How Savvy Systems Integrators, Property Owners, and Police Departments WILL use Drones!

ControlTrends caught up with AJ Jolivette from Terosaur at the 2014 IBCON show. In addition to finding the coolest toy ever to add to our wish list, we also discovered some innovative ways to make buildings safer and easier to maintain. As Terosaur gains more visibility and acceptance, it seems very likely that we will see drones soon perform very important and practical applications not only — in and around the building space, but “drone-assistance” will become an indispensable asset for every police and fire department; every security company; every college and corporate campus; parks and recreation facilities; ski resorts, golf courses… the uses for this technology and the future possibilities for Terosaur are unlimited — so, be sure to check AJ out at Terosaur and tell him ControlTrends sent you!

Internet of Things Privacy Summit — Top Guns Meet in Silicon Valley

trust_the_internet2The one-day TRUSTe Powering Trust Event, Internet of Things Privacy Summit, was held this week at the Rosewood Hotel, Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, CA. The IoT Privacy Summit reads like a crash course attempt to catch government regulators up with the advanced privacy (and security) issues that the collection of big data, rampant emerging mobile technologies, and the after-the-tech style of regulating pose. One of the top agenda items was The Big Debate, which asked the million-dollar question, “Can We Have Privacy and the Internet of Things?” — Or, are they just plain mutually exclusive? TRUSTed Smart Grid offers an interesting solution to protect customer energy usage data (CEUD) for home security management systems, smart thermostats, smart appliances, energy management apps, and other services. Watch IoT Privacy Summit videos.

IoT Summit Part One

IoT Summit Part Two

IoT Summit Part Three

Iot Summit Part Four

IT Business Edge’s kachinaShaw-63 Kachina Shaw digs deeper: The TRUST Internet of Things Privacy Summit was held in Silicon Valley. The event brings together analysts, policy makers and technologists at a time when “regulators at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission, and other organizations are already looking at the privacy issues related to the Internet of Things.” Of course, all of those entities and more have been doing so for some time, but we have reached the point at which governmental regulation of this set of technologies will likely never catch up to its development pace, and industry controls are moving forward more quickly in an attempt to balance consumers’ demands and concerns with product and network providers’ market goals.

The data privacy management firm putting on the summit, TRUSTe, is building its reputation in the Internet of Things (IoT) space where, along with the Future of Privacy Forum think tank, it recently introduced the TRUSTed Smart Grid, a set of analyses and certifications for companies seeking to differentiate their smart devices and highlight their data collection and usage practices.

The summit event, which you can catch live streaming, is tackling a “big three” set of questions around privacy and the IoT: Big Data, mobile and regulation. The final discussion will attempt to answer the overarching question: “Can We Have Privacy and the Internet of Things?”

Since we clearly will have the IoT, it looks like the question to be answered will continue to be, can we have privacy? When TRUSTe performed consumer research earlier this year around the topic, it found that 59 percent of respondents said they did in fact know that smart devices like in-vehicle navigation systems and TVs could gather data about them. That number seems low and slightly surprising. Less surprising is the fact that only 22 percent of those folks feel the devices’ benefits would outweigh privacy concerns, and only 14 percent said they would be comfortable with advertisers having access to that data. Security vendor Fortinet found similar attitudes in its recent survey: Of 1,600 responding consumers, 70 percent said they were very concerned or somewhat concerned about seeing their sensitive info stolen through connected devices, according to a piece on The VAR Guy.

Contemporary Controls’ Residential Redundant Sump Pump Controller

Contemporary ControlsJuly 2014 — If your home is in a low-lying area prone to flooding and you have experienced a flooded basement more than once, you are acutely aware of redundant sump pump schemes. And if your area has overhead power lines, losing power in a storm is your worst nightmare. Installing a backed-up battery sump pump for emergencies is common, but they lack pumping power, need periodic exercising and lack energy capacity for long outages. Portable gasoline generators have more energy capacity but you must be home during a storm to start the generator. Probably the best solution is a natural gas-fired standby generator with an automatic transfer switch. Finally, add a second pump in your sump in case one fails.

Contemporary Controls has published an application note that describes a redundant sump pump controller system that incorporates a BASremote BACnet controller executing Sedona Framework logic to run the redundant pumping application. Redundancy is stressed in different points of the design. Alarm and event messages are sent via email alerts. Remote access to the controller is accomplished by opening up ports on the homeowner’s residential gateway. The two sump pumps are provided a lead-lag sequence to even out run times and to verify that each pump is operating properly.

Although this is a residential application, it shows the capabilities of the BASremote as a versatile BACnet/IP controller that is freely programmable using Sedona Framework and I/O expandable via a Modbus serial port. Its Ethernet port directly connects to the homeowner’s residential gateway for sending out emails and for displaying its web pages.

Download the application note to learn more.

EPA Launches the 2014 National Building Competition — See the List of Competing Teams!

EnergyStarIt’s finally here! Last week U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the 2014 National Building Competition. In addition to individual building competitors, this year’s battle features a new special theme: “Team Challenge!” At the end of the competition period, FEMP will recognize the highest-performing federal government building that participates in EPA’s 2014 competition.

EPA provides a suite of free technical and communication resources on the competition website that you can leverage for your own energy management efforts. Use these free tools, read stories from past competition winners, and follow #ESNBC for inspiration throughout the year. If you have any questions about the competition or using Portfolio Manager to measure, track, and report your building’s monthly energy consumption, please contact the Energy Star HelpDesk.

Let the games begin!

List of Competing Teams

What Makes Master Systems Integrator Hepta Controls Special?

In search of what todays master systems integrator looks like, we tracked down Hepta Systems at the 2014 IBCON show. As you can see, Hepta has a unique way of doing things and very diverse skills.

Founded in 1993, Hepta Control Systems is headquartered in Sarnia, Ontario, with a recent expansion to the Detroit, Michigan area. With customers across Ontario and United States, Hepta has no geographical restrictions, which deems us as one of, if not the most versatile system service companies.

Hepta is a superior provider of services including the installation and integration of Building Automation and Security Systems. Qualified to work on fourteen different Automation brands, they are one of the most diverse Control Contractors in the world. They service commercial, industrial and multi-dwelling buildings markets.

Intelligent Buildings: Start Simple with an IB Advisory Starter Kit, but Get Started!

IntelligentBuildings1 ControlTrends met up with Tom Shircliff, Co-founder, Intelligent Buildings, LLC at IBcon 2014. Intelligent Buildings, LLC is premiere Buildings Solution Provider with one of the most impressive client lists in the smart real estate industry. Tom’s message was clear enough: Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting the solution process started. To facilitate the get-started process, Intelligent Buildings has developed several well-scaled Advisory Starter Kits to make the first step — towards achieving the customer’s specific project solution, easier. Take a good look at some great ideas from Intelligent Buildings, LLC, the team considered by many to be the best in the business.

IntelligentBuildings®, LLC is a Smart Real Estate professional services company. We provide planning and implementation management of next generation strategy for new building projects, existing portfolio optimization and smart community development. Additionally, we consult with future-minded solution providers who seek to be more attuned to owner’s next generation strategy, including product development and go to market strategy.

We are a recognized thought leader with numerous industry firsts including consultation on the award winning “Smartest Building in America”, conception and development of a Clinton Global Initiative public private partnership, program management for the largest energy analytics project in the North America and development of national smart building standards for both the US and Canadian federal governments.

IntelligentBuildingsWe have developed a consistent and a proven technology approach for developing new projects and optimizing existing portfolios that respects the stakeholders and traditional process while not compromising on the realities of today’s building technology and opportunities of the information age.

Intelligent Buildings has worked extensively throughout the US and Canada in over 50 different cities along with selected other international work and market research in The Middle East, Asia and Central America.

Headquartered in Charlotte, NC and with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, DC our firm has advised on some of the world’s most ‘intelligent’ buildings and real-estate projects since 2004.

Building Robotics’ Comfy is Real High Tech-High Touch — Is it the NEST-Best Thing?

Iamcomfy John Naisbitt, inventor of “Megatrends” (watch below) would have to be proud of COMFY’s High Touch solution to a challenging High Tech problem. As building management systems (BMS) continue to increase energy efficiency, the satisfaction of the building occupants could well be decreasing — because the occupants are not comfortable and they assume the technologies around them — are being used against them, and please, the use of dummy (placebo) thermostats has run its course.

The COMFY solution, people-centered intelligence for buildings, is delivered without a lot kicking and scratching — an ethernet connection to any BACnet BMS system and COMFY puts people back into the equation — very accurately, as the most important and vital sensor input variable. Comfy delivers instant high-touch by providing instant streams of warm or cool air to people while also using high-tech machine learning in the background to reduce energy use. The high touch words “Warm my Space” or “Cool my Space” or better yet, “I’m Comfy,” replace the set points and the numeric temperature displays. COMFY’s contextualized technology allows users to pinpoint their locations yielding optimized zoning. The energy savings generated by COMFY occupants (over 20%) are impressive.

This form of digital hugging and providing occupants with a relevant experience in the context and time that’s most relevant to them is becoming critical as more and more high tech is delivered.

“In our craving for emotional authenticity, Naisbitt locates the great challenge of our frenetic era.”

Powered by Possibilites: Video Welcome to the 2014 Niagara Summit

TridiumThe power of this video lingers and it continues its vision of what the future holds. Awesome kick-off to the “Welcome to the 2014 Niagara Summit,” where the power of the Niagara Framework and Innovation met — and keep meeting. With the open internet of things and Niagara, buildings are more efficient, data centers are optimized, industrial plants are improving quality and precision, and city infrastructures are connected and smarter. Prepare to be Powered by Possibilities!

Seeing is Believing: The Internet of Things At Work

Thanks to Ken Sinclair,automated buildings.com, for sharing this video with us.

The IoT-A movie introduces us to the spectacular story of how the Internet of Things could benefit people and society in the future and how the European Lighthouse Project on the Internet of Things will “make things talk”. It provides you with a glimpse into a concept being worked on by the IoT-A project team for several years, namely the Architecture Reference Model, ARM, a dictionary for the IoT, a toolbox for developers.

Will the Building Automation Control System be the hub or just a spoke on the wheel?

Rob Allen’s 7 Minutes in Control: The New Honeywell AX Compatibility Checker Tool

Honeywell Hits a Home Run with the New WEBs-AX Compatibility Checker.

Software version management can be a challenging task. The level of challenge magnifies exponentially when the number of software varieties increases and inter-dependency exists among them. WEBs-AX Compatibility Checker is an add-on tool that helps users to discover the multiple versions of software components or tools for a given AX system, and compatibility between them. WEBs-AX folks need to watch this episode of Rob Allen’s 7 minutes in Control!

Compatibility Checker software has the following built-in utilities:
Latest Release Finder: This utility helps you to find the latest and greatest released software components and tools.
Version Finder: This utility helps you to find the complete list of supported Spyder Tool, Sylk devices, Venom Tool, and Library versions.
Compatibility Checker: This utility helps you to verify the internal compatibility of a given AX system.
Spyder Modules Finder: This utility helps you to find the software modules information (JAR files with versions) for WEBs Spyders.
Automatic Updates: This tool will automatically check for updates to the compatibility information once a month and if an update exists, it will pull down the latest information and update it for you.