There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the ‘Internet Of Things’ (IoT) and even more confusion surrounding how this concept will impact businesses. Building Automation is already experiencing industry wide changes spurring in this area and many more are on the way. Don't be overwhelmed, educate yourself. Although the concept can be a bit confusing, the 'Internet of Things' is going to have positive effects for the businesses the embrace these budding new technologies.
What Exactly is the Internet of Things?
The internet of things is a simple concept and refers to electronic objects communicating data without direct human interaction. This communication could occur over the internet or within an internal network, the concept stays the same. When your smartphone pulls up the weather at the top of your phone without you asking it to do so, this is a simple example of the internet of things in action. Forbes has a great article that explains the Internet of Things very simplistically if you want to learn more.
How Would the Internet of Things Impact a Facility or Building?
Environmental controls is one of the first areas in a buildings seeing changes brought on by the 'Internet of Things.' Imagine a conference room with large windows on a particularly hot day. A sensor that adjusts the temperature in the room automatically without human intervention is a perfect example of the Internet of Things in action. But what if no one is planning on using that conference room for the rest of the day?
The adjustment is a waste of energy if no one needs to use the space. This is where the Internet of Things is taking building automation to the next level. Now try to imagine a conference room that only makes that extra adjustment when someone schedules a meeting in that conference room with Microsoft Outlook. Sure one conference room isn’t going to make a difference, but imagine how much energy and money could be saved at a large corporation with thousands of conference rooms using this technology across the nation.
Who is Leading Building Automation Innovations?
Companies like Tridium, Distech Controls, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Siemens and American Auto-Matrix are finding new and incredible ways to eliminate energy waste and streamline facility management. Companies building non-proprietary equipment and using BACnet communication protocols tend to innovate and accommodate consumers more effectively. End users of non-proprietary systems don’t get trapped into working exclusively with a single equipment provider that can practically hold customers hostage with service and upgrades. Mid-Atlantic Controls is a big supporter of non-proprietary BAS equipment, because the end consumer wins out when competition and innovation come together.
What’s Next for Building Automation and the Internet of Things?
The possibilities for innovation in the area of building automation and energy management are limitless. The director of emergency preparedness at Virginia Commonwealth University expects to see “smart” fire extinguishers that monitor tank pressure and send a notification when they need to be replaced, which is just one of thousands of potential ways IofT will increase efficiency throughout the marketplace. Experts agree that heating, air conditioning, security, refrigeration, lighting and other traditionally stand along entities will likely be the first areas to get impacted due to their high expense.
As innovations become cost effective and useful, we’ll see huge strides in this industry that will help streamline facility management while reducing the bottom-line by saving energy and reducing wasted resources. Contact us using the button below to learn more about the building automation industry or if you have any questions about ways to improve energy and efficiency in an existing building.