IoT & Service Lab

@DGI we love objects

It's our heritage to design objects. The IoT division of DGI designs everyday objects and services that are connected and smart. DGI leads customers pragmatically to re-invent their products through hackathons, inspirational sessions, and workshops. We live on the border between Cloud Fog Computing and the Internet of Things era. For a product, being connected to this stage of technological evolution is a Darwinian issue and is a key element for it to live long and prosper. Placing a smart object in a pocket, car, on a desktop, or in a customer’s home allows the building of a personal, always on, bi-directional communication channel. Our IoT LAB consists of business experts, experienced designers, and our hardware playground including; Arduino, Udoo, Dquid, LittleBits, Raspberry Pi, and every conceivable emerging hardware prototyping tool. We stay ahead of the game, for example, our first in-house 3D printer landed in 2003.

Re-inventing objects + services

Business accelerates with fog-based services and big data

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Connecting objects might start as a technical activity but can quickly evolve into a business. The consumerization process involves; understanding, connecting, displaying, and enhancing. This process combined with digital touch-points brings the original product a whole new landscape of opportunities. Trust plays a huge role in the design of these new behavior-based Smart tools. From the aesthetic of trust to motivational design. Designing for trust is a key competence in rising to the challenges of the Smart devices era.

3M GTG Frame-it!

UX and Interaction Design

A whole new world of Post-its

Collaboration under the Microscope

Together with 3M GTG, we co-designed Frame-it!, a tool for companies to bridge physical space with the digital world. The journey to the future of collaboration started with the Intelligent Workspaces initiative conceived together with 3M GTG & Aecom. While designing a tool for corporate communication we based our research on interviews with Fortune 50 and many other highly innovative digital companies.

This information led our design team to work around four pillars:

  1. Time- Meeting efficiency is a real issue for many companies. Improving this could enhance a company’s productivity.
  2. Space- Companies are globally spread and handling ubiquity is not a matter of choice.
  3. Collaborative Efficiency- A tool like this should support teamwork, proactivity, and the ablity to guide users to success.
  4. Cognitive Efficiency- To grow people skills.
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The HW/SW lifecycle

Prototyping physical and cognitive ergonomics

Our team studied and categorized typical business meetings and collaboration activities. We soon noticed a different kind of meeting where specific user journeys emerged. Our research paved the way to design the perfect platform to grow tailor-made software solutions. We then designed Frame-it! An early Frame-it! prototype featured at a recent Orgatec event. The feedback was extremely enthusiastic and the 3M GTG/Aecom team received great insights from this collaborative preview. Frame-it! is delivered as a complementary solution comprising the technology product itself plus a consultancy and service package to ensure optimum integration of Frame-it! technology in company environments. Frame-it! is currently in its prototype phase as this tool is being developed into the Holy Grail of collaboration.

Trillio: Portable Prescription Assistant

Digital Service and Interaction design

Adherence to medication, solved!

IoT in healthcare: saving lives can be as easy as an alarm clock

Trillio is an easy-to-use portable device that reminds people to take their medication and helps them adhere to a treatment program. When it is time to take a medication, Trillio alerts the patient while displaying a reminder. The user can stop the alarm by pressing a button. This device is part of a connected service ecosystem that provides a physical connection among patients, their healthcare providers and pharmacies via a simple device in the patient's home. Doctors can update a medication treatment program remotely. In addition, caregivers can use Trillio's app to make sure that the patient is taking medicine on time. If the patient fails to acknowledge a Trillio alert, the service instantly alerts caregivers. Throughout our design and development process, we always kept Trillio users in mind, not just patients, but also the various stakeholders who contribute to a patient's well-being. No complicated user actions are required to use Trillio on a daily basis, nor does it require programming by the doctor or pharmacist. Everything is managed on a server and then sync’ed with Trillio. The server can be accessed by a doctor, pharmacist, or caregiver. Patients and those who care for them love the simplicity of Trillio and, like all of our IoT projects, the complexity is hidden from the end user.

At DGI we design for real people and we highly value their needs. We develop ideas through design thinking methodology and we design services considering the entire experience both for the end user, as well as other stakeholders. We work closely with our clients to make them feel part of our team.

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MEG: Micro Experimental Growing

Maker UX and Interaction Design

A tech puzzle with 700+ pieces and 1 interface

The world's first social and automated greenhouse

MEG allows you to precisely control the key parameters for growing plants including; light-cycles, ventilation, temperature, irrigation, and soil PH. MEG users can connect and share their experience with people from all over the world. So, if your plant is not thriving, you can discover what worked for someone else and then use the same technique.

This plant is social

We designed MEG so people could track plant growth patterns while also being able to share this information on social media. Through a touch-based user interface, the user can control the machine's internal climate and lighting straight from their smartphone or tablet. When someone finds a better way of growing a plant, the information quickly becomes common knowledge. The MEG project was launched in 2014 and has already won several awards, including X and Y. MEG was a serious participant in the 2015 Milan Expo. In fact, DGI won the WIRED HACK Expo prize! The special edition of MEG for the Expo came with cameras and a custom lighting program. It engaged users to explore how MEG is able to replicate climates from all over the world.

Awarded Digital Fabrication

This hand-made phyto-drone was a complex project, involving design competences, development of the photometric mechanical systems, electrical systems, PCBs, IxD/UX systems, and several Arduino-related applications. One of MEG’s core values is the custom designed spectrum-tunable LED Lighting Engine. Our design aimed to create the most effective indoor PAR (Photo-synthetically Active Radiation). The state-of-the-art light engine was designed and engineered entirely by our in-house team. Find MEG, our complex yet easy to use creation, displayed at the Leonardo Da Vinici Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.

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IoT Workshops

Consulting and Guidance

IoT Workshops

DGI Thinking Hub

Our IoT workshops are a guided journey into a discovery process to maximise the value our clients can extract from their current products and services. We consult our clients during the discovery process by focusing on the voice of customers, workshops, creative consolidation, and demo testing. We currently provide three forms of workshops.

  1. Value creation: Defining the value proposition of a new or existing ecosystem.
  2. Customer Experience: Map the customer experience of an existing service to improve it.
  3. Innovation and prioritization: Identify new opportunities to innovate a new service.
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IoT Whitepapers


The Smart Object Age

IoT Makers Tech Benchmark

Taking physical products into the digital world means the digital transformation of business. This white paper on the IoT aims to help the reader reflect on the human centered design challenges and opportunities that the future holds.

Download the Whitepaper PDF.

Makers are people who love to create, build, and design. This document is a short reference about programmable microcontrollers and microcomputers such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBone. This paper aims to inspire makers to build their own project by leveraging these easy to program tools.

Download the Whitepaper PDF.

IoT Stories


We like to tell stories at Design Group Italia. Below you will find a selection of our stories about the Internet of Things and Design Group Italia. Discover our clients, workshops and the presentations given by members of our IoT team at mind-expanding events.