The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the first organisation in Europe to set up a uCode server, which can be used to easily connect various digital information to objects.
The uCode system is closely connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, which enables data transfer and ‘smart’ interaction between objects, machines and devices. It serves as a means of combining real, digital and virtual worlds, thereby creating smart environments.
The purpose of uCode, which was developed in Japan, is to incorporate easy-to-use information about products, places, devices or other material objects to the objects themselves. The uCode system can be used, for example, to trace the origins or quality of a single product, and to connect maintenance, history or location data to the product. Data connected to objects or places can be created and read easily using a regular smartphone, and the created objects can be scanned using a web browser.
The uCode system was originally developed at the Japanese non-profit organisation Ubiquitous Identification Centre (uID) by Ken Sakamura, a professor at the University of Tokyo. It serves as the building block behind a number of IoT applications that were developed and implemented in Japan. Ubiquitous identification technology enables the identification of objects marked with the uCode anywhere in the world. The application areas extend to any object that can be equipped with a uCode tag and data.
The Ubiquitous Identification Centre has signed a co-operation agreement with the European Internet of Things (EIoT) alliance, which was launched on 18 June. The European Commission and Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) support the EU-Japan co-operation. VTT is a founding member of the Alliance.
The objective of EIoT is to promote universal data access and co-operation and dialogue on IoT research. The Alliance is an independent, non-profit consortium of stakeholders. One of its primary objectives is to research IoT-related technologies in order to develop practical applications. VTT is currently seeking co-operation partners for universal identification, coding technologies and the commercial exploitation of IoT research.