Episode 254: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast for week ending Feb 11, 2018 features two of our industry’s most prominent voices: Ken Sinclair, editor of Automated Buildings, who reviews his February edition, and Therese Sullivan, editor of Building Context, who provides detailed insight to KMC’s 2018 Genius Summit and several key AHR breakouts. Important update for the Niagara Summit 2018 in New Orleans; 2018 AHR Expo report — AHR posts [Read more…]
Episode 246: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings PodCast for week ending November 19, 2017 features interviews with two of the industry’s most prominent thought leaders, BuildingContext.me’s editor, Therese Sullivan, provides CoreTech coverage and Co-Founder and Partner, John Petze discusses SkyFoundry’s 13 Billion Sq Ft worth of success and the roadmap ahead. Special shout out to Samuel Elkins, Portrait & Commercial Photographer extraordinaire, based in Salt Lake City, UT. [Read more…]
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, October 09, 2017 — The Project Haystack Organization (www.project-haystack.org), a collaborative community addressing the challenge of utilizing semantic modeling and tagging to streamline the interchange of data among different systems, devices, equipment and software applications, today announced they have published the third issue of their Connections Magazine.
The Haystack Connections Magazine Fall 2017 issue reports on the latest news from the Project Haystack community from around the world, since their previous Spring 2017 issue. It includes updates on the progress of working groups, establishment of new tagging models, reference implementations, complimentary applications, and success stories from the community as they work together to make device data easier to use across applications of all types.
“With 50 pages of content from members around the world this issue provides clear evidence of the success and continued adoption of the Project Haystack data tagging methodologies and the growth in the community,” said John Petze, Executive Director of the Project Haystack Organization. “It also includes a significant follow-up article on the May 2017 Haystack Connect Conference that we think readers will see great value in, even if they attended the event since there was so much information presented to be able take in all at one conference.”
“And for the first time, the Haystack Connections Magazine includes advertising from technology suppliers that are already providing Project Haystack-compatible products, services and applications to the intelligent buildings community,” added Marc Petock, Executive Secretary of the Project Haystack Organization. “We greatly appreciate their support of this expanded publication.”
The Haystack Connections Magazine Fall 2017 Issue is available for download at: www.project-haystack.org/forum/topic/547.
Founding Member and Board Member companies include: Airmaster, Intel®, J2 Innovations, Legrand, Lynxspring, Siemens, SkyFoundry and Yardi, and Associate Member companies are Accu-Temp, Altura Associates, Arup, BASSG, Bueno Systems, CABA, Connexx Energy, Controlco, Intellastar, Intelligent Buildings, IoT Warez, KMC Controls, KNX Association, sensorFact and Tridium.
More information about the Haystack methodology, the Project Haystack Organization and membership is available at: www.project-haystack.org. The Discussion Forums can be found at: www.project-haystack.org/forum/topic.
To join or for more information on the Project Haystack organization, visit: www.project-haystack.org.
About Project Haystack
Since its formation in March of 2011, the Project Haystack Organization (a 501(c) non-profit trade association) has been providing the industry with an open-source, collaborative environment to address the challenge of making data self-describing using semantic modeling, also known as data tagging. The work developed by the Project Haystack member companies and community streamlines the process of managing, presenting and analyzing the vast amount of data produced by smart devices and equipment systems. The Haystack methodology can be used with virtually any type of system and device data and is not tied to any vendor or communication protocol. More information about Project Haystack is available at: www.project-haystack.org.
Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Project Haystack, Executive Director
Project Haystack, Secretary
Episode 235: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings PodCast for week ending August 13, 2017 features two insightful interviews with Marc Petock, Lynxspring’s Chief Communications Officer & Vice President, Marketing, and Aaron Gorka, Innovation Manager for ANT Technologies. Check out ACI’s European Smart Homes 2017; ControlTrends Discovers Monnit Wireless Sensors at Realcomm|IBcon 2017; Belimo’s Correcting Low Delta T Webinar: Internet of Things (IoT); Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017; The Dark Web Goes Corporate; NIST Cybersecurity for IoT Program; and Therese Sullivan: Appreciating How Metadata Makes Artificial Intelligence Possible.
Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 Introduced by Senators Mark Warner, Cory Gardner, Ron Wyden, and Steve Daines. On August 1, 2017, the U.S. Government took a significant “lead by example” step forward in the battle of Internet of Things (IoT) security. Chief among the vendor commitments — that must be made to the U.S.Government: That their IoT devices are patchable; that the devices don’t contain known vulnerabilities; and that the devices don’t contain hard-coded passwords.
ACI’s European Smart Homes 2017 will be taking place in London, UK, on 25th & 26th of October 2017.Join European Smart Homes 2017 conference on 25th & 26th October in London, UK and hear John Hutchins’ presentation entitled “Smart Homes and Utility Customer Experience – exploring the link between smart homes, connected devices and better customer experience for utility customers.”
The Dark Web Goes Corporate, by Josh Fruhlinger, CSO. By Josh Fruhlinger, CSO. The “dark web” is a phrase strikes an ominous tone, conveying an impression of a marketplace where anything is for sale: hacking tools, weapons, drugs, child pornography, even freelance assassination services. And according to experts we spoke to, all of that’s still true. But something has changed in the way the dark web does business. If there was a time when venturing online to buy these illegal items was like taking your life in your hands in a dark alley, today the experience in quite different.
ControlTrends Discovers Monnit Wireless Sensors at Realcomm|IBcon 2017. One of the really cool things about covering shows like Realcomm|IBcon is that we quite often get first looks at new vendors and technologies. Although wireless sensors are not new to Smart Buildings, Monnit’s approach and product offering are. Check this video out to see why. Monnit remote monitoring systems can be setup in just a few minutes and our intuitive interface makes managing your system a snap, and Mommit’s optimized RF communications platform provides superior wireless range for covering large areas.
Ken’s Calendar: Belimo’s Correcting Low Delta T Webinar, Wednesday, August 23 at 1:00 PM EDT. Chilled water provided from a utility plant is commonly used in a building’s HVAC system in lieu of installing chillers. This results in lower return water temperatures which decreases the efficiency of the entire chilled water system resulting in the condition known as “Low ∆T Syndrome.” In this webinar we will review the design of a district chilled water system and discuss a study of a building where “Low ∆T Syndrome” was corrected at the point of water to air heat transfer.
NIST Cybersecurity for IoT Program (20.8 Billion Connected Devices in Use by 2020). Though each of us, in our own way and at our speed, has willingly or unwillingly, become more acclimated and accepted the rapid proliferation of IoT devices connecting us to the data bases in the clouds, it is still a challenge to fully comprehend the impact this hatching reality will have on our personal lives and professional careers — and we probably should know a lot more. Among the many sources of valuable insight and guidance available to ControlTrends Community, the NIST’s Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things is certainly one of the best.
Therese Sullivan: Appreciating How Metadata Makes Artificial Intelligence Possible. Therese Sullivan, editor of BuildingContext.me, and our ControlTrends’ eyes and ears from Silicon Valley, takes us on a data journey that begins at the ethereal origins of Artificial Intelligence (Dartmouth, 1956) and delivers us to metadata and Project Haystack — introducing some of the label makers in between.
ControlTalk NOW’s first interview is with industry veteran Marc Petock, Lynxspring‘s Chief Communications Officer & Vice President, Marketing. Marc first updates the ControlTrends Community on the 2017 Lynxspring Exchange, which is open to everybody. This will be the best Exchange ever. Everything is good: Location (Scottsdale, AZ); Speakers (Roberta Gamble, Frost & Sullivan; Tom Schircliff and Rob Murchinson, Intelligent Buildings; and Mark Jewell, Selling Energy); can’t miss technology and product updates, and an all-star cast of Vendor-Sponsors. Marc also addresses Cyber Security, Edge Controllers, and the 2017 ControlTrends Awards.
ControlTalk NOW’s second interview is with Aaron Gorka, Innovation Manager for ANT Technologies, who extends the ControlTrends Community a special offer with Ant Technologies. ANT Technologies software portfolio is designed to make contractors more profitable. Aaron grew up in the contracting world — working with his father in a family business environment. He knows the business and financial challenges firsthand. ANT Technologies has the curated software tools: Management of Projects, Service Tools, and Tenant Energy Billing — that will make contractors more efficient and, more profitable. Click here to find your local CGNA distributor and take advantage of Aaron’s special ControlTrends offer that he made during the podcast.
Therese Sullivan, editor of BuildingContext.me, and our ControlTrends’ eyes and ears from Silicon Valley, takes us on a data journey that begins at the ethereal origins of Artificial Intelligence (Dartmouth, 1956) and delivers us to metadata and Project Haystack — introducing some of the label makers in between.
One of the most re-watched episodes of the comedy series Seinfeld is ‘The Label Maker’ when Elaine’s gift to a friend at Christmas was re-gifted to Jerry before the Superbowl. True, a thing for tagging other things was not a fun or romantic gift in 1995. And, perhaps Bryan Cranston’s fictional dentist didn’t get it. But, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Elaine was way out ahead in her thinking. Label making is important! If you are a data wrangler today, you should appreciate any gift that helps you tag things with metadata labels.
Frank Chen of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) presents a timeline in his AI and deep learning mini-course that happens to plot label-making’s journey from elephant gift to tech’s newest cool thing. Released to all interested students in June 2016, it is a fantastic history lesson and primer on what is happening in artificial intelligence (AI) today. He writes:
“One person, in a literal garage, building a self-driving car.” That happened in 2015. Now to put that fact in context, compare this to 2004, when DARPA sponsored the very first driverless car Grand Challenge. Of the 20 entries they received then, the winning entry went 7.2 miles; in 2007, in the Urban Challenge, the winning entries went 60 miles under city-like constraints. Things are clearly progressing rapidly when it comes to machine intelligence. But how did we get here, after not one but multiple “A.I. winters”? What’s the breakthrough? And why is Silicon Valley buzzing about artificial intelligence again?
The same AI entering cars is impacting buildings too. Listen to Ken Sinclair discuss the surprising rate of innovation in his latest ControlTrends interview. Chen answers his own question this way: more compute power, more data, better algorithms and more investment. His research colleague at a16z, Ben Evans explores the topic of labeling in more depth in the blog post AI, Apple and Google. Here are some key excerpts:
So you can say to your phone ‘show me pictures of my dog at the beach’ and a speech recognition system turns the audio into text, natural language processing takes the text, works out that this is a photo query and hands it off to your photo app, and your photo app, which has used ML systems to tag your photos with ‘dog’ and ‘beach’, runs a database query and shows you the tagged images. Magic.
Try it without labels (‘unsupervised’ rather than ‘supervised’ learning). Today you would spend hours or weeks in data analysis tools looking for the right criteria to find these, and you’d need people doing that work – sorting and resorting an Excel table with a million rows and a thousand columns, metaphorically speaking.
The eye-catching speech interfaces or image recognition are just the most visible demos of the underlying techniques.
The important part is not that the computer can find them, but that the computer has worked out, itself, how to find them.
Did you catch that? The speech and image recognition technology may be superficial eye-candy compared to the feat of putting together the underlying knowledge graph. In other words, how you classify and label objects is at the core of how well your AI works. Knowledge graphs for the World Wide Web are the domain of semantic web researchers. Three leading professors in the field from the University of Zurich, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Stanford University collaborated on the September 2016 article, A New Look at the Semantic Web. Here are some key excerpts from this long-form editorial:
Bringing a new kind of semantics to the Web is becoming an important aspect of making Web data smarter and getting it to work for us. Achieving this objective will require research that provides more meaningful services and that relies less on logic-based approaches and more on evidence-based ones.
Crowdsourcing approaches allow us to capture semantics that may be less precise but more reflective of the collective wisdom.
We believe our fellow computer scientists can both benefit from the additional semantics and structure of the data available on the Web and contribute to building and using these structures, creating a virtuous circle.
Labeling, edge computing, artificial intelligence—these are three pieces of the same puzzle—a puzzle that seems to be coming together very fast right now. (Don’t miss the recent slideshow of another a16z thinker, Peter Levine, on how edge computing will soon eclipse the cloud.) The concepts and timing that Silicon Valley’s a16z thought leaders describe are as applicable to buildings as they are to cars, dogs and beaches. And, the academics leading the semantic web conversation are saying that the mark-up languages and metadata schema are coming from all corners of the web, not just ivory towers.
Frank Chen points out that the latest Google image recognition algorithms can chow down on the entire collection of videos on Youtube. But, when they do that, they get a graph that skews in favor of cats doing funny things. That doesn’t reflect the real world. The best knowledge graphs, metadata schema, neural nets—whatever you want to call this undergirding ML labeling technology that does the classifying—the versions that work best reflect the collective-wisdom and first-hand evidence of those with physical-world experience.
This brings us to Project Haystack, the open-source organization launched in 2011, devoting to developing a standard mark-up language and a tagging schema for devices in commercial buildings. Given the core importance to AI of getting standardized labeling right the first time, it is no surprise that Academia and big-IT picked up on the Haystack schema when they launched Brick schema. One way to look at it is that there is more industry, academic and government energy, focus and money being invested in label-making than ever before—what a gift! Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes would be such a supporter if she were here today. And even the dentist that became Walter White of Breaking Bad would not under-appreciate it. I hope more of those that hold the evidence and wisdom to contribute get involved. Silo-ing data was the way business was conducted in the last innovation cycle, but, it won’t work going forward in the age of AI and machine learning (ML).
Another reason to do your part: tomorrow, there may not be chief marketing officers and chief technology officers, but rather chief labelers of marketing things and chief labelers of technology things, etc. The labeling of training data for machine-learning algorithms is about to consume us all—at least everyone that works with computers, mobile phones, and Internet-of-Things devices. So, best to get ahead of the game.
ControlTalk Now The Smart Buildings Podcast enjoys a summer hiatus — as Eric and family attend a wedding in Birmingham (Detroit) MI. ControlTrends still offers a great interview with Bueno Systems’ Leon Wurfel; an overview of ANT Technologies’ paperless solutions; JCI’s video “Tomorrow Needs You;” and Therese Sullivan’s insights into contextualization. Next week, ControlTalk NOW will be back on track — with two very special guests, along with Ken Sinclair’s August edition of AutomatedBuildings.Com, as well as the latest on our industry’s products, solutions, and most importantly, the men and women superstars of HVAC and Building Automation.
Using Data to Create Optimized Buildings: Catching up with Bueno Systems. I had a chance to catch up with Leon Wurfel managing director, Bueno Systems, at the 2017 RealComm/IBcon conference. Leon and his team are masters at gathering and using data to optimize smart buildings performance. In this video Leon shares his knowledge about smart building control and Bueno’s approach to making data actionable.
ANT Technologies — Manage Projects • Service Facilities • Tenant Energy Billing — Look Mom, No Paper. ANT Technologies — Paperless, cloud-based, operational technology for HVAC & Control Contractors. A Project Status Report you can trust! As an integrator or contractor, you’ve probably received unreliable progression reports on your company’s projects. Project Tracker™ eliminates the guess work and provides managers with real-time accurate data that ensures you make the best decisions possible.
Johnson Controls — Tomorrow Needs You. At Johnson Controls, we’re shaping the future to create a world that’s safe, comfortable and sustainable. Our global team creates innovative, integrated solutions to make cities more connected, buildings more intelligent and vehicles more efficient. We are passionate about improving the way the world lives, works and plays. The future requires bold ideas, an entrepreneurial mind-set and collaboration across boundaries.
Therese Sullivan: Back to the Future of Contextualization. Our ControlTalk NOW chief technologist from Silicon Valley, Therese Sullivan, owner and editor of BuildingContext.me, recently brought the ControlTrends Community on-line with the concept of contextualization. This is a re-posting of Therese’s December 2013, prescient article foreshadowing the driving forces and impact of contextualization. Last month I felt secure in describing Nest as a company comfortably traveling along in Apple’s orbit. I even linked to Matt Turck’s November TechCrunch article “Battle for the Connected Home”, wherein he suggests that Nest — a Lilliputian among Gullivers — needed to be acquired by Apple before it was crushed. Today we see that he was off by a few Silicon Valley miles. Why Google? Why now? Why $3.2B?
Our ControlTalk NOW chief technologist from Silicon Valley, Therese Sullivan, owner and editor of BuildingContext.me, recently brought the ControlTrends Community on-line with the concept of contextualization. This is a re-posting of Therese’s December 2013, prescient article foreshadowing the driving forces and impact of contextualization.
Last month I felt secure in describing Nest as a company comfortably traveling along in Apple’s orbit. I even linked to Matt Turck’s November TechCrunch article “Battle for the Connected Home”, wherein he suggests that Nest — a Lilliputian among Gullivers — needed to be acquired by Apple before it was crushed. Today we see that he was off by a few Silicon Valley miles. Why Google? Why now? Why $3.2B?
Maybe I have all the answers here in my hand. It’s right under this glass that I’m tapping and sliding my finger across. The battle over the software that will run next-generation smart phones and tablets is The Contest. The fledgling home automation market is only a qualifying event for Google vs. Apple. They are both developing contextual operating systems. A contextual O/S will be the browser of the Internet of Things era. The vision they share is that soon, when you or I walk into a space at home, at work, or during a stroll around town, our mobile devices are going to know where we are, our usual activities at that time and place, and the environmental conditions. The contextual OS will understand when we speak to it, tap into it, or communicate via gestures. And it will keep things sleek and simple, only serving up those apps that make sense in the contextual setting.
With Nest, Google acquires a brand, some products and a team with Apple-DNA to spur it along the path towards this context-aware future. Unlocking and locking physical security, brightening and dimming lights, adjusting interior temperatures — these are the first few Internet of Things (IoT) use cases with clear value to consumers. This was validated at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show.
The Apple-DNA component of the Nest brand explains the price point. Think back to the Mac vs PC ad campaign of 2006. How much would the nerdy guy pay to switch places with the cool? Google wanted the guy who designed the iPod in an attempt to subsume the entire Apple platform experience. Google has analogues to many of the key aspects of the Apple platform — Android, GoogleNow, Chromebooks, etc. But, they don’t fit together like Matryoshka dolls. Apple operates from the legacy of clear winners in every innovation category, from the Mac, to iPod, to iTunes, to iPhone, to iPad, to iOS with Siri. And, most importantly, it has a passionately engaged developer community. What are those 3 drivers the Tiger Mom is ranting about: insecurity complex, superiority complex, impulse control. Except for impulse control, I think those were the factors driving the price up.
For Apple, a contextual mobile O/S is an obvious next step. It’s already added iBeacon to iOS 7 to collect the necessary environmental data. I think Forrester analyst Frank Gillett is thinking small when he says Google’s acquisition “affirms the growing strategic importance of the idea of the connected home.” Google‘s Nest acquisition affirms its intent to remain competitive in mobile operating systems. For this, it needs to capture a leading position in IoT connectivity.IoTmarket_BI
Forrester’s Gillet continues, “Google will open up the somewhat closed approach that Nest used to date, to better integrate with interoperable smart home solutions.” He’s right. But why just homes? In a recent post, I reported that some are betting the Center of Gravity for future IoT markets will be the consumer mobile device. There is no retreat in the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ movement. So I don’t see why app’s developed for next-gen contextual mobile operating systems won’t penetrate the workplace and retail environments.
In this respect, competition for developers – Apple vs Google vs Others (how about Ninja Blocks? and the building industry’s own incumbent Tridium) – is likely to spread to the ecosystem of commercial building system integrators. If the some 300 Nest employees working in the home buildings control space for a few years are considered to have combined talent near $3 billion, what might be the value of the talent pool of building engineers and technicians that know how to make big commercial buildings operate? This purchase could spur a healthier market for this talent under the new flag named IoT.
Google’s dominance in the Search market could cause it to slip up in its pursuit, however. A predominant reaction to the purchase is worry about Google invading home privacy. Customers never complain that Apple strives to know what they want before they do. Apple’s algorithmic helpers like iTunes ‘Genius’ and Face Match have been perceived as just that – genius.
Episode 233: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings VideoCast|PodCast for week ending July 23, 2017 humbly thanks the ControlTrends Community for breaking the 2 million views milestone (from over 50 countries). Mark Jewell’s Award-winning Sales Efficiency Training opportunity is still available. This week’s special guests are Silicon Valley’s Josh Bradshaw, Director of Strategic Alliances at Radius Innovation & Development, and Therese Sullivan, owner and editor of BuildingContext.me. Contemporary Controls’ free BACnet Discovery Tool (BDT) is available; EasyIO’s FS-32 Server Class Edge Controller release: Tridium’s IDC White Paper “Finding Value in Your IoT Data;” Johnson Controls Reinvents the Thermostat — GLAS (Nest-buster); and Lynxspring Announces New Technology Solution and Distribution Partner, Australia’s Conserve It, and register for the 2017 Lynxspring Exchange & Technology Showcase.
Our first guest on ControlTalk NOW is Siliocn Valley’s Josh Bradshaw, Director of Strategic Alliances at Radius Innovation & Development. Radius Discovers, Designs, Develops and Delivers bleeding edge technology innovations. Radius is the innovation and development consulting capability of Jabil ($18bn – Fortune 100 – advanced manufacturing leader). Radius’ extensive capabilities accelerate innovation projects to market in a fraction of the time, from months to weeks. Josh personally invites the ControlTrends Community to visit Radius and see and experience how technology can be put to work for you. Josh’s email address is Josh.Bradshaw @RadiusInnovation.com. Make sure to use “WFIM” to your best advantage.
Technology Trends in Building Automation – Drew Mire – NFMT 2017. Check out our friend Drew Mire, from Computrols, at the 2017 NFMT(National Facilities and Managment Technology). In this video Drew, focuses on three primary examples of technological advances in commercial real estate: mobility + wireless, connectivity, and machine learning. Each example is explained in layman’s terms along with examples of where we see them in our everyday lives. He then shows how these new technologies are starting to be utilized in commercial real estate, with a focus on building automation (HVAC, Lighting, Access Control). Nice job Drew!
Contemporary Controls’ BACnet Discovery Tool is Better Than Ever. The popular Contemporary Controls BACnet Discovery Tool (BDT) has several new features available for download. For those unfamiliar, BDT is a free BACnet/IP application for Windows that is easy to install and use. The vendor-neutral tool is instrumental as a means of discovering and verifying communication with MS/TP devices that are being accessed through BACnet/IP routers such as the BASrouter or the BASrouterLX.
ControlTrends Hits Two Million WordPress Views! A very special thanks to the Global ControlTrends Community as we take a moment to celebrate going over two million views on our ControlTrends WordPress Site! With our 1.5 million views on YouTube and 5,000 subscribers, along with our Vimeo viewers and PodCast only listeners, we are now reaching out to 52 countries! Thank you all once again.
ControlTalk NOW’s second guest is another chief technologist from Silicon Valley, Therese Sullivan, owner and editor of BuildingContext.me. Therese brings amazing clarity and insight to what’s really going on in this period of market disruptions and some of the important pivot points companies like Google are taking as they react to pushback to their unwanted gmail-perusaling. Also, don’t miss our second Silicon acronym of the day, “FOMO.”
Newcomb and Boyd at 2017 REALComm|IBcon. Someone once asked American gangster and bank robber, John Dillinger, why he robbed banks and his answer was “because that is where the money is.” Using that same logic, it makes sense that Smart Building Control Pros go to RealComm|IBcon. This is the place where you will find the latest Smart Building technology, where you will find potential customers, and where you will find great solution providers — like those offered by one of the premiere consulting engineering firms on the planet, Atlanta-based, Newcomb and Boyd. In this video, I catch up with Donny Walker and Steve Wiggins, two of the brightest people in the Smart Building Controls business. Hear what they have to say about analytics, retro-commissioning, and much more. Great job guys!
New White Paper Examines IoT Analytics Solutions. IDC Technology Spotlight: Finding Value in Your IoT Data. Introducing a new white paper by International Data Corporation (IDC), renowned provider of market intelligence. This look at Finding Value in Your IoT Data offers insight into Internet of Things analytics solutions—including Niagara Analytics 2.0. Determining which data is valuable and which is irrelevant is becoming a critical success factor for IoT projects. Be sure to download IDC’s new white paper, and use it to guide your business strategy and investment in an analytics solution.
Johnson Controls Reinvents the Thermostat — Introducing GLAS, Utilizes Windows 10 IoT Core, Cortana Voice Services, and Azure Cloud. Heating and cooling account for roughly 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most families. In the commercial building sector, the cost is approximately 40%. Johnson Controls, one of the leading providers of HVAC, Fire and Security systems in the world, is changing how spaces are viewed and controlled. As the inventors of the first thermostat, Johnson Controls has innovated once again with GLAS. Utilizing Windows 10 IoT Core, Cortana voice services, and Azure Cloud, GLAS is a simple to use, elegant thermostat that brings leading energy savings and air quality monitoring to everyday spaces. Johnson Controls is reinventing the thermostat and our lives.
Lynxspring Announces New Technology Solution and Distribution Agreement with Australia Company Conserve It. LEE’S SUMMIT, MISSOURI, USA AND MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (PRWEB) JULY 18, 2017. Lynxspring, Inc., a premier developer and provider of open, IoT solutions for intelligent buildings, energy management, and device-to-enterprise integration, and Conserve It Pty Ltd, a leading supplier, developer and distributor of industrial and building automation products, solutions and services, today announced a new partnership and strategic relationship to distribute and provide Building, Industrial, Energy Management and IoT Solutions to the Australian, New Zealand and Asia Pacific markets.
EasyIO Europe’s July 2017 Newsletter — Powerful FS-32 Controller Available Now! he EasyIO-FS-32 is a high performance server class controller with a quad core processor and 8GB flash. Its software capabilities are very powerful with HTML5 graphics and multifunctional adapter widgets. The built-in VPN client/server makes your connectivity safe and unique for BMS controllers. Download datasheet.
Secure Your Access to the 2017 Lynxspring Exchange & Technology Showcase! We’re Ready for You — Save $100. Please Join Us! 2017 Lynxspring Exchange and Technology Showcase. Join us for 2-1/2 days with an agenda that is packed with demonstrations and presentations on the latest technology, techniques and practices specific to managing and operating today’s buildings and facilities. Hear from dynamic keynote speakers on IoT and Energy as well as industry presenters on subjects relevant for today’s business environment and experience a showcase of leading products and services from a variety of leading technology providers. Register Now!
Episode 226: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings VideoCast|PodCast for week ending June 4, 2017 throws a little Scottish Enlightenment, Manchester United football, and Beatles nostalgia into mix, along with our video coverage of EasyIO’s 2017 Global Partner Event; also featuring an in-depth interview with Ken Sinclair, owner and editor of Automated Buildings; Therese Sullivan’s insightful coverage of Haystack Connect; Phil Zito offers a course for Information Technology for BAS Professionals; Upcoming events include Cochrane Supply’s Controls-Con 2017 and a don’t miss RealComm|IBcon in San Diego; Webinars from Optigo (Visual BACnet) and ACI (Gas Webinar); and ControlTrends People is back with Automation Integrated’s Jeff Houpt — and much more.
The Smart Buildings Controls Renaissance in Full Force — The Global EasyIO Partner Event to Begin in Manchester, UK! The Smart Buildings Controls Renaissance is all about making buildings better, more intelligent, more connected, and above all, the best places possible for people to live, study, and work. Where better to begin our renaissance reference than in Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the Athens of the North, a remarkable and proud city that led the 17th century world into a new age of enlightenment.
Global EasyIO Partner Event Kicks Off with Manchester United Versus Crystal Palace Premiership Football Match. EasyIO’s origins and its global growth are success stories worthy of review. The authors of those EasyIO success stories are long-standing, well-recognized industry experts, now writing the newest best sellers in buildings automation industry — and ControlTrends is here in Manchester UK, to bring the message home.
Global EasyIO Partner Event Day 2, The Rules Have Changed! Introducing the FW Series Wireless Solutions, New Quad-Core Processor Server Class Controller. Day 2 introduced EasyIO’s World Class Leadership team spearheaded by Mike Marston, VP of EasyIO Holdings Pte Ltd., Lim Hoon Chiat, CTO/R&D EasyIO Holdings Pte Ltd., Johan Schakenraad, President & CEO EasyIO Europe, B.V. and Guido van Erp International Sales Manager, and Bullzevents. Lim demonstrated wireless wizardry for retrofits and Jim Stiber of Control Consultants, Inc., reviewed VAV and CVAHU applications for the new FW-8V. Guest Presenters included David Kipling, Vice President of Jabil Circuit Inc. (US), Andrius Jasiulionis, Automation Engineer, Helgevold Electro (Norway) and Scott Muench, VP Marketing, J2 Innovations (US).The Beatles and the Smart Building Renaissance. Join us as we celebrate the Beatles and stretch our Liverpool experience into what’s happening in the Smart Building Renaissance. What’s exciting about the Beatles is that they took different styles of music and made it into their own thing — that was something new, and incredible, and thrilling. As more companies get behind the idea of the Smart Building Renaissance, we will continue to see new players reordering different approaches to the variety of buildings that make up our industry with new technologies.
Free IT Video Training from Fearless Phil Zito — Phil Shares His BEST Secrets On How To Master IT and Future Proof Your BAS Career! Take advantage of this 4-part video training series from Fearless Phil Zito, of Building Automation Monthly, as he shares his experience, knowledge, and practical insight into the often intimidating world of IT. Great opportunity to learn more about IT and ensure successful outcomes when working with the IT department. Here is the link to learn more about Phil Zito’s IT for BAS Professionals course.
Happy Memorial Day and Thank You — to all the Veterans! Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Did you know: Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Source: www.history.com
Haystack Connect and IoT World Set Foot on Common Ground — Therese Sullivan, Building Context.Me. It’s a new day. Visibility is good, as dust from previous storms and battles has settled across the plane. Observers wait in the shadows. An imposing hero figure steps into the open. Everyone knows that whatever went on before—that’s over. And something new has just begun. The story of the new sheriff bringing order to a lawless place is a common plot for Western films.
EASY IO: CPT Trainings in the UK – EasyStack in The Netherlands. We are very pleased to inform you about the upcoming trainings we scheduled in June: 26 & 27 June: CPT Tools & the F-series – London (city), UK. 29 & 30 June: CPT Tools & the F-series – Leeds (city center), UK. 28-29-30 June: EasyStack – Gemert, The Netherlands.The CPT training is the best way to get to know how to work with CPT Tools and the EasyIO F-series. Training is fun and a great opportunity to meet our team, and most important of all: it’s free for EasyIO Partners.Learn How to Use Visual BACnet to Troubleshoot a Smart Buildings Controls Network. Ken and I had a chance to check out Bueno Systems and the cool BACnet troubleshooting tools from Optigo at Haystack Connect. If you work with building automation controls networks that use BACnet, this free webinar is worth checking out. From Monica at Optigo Networks: To improve energy analytics, you need a deep understanding of your building network. When Australian energy analytics company BUENO Systems used to start working with a new building, they would have no idea what was happening on the building’s network. Now, with Visual BACnet, they can assess the health of a customer’s network and ensure it is working in prime condition, well before adding their analytics.
ControlTalk NOW interview with Ken Sinclair. In his June edition of Automated Buildings, owner and editor Ken Sinclair, asks our industry at large — if we are really getting the gist of how IoT is turning the building automation industry, and us along with it, inside out. Using a slight of phrase, “Sensing the Change,” Ken then asks what makes better sense and offers the greatest value, the good old sensor on the wall, or the “smart-sensorized occupant?” P.S. Happy 50th Anniversary to Ken and Jane Sinclair!
LIVE ACI GAS DETECTION WEBINAR — Wednesday, June 7th, 10:00 AM C.S.T. as detection has been a rising topic in the HVAC industry. As a new topic of discussion, people want to know more in order to better understand the monitoring and detection of many harmful gases. In ACI’s next installment of the 2017 Webinar Series, we break down the key elements that should be used when selecting the proper products and locations of the sensors and controllers when used in your application. Hear from one of ACI’s top Technical Support Engineers at our next live video webinar. REGISTER HERE!
ControlTrends People is Back: Check out Jeff Houpt from Automation Integrated. ontrolTrends People is back! You will remember that CTP is a project I am very passionate about. On the podcast we do a deep dive into the lives of the people that make our Industry great. Previous episodes include the likes of Marc Petock, Mike Marston, Lim Hoon Chiat, Ed Merwin. I believe that success leaves clues, and that one of the best ways to get better at anything is to study the lives of people that are already masters. On this episode we talk with one of the most respected master systems integrators in Smart Buildings, Jeff Houpt. Jeff is the President and CEO of Automation Integrated based in Oklahoma City.
It’s a new day. Visibility is good, as dust from previous storms and battles has settled across the plane. Observers wait in the shadows. An imposing hero figure steps into the open. Everyone knows that whatever went on before—that’s over. And something new has just begun. The story of the new sheriff bringing order to a lawless place is a common plot for Western films. It feels like the commercial buildings industry is at a ‘New Sheriff’ moment right now. The power of data to bring transparency, greater security, fairer market competition and rapid change to buildings was the main theme at Haystack Connect in Tampa in early May. Advancements in contributing technologies like wireless connectivity, edge computing, analytics, machine learning, etc. were well covered in the IoT Architecture Symposium that ran during the IoT World Conference in Santa Clara in the middle of the month.
I was at both and heard speakers and exhibitors deliver similar news: The business practices that have kept the buildings industry seven to ten years behind manufacturing, processing, transportation and other industries when it comes to data-driven operations are about to see their eclipse at High Noon. It is no longer just a Wild Bunch working on data interoperability; the biggest companies in IT and OT want standardization and less friction in data flows. Soon, for a Fistful of Dollars, building owners will be able to integrate and analyze the digital data streaming from any piece of building equipment, per any key performance indicators (KPIs) they want to monitor and manage.
Project Haystack’s 3rd bi-annual gathering brought together experts in operational technology (OT)—specifically the equipment and controls manufacturers, software vendors and systems integrators that have been at the core of open-source metadata tagging standards. The big presence of new Board-level member Intel signaled that dominant forces in IT were merging onto the same path. There were keynote presentations from Rita Wouhaybi, who is guiding Industrial & Energy Solutions Architecture for Intel’s Internet of Things Group, and Milan Milenkovic of IoTSense, IoT Technology Strategic Advisor to Intel. Each offered a stage-setting market landscape:
Dr. Wouhaybi made the point that when it comes to data modeling, the need for semantic schemas and label dictionaries for various IoT market segments —cars, cities, homes, energy grid, factories —overlap. Buildings are at the center of it all, so Project Haystack lessons, knowledge and tag sets have potential for sharing and adoption across the board.
Milenkovic’s landscape was of all the IoT interoperability standardization organizations. His point was that the various bodies need to build better bridges between their definitions to achieve higher rates of adoption. He explained that some organizations are working on syntactical interoperability and others, like Project Haystack, are working on semantic interoperability. There is still so much work to do on both fronts. He put out a call for collaboration: the path forward is for the various standards organizations to add interoperability to their charters and reach out to one another.
Two new significant bridge-building efforts were presented to Haystack attendees:
ASHRAE Standard 223 “Designation and Classification of Semantic Tags for Building Data” and EdgeX FoundryTM a vendor-neutral open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. Dave Robin, research engineer with Automated Logic Corporation, past chair of the BACnet standards committee and longtime leader of its Network Security Working Group, made the ASHRAE 223 announcement. He gave some detail about the mapping mechanism to Haystack and other ontologies. The EdgeX Foundry announcement was made at the Dell booth, as Dell contributed the initial micro-services and tens of thousands of lines of code to seed the effort. EdgeX seeks to be a resource for anyone doing an edge device to have a ‘clean’ architecture to plug into.
Anno Scholten, President of Connexx Energy, also spoke to the coming era when well-defined reference architectures will bring order to the terabytes of time-series data that will be collected for a multi-story building. Metadata tagging systems like Project Haystack dictionaries ease navigation of all this data. He used the metaphor ‘Digital Twin’ to describe the end goal—a dynamic software model that can be used to analyze and predict building systems performance. He sees all the performance and energy modeling that design engineers do before a new construction or major retrofit project is built, and all the actual time-series data that is collected once it is operating, contributing to this Digital Twin.
The participation of big architectural engineering firms as well as building commissioning/energy management firms at Haystack Connect also contributed to that new-sheriff-on-the-beat feeling. While the metaphor of the Digital Twin is a good way to personify the kind of performance authority that a complete data model will represent, the engineers that building owners hire as their trusted advocates in making technology decisions are performance authorities in the flesh. John Petze and Marc Petock of Project Haystack led an “Engineers and End-Users Panel’ that included Matt Schwartz of Altura Associates, Ben Talbot of DLR Group, Zachariah Nobel of Constellation, and Rob Murchison of Intelligent Buildings, LLC. These are the type of firms and people blazing the way toward data analytics platforms that enable monitoring-based commissioning and better energy management.
The panel talked about proof-of-concept projects that used Haystack-compliant software and edge devices to balance ‘hot-path analytics’ (acting on data as it is being generated on the edge) and ‘cold-path analytics’ (analyzing select data in the cloud). Alper Uzmezler’s presentation addressed implementing Haystack from the cloud to the edge. And a new community of developers working toward lightweight BAS suitable for analytics on the edge, Sedona Alliance, announced its formation.
These were just a few highlights at the Haystack event. I’ll be covering more of the content presented in the next edition of Haystack Connections magazine, to be published soon. ControlTrends has posted video recaps of each day of the conference that show even more of the action. Harbor Research’s Adam Hise wrote his own reflections on the Haystack Connect event here. He too describes a palpable sense of ‘New Sheriff in Town’ among the Haystack crowd:
“Systems integrators shared anecdotes of clients who, faced with the option of a proprietary system or a BACnet compliant offering that was $100K more expensive, were effectively forced into a long-term contract for a closed system. The same SIs could hardly contain a grin as they predicted, “they won’t get away with that anymore.”
Interestingly, some of the biggest proprietary-protocol-protected OEMs are also touting digitalization, aka the coming of the Digital Twin, as opportunity to renew buildings and other industries and to remake their businesses from the inside out. The stage at the IoT Architecture Symposium during IoT World was an opportunity to learn about that. For example, Suhas Joshi, Director, Honeywell, presented on merging new IoT tech with legacy C&I equipment. In the Q&A, Joshi was asked about handling ‘contextual’ data versus ‘global’ data—another way of saying meta data tagging versus the large time-series data stores. (See Anno Scholten’s Digital Twin presentation linked above.) Joshi answered “Certain markets are working on this. Look at Project Haystack.” On the same stage, Johnson Controls VP & GM of Data-Enabled Solutions, Sudhi Sinha, presented on how such a big industrial company goes about deciding who to partner with for data services, among tech-stack behemoths like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Even companies the size of JCI must consider how to maintain power, leverage and future growth opportunities when they decide which cloud provider should store and secure their customers’ building data. Data is where the value resides. ‘Who are you going to entrust with it?’ becomes a very strategic question. The IoT Architecture Symposium also included an EdgeX Foundry presentation—just one more point in common with Haystack Connect.
Jim Lee, CEO of Cimetrics, was one of the original BACnet authors that was present at the Haystack event. He has just launched the New Deal blog with collaborator and market-mover Anto Budiardjo, who has long been dedicated to facilitating dialog between the building systems industry and commercial building professionals. ‘New Deal’ is their metaphor for the Day of the New Sheriff, Dawn of the Digital Twin, Pivot Point of the Paradigm Shift. There are already some articles well worth reading on the blog. I highly recommend Building Blocks For The New Deal:
“The New Deal is built on three critically important building blocks: BACnet open standard, model-based analytics, and service transparency.
This new blog is another response to Milan Milenkovic’s call to action for bridge-building between industry organizations working on data interoperability in the interest of finally moving more swiftly toward better buildings and toward all the Internet of Things product categories that rely on the contextual data streaming from them.