November 2012
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User Interfaces in Intelligent Buildings Take the Lead from the Computer Game Industry

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Wellingborough, U.K. 15 November 2012. Initial findings from a new report by IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS)) has revealed a growing trend in building automation systems towards photorealism and increased end user interaction. The ‘gamification’ of the graphical user interface (GUI) is shaping the way these systems are being developed and used.
For decades, spreadsheets offered the main tool to present data from the building management system. While using spreadsheets to display building data has benefits, it limits how data can be presented and how user-friendly the system is.
Sam Grinter, market analyst at IMS Research comments, “In terms of user interfaces, building automation is playing catch-up with the rest of the electronics industry. This change in direction over the last six years towards photorealism and gamification of graphical user interfaces is a result of growing end user expectation.”
End users expect their building automation systems to be as simple to understand as their smart phones, tablets and other entertainment systems. This prompted the introduction of 3D graphics and animations to building management systems. These graphics are increasingly being used on public displays in schools, colleges and offices. The public use of displays makes systems more interactive and helps to raise awareness for energy efficiency.
Grinter continues, “A key barrier for photorealism is the building management system itself. High resolution graphics require greater processing power and the current crop of building management systems often limit the quality of graphics and the complexity of animations. There is a disconnect between controls companies and graphics providers over the importance of photorealistic GUIs. For the graphics to become more photorealistic, the controls and graphics companies must strengthen their working relationship.”
The increasing movement to photorealism and the gamification of GUIs is just one of the many trends affecting the market for value added services in intelligent building. In order to address this market, IMS Research’s latest report The World Market for Value Added Services in Intelligent Building will establish the size and key trends active in this emerging and fast moving market, and is  due to be published in early 2013.
About The World Market for Value Added Services in Intelligent Buildings – 2013 Edition report
Reliable Controls This report provides marketing executives with a comprehensive guide to the global market for graphical user interfaces, analytics, and monitoring used in intelligent buildings. The report goes on to discuss the potential impact these emerging technologies will have on the wider building technologies industry.
About IHS (
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to long-term, sustainable growth and employs more than 6,000 people in more than 30 countries around the world.
About IMS Research (
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS (NYSE: IHS), is a leading supplier of market research and consultancy to over 2500 clients worldwide, including most of the world’s largest technology companies. Established in the UK in 1989, IMS Research now has dedicated analyst teams focused on the factory automation, automotive, communications, computer, consumer, display, financial & ID, LED & lighting, medical, power & energy, solar PV, smart grid and security markets.  Currently publishing over 350 different syndicated report titles each year, these in-depth publications are used by major electronics and industrial companies to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses.


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