An open-air lab in Montreal

An open-air lab in Montreal

Vice-President engineering - Technologies and Products, Videotron,




  • open-air lab
  • creativity
  • project
  • innovation
  • environnement

An open-air lab in Montreal

Published on:
January 24, 2017
Event date:
Tuesday, 24 January, 2017 - 11:45

An improved customer experience and the promise of an even more innovative and pioneering city's the commitment Vidéotron has decided to make by investing in Canada’s first open-air lab, builtin partnership with the ÉTS, Ericsson and the Quartier de l'Innovation.

A laboratory harnessing intelligent life

Intelligent lighting, locators to spot available parking spots, Wi-Fi hotspots to get your bearings throughout the city, etc. To realize the dream of building  tomorrow’s digital city, you must start by involving citizens in order to better understand their needs and interests. How to improve their quality of life and meet their requirements? These are questions that Mr. Serge Legris Vidéotron’s Vice-President engineering - Technologies and Products, Videotron, and his team have asked.

"For telecommunications service providers like us, most of the time we’ll test new technologies in a conventional laboratory, that’s mean between four walls,”explains Legris, during a telephone interview. “We were wondering if it was possible to identify a diversified environment that could serve as a test bench, but in a much more realistic and robust context that would interest the academic, startup and business communities. "

Through its mandate, the QI has become the ideal playground and the obvious meeting point between these various environments. "There is a sufficiently large sample that includes a diversity of environments: na academic community, a commercial artery, and both an industrial and residential sector. "

Provide better services

The objective of such a laboratory is to better understand consumers habits and desires in order to identify promising projects and, by extension, to allow the installation of new structures responding to new practices in the use of telecommunications services.

Where and who? The first participants are the students living in the ÉTS’ university residences . How? By installing different sensors in the environment (cameras, motion and pedestrian motion sensors, temperature sensors, connected objects, etc.). "We’re talking about enriching the environment with sensors that will increase the number of sources of information that can be used by a community of developers, who will then be able to use this additional information to develop more personalized or more community -driven applications, for example. "

Thanks to this, Vidéotron wants to identify the next generation of services by using student feedback. "Does this facilitate their lives?" Enrich it? Or the contrary? " Legris asks.

"My wish is to identify tomorrow’s services and telecommunications habits"

If the project is still in its initial phase of identifying and exploring needs, Legris can already point to a changes in consumption trends such as the reduction in the attractiveness of cable telephony or an increase in interest in independence fromplace and time.

Consumers want to have access to all of their content, not just on the go, but they most importantly want access to "the content they would normally consume within the 4 walls of their home at all times. They want to be able to transparently bring that information with them. "

The laboratory will collect extensive data on the lifestyle of students at ÉTS residences in order to better understand the shift in the perception of "value" and to identify value-added services. And the icing on the sundae is that by partnering with several startups in Montreal, applications will be developed almost at the same time as the needs will be identified!

"But we want to go beyond that and enrich the whole TV experience. That means also talking about augmented and virtual reality; like developing people's interest by deploying the right type of infrastructure to create value for them, "adds Legris

So let's get ready to discover the homes and applications of tomorrow - where the lights will light up alone, the heating will adjust to the right temperature and the watering systems will trigger automatically as soon as the earth needs water.

For more information, watch the video:


An open-air lab in Montreal