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…]
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.
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 Silicon 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.
ControlTrends is joined by Therese Sullivan, editor of BuildingContext.me, in summarizing amazing Day 2 of 2017 Haystack Connect — which shifted into overdrive as Keynote speakers Rita H. Wouhaybi, Systems Architect, Intel and Milan Milenkovic, Principal, IoTsense, took the early morning stage and helped to bring the enormous macro potential of Project Haystack into perspective. It is quite clear that there are no boundaries when it comes to data and scaling opportunities — and scaling strategies. A full complement of breakout sessions followed till 5:30 PM, with themes ranging from Industrial IoT & Connected Buildings, to Project Haystack on the Energy Path, to Large Scale IoT Architectures – The Role of the Cloud and the Edge – Lessons Learned in Large-Scale Cellular-Connected Systems. See complete breakout schedule. Also, insightful interviews with Brian Turner, OTI; Steve Guzelimian, Optertgy; and Ron Victor, IoTium.
Episode 216: ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings VideoCast|PodCast for week ending Feb 26, 2017 features our Hollywood Moments video highlights from the 2016 ControlTrends Awards; CTN Interview with BuildingContext.me’s editor Therese Sullivan; Honeywell’s Larry Weber and Roger Rebennack at AHR Expo 2017; Siemens’ 2016 ControlTrends Awards celebration — BT300 wins VFD of the Year; Cyber Security: PC WORLD’s The 7 Security Threats to Technology; and Contemporary Controls wins the 2016 Small Manufacturer of the Year Award.PC WORLD’s The 7 Security Threats to Technology That Scare Experts the Most. Ransomware’s Just the Beginning. This was twittered to us via cyber security guru, Fred Gordy, and was too interesting and too important not to pass on to the ControlTrends Community, especially those with smart thermostats. What happens if a bad actor turns off your heat in the middle of winter, then demands $1,000 to turn it back on? Or even holds a small city’s power for ransom? Those kinds of attacks to personal, corporate, and infrastructure technology were among the top concerns for security experts from the SANS Institute, who spoke Wednesday during the RSA conference in San Francisco. Read more! Hollywood Moment on the Red Carpet at the 2016 ControlTrends Awards. As we begin our 2016 ControlTrends Awards Highlight Videos, we thought the best place to start was with the superstars of the Building Automation, HVAC, and Smart Building Controls Industry — walking the Red Carpet. One of the main reasons Ken and I created the ControlTrends Awards was to shine a spotlight on the great people in our industry and give them their well-deserved “Hollywood Moment.” And, what would a Hollywood Moment be without a Red Carpet interview? Catching Up with Honeywell at 2017 AHR Expo. As we begin posting our ControlTrends coverage of the 2017 AHR show, we begin with Ken stopping by the Honeywell booth. Ken gets updates from Larry Weber on Honeywell’s new Light Commercial Buildings Controls Connect, Honeywell’s new Cloud-Based Light Commercial Control offering — giving contractors the opportunity to improve their service to their customers and grow their businesses with remote HVAC system monitoring and diagnostics. Roger Rebennack follows, bringing the ControlTrends Community up-to-speed on Honeywell’s WEB Security, with a deep-dive look at true integration in its most seamless form.
ControlTalk NOW interview with Therese Sullivan, technologist, marketing professional, and editor of BuildingContext.me who provides the most relevant and up-to-date news and analysis to commercial building system integrators, facilities managers, and real estate professionals — about innovations in building automation with emphasis on data analytics, mobile apps, cloud services, and wireless networking. Therese provides her take on the 2016 ControlTrends Awards; insights and comments on Women on the rise in the HVAC and Building Automation industry; and IoT updates from Silicon Valley.
Siemens’ BT300, The 2016 ControlTrends Awards Variable Frequency Drive of The Year. You are here: Home / ControlTrends Awards / 2016 ControlTrends Awards / Siemens’ BT300, The 2016 ControlTrends Awards Variable Frequency Drive of The Year. 2016 ControlTrends VFD of The Year from Eric Stromquist on Vimeo. Congratulations to Siemens for having their Variable Frequency Drive being selected by the global ControlTrends Community as the 2016 ControlTrends VFD of the Year. The BT300 was also the winner at the 2015 ControlTrends Awards as well! Click here to learn more about the Siemens BT300. Want to try a Siemens BT300 variable frequency drive? Reach out to your local CGNA Controls distributor.
Contemporary Controls is proud to announce our win as the ControlTrends Awards “Vendor of the Year – Small Manufacturer” Downers Grove, Illinois (January, 2017) – Contemporary Controls is proud to announce our win as the ControlTrends Awards “Vendor of the Year – Small Manufacturer” in addition to winning “Peripheral Product of the Year” and the “Best Technical Support Company – Small Manufacturer”. Thank you to all that participated in the ControlTrends Awards and voted for us. “The CTA Award for Vendor of the Year is a valued recognition of the quality of our products by the people who really matter – the system integrators who are depending on our products to get the job done,” said George Thomas, President of Contemporary Controls. “It is also a recognition of the efforts of our employees who design, produce and support these products.”
What is New? Catching Up with Distech at the 2017 AHR Expo. ControlTrends had a chance to catch up with Distech at the 2017 AHR Expo. In this video Ken checks out the cool building automation controls made by Distech and gets and update on how the Acuity Brands purchase of Distech and DG Logik will affect the Smart Buildings controls world. Distech Controls‘ EC-Net building management system (BMS) is a comprehensive Web-based platform powered by the Niagara Framework®. The open structure of EC-Net building management system (BMS) creates a common development and management environment for the integration of BACnet®, LONWORKS®, Modbus™, and other standards. More than a building management system, EC-Net system provides all the tools you need to gain intelligence into your buildings’ performance and arm you with the ability to rapidly react to any situation that may adversely affect energy costs, business performance, and ultimately, your bottom line.
By Therese Sullivan, editor of BuildingContext.me. To watch Ken Smyers and Eric Stromquist manage every detail of the ControlTrends Awards is a lesson in how to be the ultimate hosts. They made it happen on January 29, 2017, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, NV. But, as if by magic – and there was a lot of that — the party moved out of their hands and seemed to be owned by everyone else in the room at large. The way the community is embracing this event is a sure sign that the CTAs will live on for many years to come. The CTAs have become an important night to many, and serve a variety of community-building functions.
Steven Guzelimian, President of Optergy, explained it to me this way: “We’re building a global, brand-agnostic company aimed at the small commercial contractor. Partners from all over the world and from all lines of equipment come to AHR. I jumped at the chance to get a table at the CTAs, recognizing that it would be a chance to come together and forge a team. We invited any partners that were in town to join us at our table. 18 people showed up! We shared ideas and built rapport in this comfortable setting. Phenomenal experience. We had a great time.”
Ryan Shultz, VP of Product Management at Distech, expressed “I’ve joined Distech just this year, and this was my first ControlTrends Awards. We were up for ten awards, when you count all of Acuity. And we were so happy to win six of them. It was quite an evening for us.”
Alper Uzmezler and the team at BASSG added a new twist to the ControlTrends Awards evening by announcing a gift of software to the community. BASSG is open-sourcing one of its popular software tools, Project Building Plus, making it easy and low-risk to convert a backlog of trend data to Project Haystack format.
A great highlight was the induction into the ControlTrends Awards Hall of Fame of three of the industry’s most well-known and liked people: Jack McGowan, Steven Bushby, and Ken Sinclair. Jack’s moment was anticipated recognition for his many contributions over the years, such as his recent book on Energy & Analytics. But, somehow, Eric and Ken managed to surprise Ken. You cannot keep many secrets from the editor of AutomatedBuildings.com, the hub of all industry news. So, just seeing Ken’s astonishment was worth the price of admission.
This year BACnet International merged its annual awards honoring members into the ControlTrends Awards ceremony. Andy McMillan, BACnet president and managing director, handed out awards in five categories including Volunteer of the Year, Member of the Year, BACnet Hall of Fame (again Steven Bushby), Project of the Year and, new this year, Rising Star. I talked to the Rising Star award winter Natsuko Takahashi from Delta Controls who commented:
“I studied robotics and automation at university. Getting involved and serving a BACnet Working Group motivates me to keep learning. The standard just keeps evolving with technology; for example, it’s starting to cover new biometric systems. Everyone can be involved, grow their careers and give back to the great group of people that is the BACnet industry.”
ControlTrends launched a new award this year as well—the ControlTrends Woman of the Year. The importance of attracting all types of smart, capable and motivated people to the industry is a topic broached often in the automation and control conference sessions. I think giving CTA recognition to the women that are enjoying their building controls-related careers is a great addition to the night. Moreover, the next morning, I attended a Women in ASHRAE breakfast where CTA Woman of the Year Winner Renee Joseph, VP of Channel and Marketing Operations, Johnson Controls, was a key speaker. At 7AM in that huge hotel ballroom, the space was packed to hear Renee and others strategize about making this industry more welcoming to women. I hope to keep participating in this group—so that is one more new relationship forged at the 2017 Control Trends Awards.
To sum it up, when it came to ControlTrends Awards 2016, all the winners, runners-up and next-year-4sure’ers did like Vegas-Institution, Ol’ Blue Eyes, Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra recommended: They Did It Their Way. So, Ken and Eric, you are still going to sweat the details, but ‘Daddies, your baby has grown up.’ The CTAs are out in the universe of star-studded things now.
ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings VideoCast|PodCast for week ending Nov 13, 2016 features an interview with Therese Sullivan of BuildingContext.Me, our eyes and ears covering Silicon Valley and the possibility of buying back your data from your cloud services provider. Much more to follow: EasyIO Europe training dates; Yardi Matrix 2016 Review and 2017 Forecast Webinar; CoRE Tech 2016 Review; Flame Safeguard Parable from CGNA Distributors; Honeywell N4 Certification Discount; Sophos’ James Lyne How to Hack CCTV Cameras; and ControlTalk Rewind with Ken Sinclair, “The Times They are A Changin’.”
ControlTalk NOW interview with Therese Sullivan of BuildingContext.Me, our eyes and ears from Silicon Valley. In this interview Therese tells us about her latest Silicon Valley coverage and delivers another round of advanced sapience, issuing a not so far-fetched warning about the next lock-in battlefield — waged in the cloud, where your data is being sold, and like it or not, you may have to buy it back from your service provider.
EasyIO Europe CPT & EasyStack Training Sessions Coming Up. We are very pleased to inform you about the upcoming CPT and EasyStack trainings. The CPT training is scheduled for the 28th and the 29th of November. The EasyStack training is scheduled for the 30th of November and the 1st and the 2nd of December. The trainings are the best way to get to know how to work with the CPT tools and the EasyIO FG series and EasyStack.
Yardi Matrix – 2016 Review and 2017 Forecast – Webinar Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 10:00AM PDT – 11:00AM PDT. Professional investors are worried. 2016 has done little to allay the fear that the investment cycle has hit a slowdown, and questions have emerged. Is this the end of a successful long run and will those still in the market be left holding assets with diminishing values?
CoRE Tech 2016 – Realcomm Nov 16-17, 2016 Program Details: The CoRE Tech education program is designed to give CORPORATE REAL ESTATE DIRECTORS, CIOs, FACILITY MANAGERS, BUILDING ENGINEERS, ENERGY and SUSTAINABILITY EXECUTIVES, PORTFOLIO MANAGERS and ASSET MANAGERS the technology tools they need to positively impact the bottom line of their companies – from automating business processes, to general technology solutions specifically for corporate real estate organizations, to smarter intelligent building technologies.
A Flame Safeguard Parable from the Distributors at Controls Group North America.There is a saying we have all heard, “penny wise, pound foolish.” which I’ve taken to mean, “making decisions to save small amounts of money (pennies), that end up making bad sense for affecting larger amounts of money and potential liability.” In this video, created by the elite Flame Safeguard Distributors that are members of Controls Group North America, you get to experience a realistic simulation of what could happen when you take financial shortcuts at the sake of safety. Contact your nearest CGNA Distributor for assistance.
Honeywell Discount on Niagara 4 Certification Training. 50% Discount on Niagara 4 Certification Training! Honeywell is offering a 50% discount to Authorized System Distributors towards Niagara 4 (WEBs-N4) Certification training (unlike the WEBs-N4 Crossover training) when an order of $60K or greater of WEBs integration products that are purchased between now and November 21, 2016. In addition, Authorized WEBs Contractors earn double CPRO points on any order amount of WEBs integration products purchased between November 11, 2016 through December 2, 2016.
How to Hack a CCTV Camera with Primitive Methods from James Lyne of Sophos. Sophos researcher James Lyne demonstrates how to hack an Internet-connected CCTV camera and an Android-powered phone using staggeringly simple methods. James Lyne is global head of security research at the security firm Sophos. James, a self-professed ‘massive geek’ has technical expertise spanning a variety of the security domains from forensics to offensive security. He has worked with many organizations on security strategy, handled a number of severe incidents and is a frequent industry advisor.
ControlTalk Rewind: Ken Sinclair “The Times They Are A Changin’.” “The Times They Are A Changin’” Bob Dylan said this in a song in 1964, and our very own Ken Sinclair echoes this sentiment in 2016. If you missed the October 30th Episode of ControlTalk Now The Smart Buildings Video Cast, you missed our awesome interview with Ken in which he lays out the changes that are afoot in the Building Automation and Smart Buildings controls world. Make no mistake, these changes will have a dramatic effect on all of us. So if you missed the show, no worries, you can see the interview with Ken right here right now.