When starting in 2014, Include was the first Croatian manufacturer of smart benches. Today, Include is a developer and producer of smart street equipment present in more than 50 countries on all continents except Antarctica.
What started with a single solar-powered bench now employs 52 people and has an impressive portfolio of clients while expanding to become a provider of smart solutions for better urban living.
Include has a serial production of smart benches and waste bins supported with Solos, an advanced dashboard they developed as support that one can use in a browser to control products or their features.
Smart City equipment built at the place of ancient ruins
The founder and CEO, Ivan Mrvoš, established a company seven years ago in Solin, near Split. The same year, Mrvoš became a freshman at the University of Split Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (Croatian: Sveučilište u Splitu Fakultet elektrotehnike, strojarstva i brodogradnje, FESB).
He left the university the following year to devote all his time to developing his business.
The company’s website states they ‘develop every product from scratch, with our specialist teams working on software and hardware simultaneously with a goal to make sustainable, resilient and safe products’.
Include’s solar-powered benches are ‘smart’ because they have several other functions, besides the obvious – sitting. You can use one to charge your phone or your e-bike, to check the environmental data and to get some lighting when it’s dark.
The owner, or the ‘smart city’ that embraces this technology, can also use one as outdoor advertising space and even as a CCTV system.
After selling the first bench to the city of Solin, Include developed and upgraded the initial model, adding more products to the mix. Currently, they offer a line of benches named Steora, which consists of three models – Classic, City and Cyclo.
Steora Classic is, as the name suggests, is almost a regular outdoor bench, at first sight, mimicking the robust wood and metal models used for decades. But, the timeless design has hidden Qi charging spots, USB chargers, LED lights with sensors, air quality sensors and a GPS locator.
Steora City has a more modern design and, as well as all the features from the classic model, it can be upgraded and used as a Digital Out of Home (DooH) advertising display. Together with the AI camera, it can scan passers-by and bring up ads more relevant to them.
Steora Cyclo targets more outdoorsy types by offering them a sturdy rack, charging station and even a set of tools for smaller repairs and an air compressor. The bench can also be upgraded for use as a wi-fi hotspot.
Terra waste containers
Besides Steora benches, Include now offers smart waste containers named Terra. Just like Steora, this line of products offers three types of products – public can, residential bin and residential dumpster. The main benefit of the Terra waste containers is smarter waste management. Looking like a regular bin, this container offers data that signals when it’s full and can help calculate optimal waste collecting routes. That way, cities can save considerable amounts of money on waste management. Data can be accessed through a real-time connection to the Solos smart city dashboard.
Solos IoT Platform
The Solos IoT Platform was recently awarded second place for Digital Communication Design and Interaction Design at the biggest Croatian design event, Zagreb Design Week. The simplicity and user-friendly design make this dashboard easy to operate for the end-user.
The Solos IoT Platform is an advanced Smart City dashboard that incorporates all the various product applications in one place, allowing for easy control and monitoring of Smart City devices and public spaces. The Sensors app provides real-time data like temperature, humidity or air quality. The data is presented in charts with the ability to view custom ranges and export data.
The Waste management app, connected to the Terra containers, provides operators and waste collectors with the full bins’ information and shows the best collecting route.
As mentioned above, the Advertising app, used to manage the display of DooH campaigns and ads, can be optimised by adapting to the data collected from the camera module, like the number of passers-by or even their gender.
When asked about the interest of Croatian cities in implementing this type of products and management, Include told us that interest is constantly present, and grew after the presentation of new models of Steora benches, which have a design reminiscent of classic wooden benches. The same goes for the presentation of Terra waste bins.