At VivaTech, innovation both proves and demonstrates its value

At the 2018 VivaTech show in Paris, Luc Bretones, Executive Vice-President of the Orange Technocentre and Orange Fab, encapsulates this unmissable event for global innovation and some of the start-ups present with the phrase: innovation that matters!

Emphasising innovation which matters and which provides something, the kind of innovation which makes a difference and turns technology into progress to benefit as many people as possible.

For the third consecutive year, Orange is a Platinum partner of the Viva Technology show held on 24, 25 and 26 May 2018. The largest international IT event in Paris brings together 80,000 participants and 8,000 start-ups from all over the world, to share and learn about the latest innovations in 5G, the Internet of Things, data, security, artificial intelligence (AI) and even new voice sensitive interfaces. Innovation in Africa will also be a highlight at this year’s event which will be attended by the CEOs of the IT and web giants Microsoft, IBM, Alphabet, Uber, Facebook, etc.

Technology to serve the largest number of people

VivaTech remains, first and foremost, the global meeting place for start-ups and so, of course, the spotlight will be on them. In particular, we are supporting 120 start-ups: some of them have come from the Orange Challenges, and others represent the developments accelerated by our 14 Orange Fab projects in 15 countries around the world.

All of them have one key thing in common – they are consistent with the values of our Group as promoted within our Human Inside philosophy: innovation that matters. In other words, innovation which matters and which provides something, the kind of innovation which makes a difference and turns technology into progress to benefit as many people as possible.

Technological progress only makes sense if it benefits everyone. These formidable start-ups, identified, supported and promoted by Orange, share this belief and allow it to permeate all areas. For example, in the area of accessibility where Voiceitt has developed a new technology to translate the sounds produced by people with speech difficulties into language which is clear and audible for everyone in real time. The voiceprint, which is unique to us, conveys much more than just language. It is also at the heart of the solution developed by, which has developed AI algorithms which are accessible via the Cloud and intended to interpret the emotional dimension of voices so as to provide, for example, prior warnings about emergency situations. Soundhound specialises in “speech to meaning”, in other words understanding the meaning of oral speech directly from the sound without having to do a textual translation first. This all takes us closer to traditional human conversations in our interactions with digital terminals…

And when the voice is not enough or more information needs to be transmitted, Dotincorp uses touch by imagining a Braille watch which conveys the messages sent by the finger touch of its users.

Heightening the senses

The combination of AI algorithms, new terminals and translations between sounds, intentions and emotions, by text or touch, today enables communication between the available or desired senses. And this is widened further when it is linked to VR or AR technologies so as to give the kind of rich experience proposed by which brought the ancient site of Palmyra back to life. transfers this challenge to the area of security, via a solution that “increases” our vision and our understanding of out-of-the-ordinary situations by collecting and analysing the information given by people who are closest to these events.

Listeners connected to the Bragi cloud are connected in turn to earpiece-aids, through which you can make voice commands and receive useful information in real time: more than a smartphone, more than a keyboard, everything is guided by voice.

Innovation for a “sustainable” continent, in Africa

The activities of the start-up companies we support are directed also to the specific challenges of African countries, consistent with our presence and commitment to the continent. In Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal specifically, Isahit contributes to educating young women by helping them to pay for their studies by carrying out microjobs for one to two hours per day. Coliba addresses the problems of pollution and recycling using a mobile, SMS, and web app, which finds the geolocation of its users before organising the collection of its plastic waste.

Data is a valuable resource when talking about agriculture, and it is used successfully in the API Ecosystem from Listenfield which integrates agro-environmental data in order to facilitate the predictive analyses of its users. It is also a valuable resource when discussing how to contribute to creating sustainable and cost-effective agriculture through local decision-making based on the data.

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