Orange, a key research player

In a world that’s changing quickly, it’s essential for researchers to look forwards and anticipate groundbreaking technologies and social transformations. Tomorrow’s world has to be built with everyone in mind and our researchers are mindful that our solutions are responsible and inclusive.

Orange is a major player when it comes to technology research and development in France and around the world, with 640 researchers and 140 PhD students working in disciplines as broad as networks, software, IoT, AI, design and sociology.

The Group has contributed to various useful and fun technologies that make life easier and better for many users.

With that in mind:

  • Orange is proactive when it comes to international standardisation, including technology standards (5G, audio and video coding…), and we’re also highly involved in Open Source software development to ensure compatibility between third parties.
  • Orange is the leading European operator for the number of patents filed. In 2018, the Group protected 222 new inventions, brining the total number of patents in its portfolio to around 7,000. These inventions are the essential ingredients in our technologies – from WiFi to 4G and contactless to SIM cards or fibre optics.

In a digital world that’s transforming to become ever more abundant, open and global, Orange research is evolving in response.

By taking an integrative approach and promoting user and societal interaction.

Integrative research means co-building a common vision for inventing the next cycle of technology and uses. For example, we’re developing our vision of ambient intelligence hand in hand with those who share it. This means there’s no set route; we’re opening up all options to be explored so we can build a future where everyone benefits: users, public research institutes, start-ups, manufacturers and more. Our platforms help drive collaboration between research, other Group entities, customers and partners.

Three research platforms are concrete examples of this approach: to do with the web of objects (a href="https://hellofuture.orange.com/fr/thingin-la-plateforme-du-graphe-des-objets/" target="_blank">Thing in the future); sensitive home (Home in the future) and ambient connectivity (Plug in the future).

2018 saw an acceleration in integrative research and the first pilot tests for these platforms with partners.

The Salon de la Recherche: a key moment of sharing

Orange hosts this annual research show at Orange Gardens (Châtillon), the Group’s eco-campus, from 2 to 4 April. The event, which welcomes nearly 4,000 internal and external visitors, enables Orange researchers to showcase 37 demos and share their ideas and challenges with partners.

Each demo illustrates the potential of new user experiences through integrative platforms:

  • With Thing in the future, Orange is showing the “Share and Reuse” solution. Co-developed with partners, it promotes the reuse and upcycling of unwanted furniture inside or outside an organisation.
  • With Plug in the future, Orange and its partners are helping to build ambient, flexible and secure 5G networks as well as develop and test their technologies and uses in ‘real’ conditions. This flexibility has already been illustrated during a pilot with the National Technical university of Athens, Nokia and the INRIA.
  • With Home in the future, the demo focuses on the “Mood Catcher”! This personal assistant identifies its users’ moods and modulates its interactions accordingly.