July 2014

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Our Industry’s Collaboratory attending IBcon Vegas 2014

This is a powerful combination, today’s knowledge with yesterday’s experience.

Ken Sinclair,


Energy Manager
Energy Manager

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My June column connects you to some of the thought leaders attending IBcon Vegas June 17-19, 2014. This is the event that will take us all to the next level of collaboration. I originally was focused on providing a preview to this event but as we started to assemble the previews, articles, interviews, news releases, we met our AutomatedBuildings.com collaboratory on their way to their next great collaboration opportunity.

All were full of new leading edge ideas to share with this event based on their long experience in the industry. This is a powerful combination, today’s knowledge with yesterday’s experience. Many of the folks that have been part of our collaboratory for the last 15 years are now IBcon Advisors.

Don’t miss IBcon—the Smart, Connected, High Performance Intelligent Buildings Conference—the only global industry event that focuses on all aspects of the Intelligent Building required to facilitate the smart integration of key business processes into the high performance building ecosystem. The conference features a dynamic education program, a Solution Providers Expo, live interviews and networking and a Smart Building Best Practice Showcase featuring 35+ of the world’s most progressive, next generation and successful implementations of smart buildings, portfolios and campuses.

We have assembled previews in our June issue to provide insight into several of the IBcon published sessions.

I am pleased that so many of our articles speak of the ongoing growth, collaboration and personal involvement with the IBcon event.

We all need to read Marc’s article, here is a peek: The Value of the Collaborative Community - Marc Petock of Marketing Lynxspring

Today, many innovations are being fuelled by collaborative, connected community efforts. We see it most clearly in the Internet and web, where new capabilities are continuously developed by communities that build on the work of others, creating “mashups”, and new complimentary applications. We also see it in M2M and are beginning to see it to some degree in our very own industry. Collaborative community efforts are helping drive new ways to extend the value of our building systems and effecting change and innovation.

Collaboration is a powerful alternative to conventional processes and procedures for effecting change and driving technological innovation. Collaborative connected community efforts tend to be loosely structured, highly adaptive, and inherently creative. Collaboration aims for speed, efficiency and pervasiveness. By creating collaborative opportunities where community connections are made, ideas are cross-fertilized, and collective knowledge is developed and shared, collaboration generates rich opportunities for innovation. When the right people are brought together in constructive ways and with the appropriate information, they are able to create powerful visions and robust strategies for change.

For most of us, this is new territory, becoming part of collaboration with folks who only a few years ago we viewed as competitors. It requires a real head shake and I hope our June issue, the start of our 16th year, will provide you insight to the cultural changes ahead for the large building automation industry.

Andy McMillan’s column speaks well to the real considerations of what we are presently doing and raises questions “As a result, whether it turns out to be DOA (Dead on Arrival) or a winning strategy is not so clear.” Be sure to read Andy’s views.

Is POE DOA in BAS? - Andy McMillan of BACnet International

The Case for POE
I was motivated to think about this question recently when I saw an announcement that a major lighting manufacturer was releasing a new controls platform based on POE. Historically lighting has been a bit of a backwater in controls as far as commercial BAS was concerned but that is all changing now. With the introduction of LED lighting it’s becoming the norm for lighting fixtures to include sophisticated sensors and local intelligence. As a result a more robust controls networking approach for lighting is essential. At the same time, the adoption of LED light sources enables a low voltage approach to powering lighting devices. So it seems natural to combine the two by adopting POE for lighting controls.

Lots of discussion on how social media will shape our future, be sure to read: Building Controls Go Social and Mobile - Lindsay Baker of Building Robotics

There’s always talk in the tech world about the next big waves of innovation. Today, two of the big spotlights are on ‘social’ technologies and mobile technologies.

‘Social’ technologies harness the power of established networks of people to help consumers make decisions like purchasing, inventing new things, etc. We see it with technologies like Yelp, Amazon customer reviews, and websites like Kickstarter.

And when the tech world says ‘mobile’, it doesn’t just mean that you can access something on your phone. True mobile innovation is “mobile first”—technologies that recognize that smart phones are not just small versions of your computer, they have an enormous potential beyond that. Phones go everywhere with us, phones have sensing capabilities far greater than computers, the list goes on.

Now that the buildings industry is migrating towards the Internet of Things, what will this IoT landscape enable, in terms of truly ground breaking technology? It’s not just the ability to look at more data, or to speed up our existing business practices. It’s allowing buildings to become a part of the technology revolution, where mobility and the harnessing of social networks are becoming the norm.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] So what do social and mobile trends look like for building controls and operations?

In addition in the social media news, this interview speaks to: How Social Applications will Transform Building Management and the Security Experience - Lee Odess of Brivo Systems

Odess: Social networks and social applications have become the single hottest growth category for both web and mobile technology. Social applications have literally transformed the way our society uses computing devices and have proven useful in real estate, navigation, family management, reviews, business networking, and news distribution.
There’s a growing trend called the Social Internet of Things (SIoT). These are physical devices connected to social applications that let us interact with them in the same ways we interact with people—status updates, texting, group updates, checking in, posting photos—all that, with so-called “social things”. Through the SIoT, we will be able to log into “things” with our social identity and based on our attributes the physical device will provide functions and privileges. For example, sign into a door, the HVAC goes to 70 degrees. On the other hand, if you have not been verified, a turnstile won’t provide access or the lights won’t turn on. All based on exactly who you are.

My next July column will provide my feedback on the observed next level of collaboration, coupled with the collision of cloud, social media, the automated building industry and its users at this event in Las Vegas.


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