The first-ever virtual CES has given Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services, the opportunity to showcase a mission it believes it has always followed: using technology to improve people’s well being — the core of its strategy, “Invented for Life.”
Michael Bolle, CTO/CDO, detailed the company’s initiatives, which focused on two main sects: Climate Action and AIoT (where AI meets the Internet of Things).
Following the tagline “Sustainable #LikeABosch,” the company presented sustainable solutions for health and wellness, living and mobility. A company statements reads: “To improve people’s health and to protect our planet, Bosch is counting on AIoT, taking advantage of the possibilities offered by data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to benefit people and the environment with technical solutions.”
Having achieved carbon-neutral status at the end of last year, Bosch cited climate change as a great motivator. It is now focusing on the emissions of its entire value chain, from the goods purchased to the disposal of the products sold, across all business areas.
The company highlighted its consumer products that help people reduce their environmental footprint:
- Heating systems that can help individual households save 2.5 tons of CO2 annually in Germany alone.
- Dishwashers equipped with Zeolith technology that offer an energy savings of up to 20 percent.
- Washing machines that help with water conservation.
- Power tools featuring intelligent power management technology that increases their lifespans – and that help people reduce electronic waste.
“In our core mobility business, our wide variety of solutions and services help people reduce their carbon footprint. Here, we’re working toward a vision of mobility products that, when employed, can have no negative impact on the global climate and urban air quality,” says Bolle. “To pursue our vision, we’re developing a full range of powertrain solutions – from combustion engines to battery-electric powertrains to fuel cells, powering everything from e-bikes to trucks.”
In the e-Bike Division, the Nyon control panel, a CES 2021 Innovation Award honoree, offers on-board navigation, fitness tracking, digital locking and topography-based range estimates.
In the AIoT realm, Bolle explains: “We’re pursuing development along a path we call ‘industrial AI.’ For many other tech companies, artificial intelligence is primarily about creating models of human behavior, focusing especially on purchasing preferences.
“Our approach, by contrast, focuses on the world of objects and their interaction with their environment. Whether in an automotive emergency braking assistant or when identifying faulty parts in production – in these cases, artificial intelligence is not telling machines what people are doing, but explaining the physical world to machines.”
Health & Wellness
Top of mind in current times, of course, is COVID-19. “The solution we’re most proud of in this regard is our rapid test for coronavirus. Using our mobile Vivalytic medical analysis device, we developed the PCR test in six short weeks and launched it in March of last year. Offering an initial time-to-result of two-and-a-half hours, we have since shaved this down to less than 30 minutes for positive samples,” Bolle said.
Bosch security cameras can be useful in fighting the virus as well. A new camera solution with integrated intelligent video analysis measures body temperature without contact, and anonymously, with a maximum deviation of half a degree.
Using a software solution for the open camera platform of the Bosch startup Security and Safety Things, these cameras can detect whether the number of people in a shop or showroom complies with the prevailing coronavirus restrictions. This platform was designated a 2021 CES Innovation Award Honoree.
In addition to the COVID-related innovations, Bosch has extended its focus on wellness with its self-learning AI sensor for devices such as wearable fitness trackers. This sensor, developed by Bosch Sensortec, adds artificial intelligence to portable devices. It helps them recognize and record any type of fitness activity that is based on repetitive, cyclical patterns. It utilizes edge AI, where AI runs on the sensor itself. Latency and power consumption are minimized, and user data remains fully private because it does not need a cloud connection or tethered smartphone to work.
While we all continue to practice safety, Bosch is introducing its air-quality sensor for private households.
“Along with conventional indicators, including temperature, humidity and air purity, this new sensor can also measure the amount of exhaled air and aerosols present in a room. Based on these readings, it can alert you when ventilation is needed, as both can be a risk factor in COVID transmission,” explains Bolle.
The new sensor is being built into two of the company’s existing smart-home products: the Twinguard intelligent smoke detector and the Spexor mobile alarm device.
Bosch is working on AIoT solutions for connected and automated driving, “which can help eliminate gridlock and ensure smooth traffic flows in cities, while also significantly reducing both consumption and emissions.”
Additionally, the company has been developing its automated valet parking solution. “Last year, we teamed up with Ford and the real-estate developer Bedrock to demonstrate fully automated parking in Detroit. It was the first U.S. infrastructure-based solution for automated valet parking inside a parking garage.”
In terms of mobility-based services, Bosch is developing “battery in the cloud” services to improve battery life for electric cars.
“Smart software functions in the cloud continually analyze the battery status and take appropriate action to prevent or slow down cell aging. This can reduce the wear and tear on the battery by as much as 20 percent which means replacement less often – and a better environmental profile.”
Stephanie is the Senior Managing Editor for Connected Design.