collaboration with Garamantis is characterized by their creativity, pragmatism, flexibility and commitment and thus to us has been greatly enjoyable. Even last-minute requests for changes or modifications were duly realized, resulting in a successful and excellent outcome of our project. We are thrilled and looking forward to the future collaboration on further scenarios for our showroom.Clemens Kießhauer, Chief Technology Officer, ifesca GmbH