The February 2013 interview

"CHOReOS platform has the potential to become the basis for the development of new consumer habits and radically change the way we conduct everyday transactions as we know today"

Interview: George Veranis, R&D department of MLS, Thessaloniki, Greece and Polytechnic School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

George VeranisHow would you present the CHOReOS project?

From the way I see things, CHOReOS and every service that will be developed within its frames will revolutionize the way services and application function. The very essence of the platform that lies in the Internet of Things and the Future Internet Concepts consists the most innovative element of the project. I believe also that it is important to mention that the fact that the project is basically Open Source sets the foundations for the creation of a users and companies' community that will aim in the creation of new pioneering services. CHOReOS platform has the potential to become the basis for the development of new consumer habits and radically change the way we conduct everyday transactions as we know today. It is not a coincidence that a great number of companies around the world invest in similar technologies like the ones that we develop in the CHOReOS project. All the participants, both the research group and the companies are able to guarantee a state of the art result in every level.

What is your specific role in the CHOReOS project?

MLS's primary role in the project is in Work Package 8, where in close collaboration to Vtrip the leader of the WP, we aim to implement the use case DynaRoute in the real world which as an idea is a very challenging and engaging project both for us as well as the total CHOReOS participants. As part of the WP8 we shall combine MLS's know-how in developing effective navigational systems and innovative smartphone applications to the new technologies that are applied in the CHOReOS IDRE. DynaRoute is a very interesting use case based on the most possible scenarios that a user might face while travelling. The new technologies that CHOReOS is able to offer can resolve the numerous problem that might come up such as early flight notifications, provision of traffic information, navigation services etc making the user's life easier and more simple in a creative way.    

What key innovation do you bring or help develop?

The company has a record of creating innovative products that ensure the best value for its customers, based on a strong commitment to research and development (R&D). These continued investments in the R&D sector, combined with a focus on innovative solutions, spur MLS to continuously offer more advanced and useful products to its' current markets, while also expanding  into new sectors that promote technology. In 1998, the company was awarded the European Information Technology Grand Prize. Today, the name MLS is intertwined with a wide variety of innovative, one-of-a-kind technology products, ranging in application from the automotive and education markets to office and entertainment.

Being the leader of the automated navigation system sector in the greek market (the company operates in other international markets) as well as having developed pioneering navigational technologies such as the MLS Destinator Talk&Drive™, the first voice-recognition driven navigation system and innovative interactive technologies applicable in educational software (Interactive Whiteboards) the company specializes in cutting edge technologies and developing Local Base Services related to maps, appliances and software that the company produces. The major challenge we confront as an R&D department is the development of the CHOReOS IDRE itself and how can its benefits be incorporated to our production processes. We strongly believe in the potential of the final outcomes of the CHOReOS platform and the revolution that it might bring. By leveraging technological know-how and creative thinking we want to contribute in adding value to these final outcomes and develop effective user-oriented services.

To what extent this project is strategic for you? what are your expectations with regards to medium / long term impact for your company?  

As an R&D company, MLS's mission is to develop leading, innovative products that make life more simple in a world where technology and design co-exist in perfect harmony. Our passion for innovation and creation stems from our commitment to improving the quality of everyday life. This philosophy drives us to continuously create new products, and advance our existing suite of technology. At MLS, we believe that a customer-driven focus is the key to continued growth and development, and the secret to a vital and forward-thinking company. Consequently, participating in the CHOReOS project is of great strategic importance to the company. Recently, apart from the navigation systems that MLS has successfully provided in the market, the company has penetrated in the smartphones market. Our R&D department has already developed patent-protected worldwide pioneering applications and is focused in the development of new applications by utilizing the platform that will be available to the community by the end of the project. The development of high tech products as well as the establishment of the company is the mobile phone market consist two of the main strategic objectives of the organization for the near future. To be specific, our objective is to support the development and retention of the CHOReOS platform to the level that it is compatible to MLS's products and services. In particular, DynaRoute as an application is believed to be an innovative addition to what MLS can offer as a company and contribute to the development of new collaborations with other companies.

A word about yourself and your organization?

I'm an experienced software engineer with more than 8 years of success developing, deploying and enhancing several applications and systems. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computer Science from the University of Macedonia, Greece, in 2005, and a Msc in Information Systems (MIS) at the same university. I'm part of the R&D department of MLS in charge of the Choreos project. I'm also managing and participating in several national and local projects focused on enhancing information infrastructures in Greek academic foundations and libraries. And I'm currently pursuing my PhD on “ Study, evaluation and development of ICT systems for evaluating educational and research work of academic staff, communities and institutions ” in Polytechnic School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 

MLS was established in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1995 aiming at the development of web technologies, telematics applications, multimedia software and software protection. In 1998, the company was awarded the European Information Technology Grand Prize and, in May 2001, was officially listed on the Athens Stock Exchange. MLS expertise is in the area of Intelligent and Audiovisual Navigation and Fleet Management Systems operating on multiple platforms (Mobile InterConnected Device, pocket-PC, PNA, & SmartPhones).