December  2020

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Edge Next Wave

If you surf, sail, paddle, or simply just stand in the water, the shape, speed, height, and impact of the next wave can either swamp or propel you. I predict the next wave is coming with an artificial intelligent edge that if you are not ready for will knock you over.

Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner, Publisher

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Edge Next Wave

If you surf, sail, paddle, or simply just stand in the water, the shape, speed, height, and impact of the next wave can either swamp or propel you. I predict the next wave is coming with an artificial intelligent edge that if you are not ready for will knock you over.

Weakened and beat up from the last Covid-19 waves you are now armed with your new understanding of remoteness as an asset not a liability and an understanding of the power and security of control from the edge. Now you need to quickly shift your attention to the next wave about to hit you and the steepness of its intelligent edge, artificial or not.


Video with the great conversation of Nov 16 on MondayLive! about how COVID has accelerated the adoption and use of edge computing in BAS.

My edited comments from video

My background as a consultant in the early days of Direct Digital Control "DDC" was to use the request for proposal to basically draw innovation out. We're now in another rapid innovation growth period, I'm suggesting that we can dust that off and use it. The fact that we can portray all of this edge wave innovation remotely and actually see demos while quickly communicating what's going on globally, is exciting stuff. We need industry to start requesting innovation and I'm actually pointing to the request for proposal, rather than the bid and spec. We plucked the BMS controls out of the project and held as a prime costs sum, for the building cycle, which was usually about three years. Because if you actually specified anything three years ago, it was obsolete. Then we would ask for a proposal for the latest and greatest innovations just in time for our projects. Never buy rapidly evolving technology before you need it you will always miss the next wave.

It takes obviously an owner that understands and is committed to the concept.

I find the subject matter for this MondayAlive very timely talking about the edge. We provided this LinkedIn post on the raspberry edge controller, and we have over 6000 views and some great discussions with over 40 folks weighing in. There's a lot of interest. This idea of powerful edge controllers communicating with large databases is becoming the evolving model a big part of where the innovation is.

The ability to easily request the communicate of the power of the innovation as we did in the RFP article written in 2001 is the message. The internet had just started up, and the first thing we did is we put our Request for Proposal manual on the internet. Innovation begets innovation.

Communication of concept is now so much easier.  We can now take a look at what they're doing in Singapore, and say, Wow, that is really great. I don't want all of that. But I want that feature I saw and roll it into our request for proposal mandatory requirements.

We're having a giant collision of traditional, non traditional, and IoT in this big melting pot. Concepts/approaches are completely different, you have to let go of a specification because you have no idea of what it is you're specifying, you're basically looking for a result. Forget how that is done for a moment, separate yourself from the technology and basically refocus on your mandatory requirements of the desired purpose of your RFP.

I love requesting innovation. It is how we learn while exploring the unknown unknowns.

Our last chapter leads to how we will find the latest information on the edge of the next wave Requesting Innovation  Innovation is a timeless ingredient, a necessary part of our successful transformation.

Here are some examples of how Request for Proposals ( RFP ) are used and evaluated,

Super Low Energy Building (SLEB) Smart Hub evaluation criteria

1. Track record and Quality of proposal – 70 points
    a) Track record – 10 points
    b) Quality of proposal – 60 points

2. Lump Sum Tender Price – 30 points

About SLEB Smart Hub  Super low energy building and smart building movement has intensified in Singapore. Building owners and developers are increasingly exposed to novel energy-efficient technologies and products. In many cases, difficulties in acquiring comprehensive information and evaluating the performance of these technologies could hinder building owners from taking action.

BCA rolled out SLEB Smart Hub to address this gap. SLEB Smart Hub makes it easier for building owners and developers to do SLEB projects by providing actionable insights about these technologies, and predicting the cost and benefit of applying them to their buildings.

In alignment with the Smart Nation initiative, we employed cutting edge big data and artificial intelligence for storing and analysing building energy-efficiency. We provide smart services backed by these analysed data. SLEB Smart Hub aim to help building owners and developers source, and adopt innovative technologies.

Waterfront Toronto is expected to announce a retooled request for proposals  to develop the Quayside, after an abrupt end to its Sidewalk Labs partnership.

In august we talked about Online Education Anywhere - 'Edge-You-Cation' Our education has moved from centralized gatherings to our online edge. This is all moving a warp speed. 

Two year ago we started this discussion Edge of Change  We need your input as we are now at the "Edge of Change" and you are part of this change. But a lot has changed.

Here are some great examples of discussions from the edge,

Versatile Edge Controllers Powered by Raspberry Pi - advanced features, convenient form factor, and cloud connectivity – giving you the ability to make any attached equipment a cloud-connected asset

Azure IoT Central is a ready-to-use hosted IoT application platform which allows you to focus on your domain expertise rather than the backend plumbing of building an IoT solution from scratch. The BASpi-Edge cloud connection is quick and easy to set up thanks to Shared Access Signature (SAS) connection authentication and TLS (Transport Layer Security) data encryption. This allows the user to upload select, processed, triggered, or all BASpi-Edge point data to the cloud securely where it can be trended, visualized, analyzed, alarmed, and accessed from anywhere – giving your applications the mobility and global accessibility you have been looking for. The Azure IoT Central web UI lets you monitor device conditions, create rules, and manage devices and their data throughout their life cycle. Furthermore, it enables you to act on device insights by extending IoT intelligence into line-of-business applications.

Have you Read the Latest Nov. 2020 BACnet Journal?

Be sure to read this article by Anish Krishnamurthy Senior Consultant (IoT for Buildings) | Infosys Limited page 16

Road Ahead Looks Flexible, Scalable & Hybrid

These all indicate that the future is very clear for IoT in Smart Buildings. It is clear that IoT technology will be incorporated in buildings but, unlike consumer IoT, the solutions will have to be interoperable and flexible, and at the same time building oriented. That is why people refer to the use of IoT in buildings as Building IoT, or BIot. With a matured architecture, both the building system and IoT are going to work hand-in-hand to help to create a Sustainable Eco System

Vertical clouds: ultimate lock in Architectural confusion Stephen Dawson-Haggerty 

A long time ago, “interoperability” for automation and controls was actually pretty simple. Because systems usually weren’t networked, you just had to make sure that the vendor implemented a relatively simple standard like Modbus, HART, or even BACnet; as long as you had the data sheet and a competent controls tech, you could plug your shiny new controller into whatever other system you had with some arcane register-fu. Systems were interoperable (although not usually interchangeable): get tired of one vendor, and you could generally rip out one and reprogram your other controllers to talk to it.   We gotta fix this! Of course, almost no one seems to achieve a nirvana, where systems share data easily and frictionlessly.

Implementing the BAS Architecture of the Future
Part 3 with Matt Schwartz: Where should we start? What are the steps?

James Dice: Alright Matt, welcome back! It’s time to put a pretty bow on our three-part series and fulfill our promise of providing a sample specification that anyone can tailor to their needs.

A couple months back, we dove deep into why the BAS industry is broken and what sort of architecture would fix it. I’m most excited about this third installment because we’re bringing these ideas into the real world. Let’s talk about how any building owner can implement the BAS architecture of the future.

Maybe rather the specification needs to be re-framed as Mandatory Requirements in a RFP?

More discussions and comments from James Dice and Andy Frank

The Independent Data Layer -
We are long past the point where we need to formalize a dedicated data tier that decouples a building's automation or management system from the downstream applications that rely on its data.

Future OEM Software Business Models    Harbor Research

the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that are embedding software into their products—and now are building more and more software into their systems and solutions businesses—are the dominant “translators” of how these technologies will be integrated into our economy and society, then we may have a bumpy road ahead as OEMs sort through the complexity and challenges of new software-driven business models.

AI our future built on our past

Artificial Intelligence in the field of Building Automation - Professor Michael Krödel, CEO, Institute of Building Technology, Ottobrunn, Germany and Professor for Building Automation and Technology, University of Applied Sciences at Rosenheim and Graham Martin Chairman & CEO, EnOcean Alliance

The term "AI – Artificial Intelligence“ is increasingly associated with buildings and building automation. The question is: what is it, where do its tangible benefits lie in this field, and how does the building infrastructure need to be adapted to realise those benefits?  Today’s building automation systems in the main operate ‘statically’ in response to fixed time programs or simple control parameters. Room temperature control is based on a preset temperature that is the same throughout the day. Lighting is operated manually, with switches, or on the basis of simple presence switches. None of this is truly ‘intelligent.’ The new dimension that AI can add into the building automation environment is to use autonomous analysis of the data as a basis for optimised operation.

Talking natural language to the Edge,
Meet your new intern: AI

"Human to machine communication has been a one-way game for decades.  But recently we’ve hit an important inflection point with conversational AI. Now humans can use their own natural language to talk with machines. This can fundamentally change the nature of conversation."  Ken Herron is the CMO for UIB, a conversational AI company.

The UI of AI  The proliferation of conversational AI doesn’t just change the nature of how we communicate with machines, it also affects the entire way we think about a user interface.

Are you communicating with a smart speaker? With a chatbot? A mobile app? When conversational AI is applied correctly, it can redefine what it means to interact with machines. A person might switch back and forth between voice and messaging without missing a beat.

It also changes the way that languages are learned. AI didn’t learn Arabic from a textbook, yet it has become extremely proficient at both written and spoken language. This should force us to rethink how humans actually learn languages. Hopefully with some technomimicry, we can apply this back to our own learning.

This is how as your narrator I attempt to stay relevant talking about what is happening today using the eyes and intellect of my young mentors.

I spent most of my early life quoting and following my old mentors. It made me look much smarter than I was but now I can relate that information to the what and why of what my younger mentors are doing today.

My advice for today is to share your thoughts in the medium of your choice. You will find kindred spirits out there in the unknown and also follow my lead and seek younger mentors. You need to be Born Again Connected  Perception of our reality is everything. We need a method to disconnect from our perceptions and imagine ourselves "Born Again Connected.”

Bye the way many of my younger mentors are approaching mid life and need to find younger mentors of their own. Find, engage, celebrate them, quote them, and share and make them part of your world. They will help you grow and understand better your successes and failures and today's challenges while continuing our industries'  circle of life.

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