Established at the end of 2012, the Institute for Technological Research b<>com is a technology provider for companies seeking to accelerate their competitiveness through digital technology. b<>com is at the service of cultural and creative industries, digital infrastructures, defence, industry 4.0 and health. Its laboratories mix the talents of multiple disciplines and cultures in the fields of artificial intelligence, immersive video and audio, cybersecurity, 5G networks, the Internet of Things and cognitive technologies with the addition of rare hardware and software engineering skills. Given the international markets in which it operates, b<>com has developed a network of international partners in Europe, North America and Asia. Researcher mobility, licensing, partnerships, co-production of content, etc., all areas of cooperation with the global industrial ecosystem that enable b<>com to accelerate in its areas of technological expertise.
Winning technology partnership strategy
In 2018 and 2019, b<>com forged new partnerships with various leading companies in the fields of telecommunications, broadcasting, defence and cyber defence and also cognitive sciences.
Naval Group, Europe’s leading naval defence company, became an investor member of b<>com in April 2019. Naval Group views this partnership as a bid to maintain a digital battle ahead of time in advanced communications networks, software radio, image and sound processing, artificial intelligence, cyber defence, cognitive technologies and human factors, but also to strengthen its position on the international stage. Together, the two entities have commenced development of cutting-edge innovation projects calling on a range of technologies essential to the urbanisation of ships. The 5G expertise of b<>com, whereby it has contributed to a dozen European research projects on the topic, is at the heart of this joint adventure.
Viaccess-Orca, a subsidiary of the Orange Group, has also partnered with b<>com to develop technologies to protect video content broadcasters better. The first step in this long-term collaboration is a unique digital tattoo innovation tracking down cyber criminals redistributing illegal streaming services.
In terms of broadcasting, Aviwest, the world-renowned Breton SME in video transmission, joined b<>com in mid-2018 to work on new low-speed and low-latency video compression systems. The aim of this collaboration is to evaluate the possibility of integrating these new technological bricks into Aviwest’s current product lines and to explore the innovation opportunities offered by the b<>com 5G experimentation platform. The two structures presented an exclusive, joint demonstration of 5G innovation at the service of the audiovisual industry at the last IBC show in Amsterdam.
Another winning partnership: b<>com and Human Design Group presented a virtual reality simulator in the form of an aircraft cockpit at the last International Air Show at Le Bourget. Focused on the user experience, it uses cognitive technologies to analyse and anticipate accurately human behaviours. The goal: to design the interfaces of the future. The two players had already presented together the automotive cockpit of the future at the last Paris Motor Show.
Resounding successes in 2019
On 16 January 2019, a team from the University Hospital Rennes achieved a world first by implementing, during a series of surgical procedures, the b<>com solution [DICOM-RTV Converter] that transmits perfectly-synchronised images of equipment used in the operating room in real time. The solution also handles the transport of these flows and the configuration of equipment, over IP network, complying with a new “DICOM-RTV” interoperability standard. This new global standard for handling real-time video streams is a major step forward that will benefit many future developments in surgery and has been promoted by the b<>com experts within international standardisation bodies.
In April 2019, b<>com received the “Product of the Year Award” for its Universal HDR Converter Box technology at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. This award recognises the most successful and promising technological products in the audiovisual industry. Already the recipient of a “Technology Innovation Award” at the 2017 NAB Show 2017, the b<>com technology [HDR-SDR converter] is thus doubly labelled by professionals in the sector. This technology meets the major expectation of players throughout the audiovisual production chain and especially for live TV broadcasts. b<>com is working in particular on this with the American company, Dolby, which demonstrated this conversion technology on its stand at the last NAB Show.
Lastly, b<>com and its partners Enensys and Wary Me have just been selected by the strategic committee of the “Security Industries” sector, whose mission is to contribute to the security of major events including the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The labelled solution automatically rolls out security communication services that take into account the quality of service and the priority of flows. A person witnessing a crisis situation will be able to use the Wary Me app to send an alert message from his smartphone that will be relayed on a private network. Once the alert is processed, security guards can also be notified via the solution.