December 13, 2017
- Building Automation
By Ken Sinclair
The catchphrase, R U - IoT Ready? has raised some interesting questions and responses such as: What is IoT? Why should I care? and What does "ready" really mean?
What is IoT? I will use this simple definition of IoT from Webopedia.
"The Internet of Things refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for Internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems." I will add to this definition "for Human-Centric Solutions."
More definitions here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things.
Why should I care? In this last month's article Change Agents — Impacting Building & Facility Management, Marc Petock provides this wisdom: “IoT continues as a game changer; it is changing what we are delivering — how, when and where. However, realizing its potential starts with understanding the value and contribution it brings. IoT is as much about behavioral changes and business opportunity, not just technology. We need to operate and manage buildings based on outcomes, not output. IoT is not the objective of this transformation but the platform upon which to connect, collect and analyze data so we can measure and validate these outcomes. Building owners and operators should not ‘buy’ IoT; they should purchase solutions to specific problems where IoT components are part of a solution.”
What does "ready" mean? Being ready is being able to discuss the merits of IoT and apply them to our applications for human-centric solutions.
When I originally created the catchphrase, I was thinking the question was focused on our traditional smart automated building industry but now have come to understand it is not just our industry that needs to be IoT-ready. Those who are the reason for our human-centric solutions need to be part of the discussion, education, and solution and made IoT-ready. This process of developing inclusive solutions requires us all to think more like app developers creating our human-centric solutions as discussed earlier in this column.
As an industry, we need to stop the waste of time in this creation of them and us, we are all in this together it is not a war, it is a love-in for “human-centric solutions.”
From my column: “Our opportunity is 2B IoT-Ready and uses our combined knowledge of what we know and what we do not know to gracefully and purposefully connect humans to our large inventory of existing soulless buildings.”
Please read my complete column about #RUIoTReady.
In asking the R U Ready question, we have received an amazing response from many industry experts helping better define what IoT-Ready might mean, turning our December AHREXpo preview issue into an evolutionary discussion before most of us meet in Chicago.
We have added these December articles and interviews from our presenters at our education sessions Brad, Scott, Anto, Therese, Jason, John, and Marc, to Required Reading for AHRExpo Chicago.
If you wish to hear more of what these folks have to say and have an opportunity to discuss in person, please join our free sessions.
All of our articles and interviews highlight what we have learned and the importance of the industries "BACnet Brick" and rapidly evolving/growing Project Haystack open source initiative and what might be needed to achieve an IoT open future. These evolving new products Making a Truly Open Controller and Anka Labs's AnkaDOS built around the highly successful Haystack semantic model embeds the Sedona control engine, SkySpark analytics engine, and the Visualytik graphical UI. All are harbingers of our open IoT future.
These four offering below provide great insight to the evolving complexities.
A Perspective on the IoT for Buildings: As the community of professionals, service companies, engineers, and vendors that serve building owners, we should be doing all we can to clarify and simplify these topics and reduce the noise around IoT technologies for buildings — John Petze, co-founder, partner, SkyFoundry.
What IoT Really Means - and What it Doesn't, David Fisher, President, PolarSoft Inc. “Let's take the time to speak thoughtfully about the problems, and benefits, and draw sharp distinctions between what is actual vs what is possible but not yet here.”
Open Source Finally Arrives, Brad White and SES Team, SES Consulting Inc. “It’s this need to marry the new with the old that is the driver of a lot of innovation. So I think we should be ready to embrace the messiness as we stumble our way to better buildings.”
IoT tech will win the race to smart buildings: IoT tech for smart buildings is evolving rapidly; much more quickly than traditional controls industry products — Steve Raschke, CEO Candi. “Smart buildings by definition require a growing set of varied products and services. This gives IoT-based solutions the scalable advantage. Fragmentation has been a problem, but two important developments now make it easier to choose and deploy IoT-based smart building solutions.”
I agree with John, David, Brad, and Steve although our open future will be built on the strong underpinning of BACnet Bricks cobbled together with hay stackable open source and shellacked with IoT veneer, our industry will be as it always has been a "messy mosaic."
I hope the catchphrase "R U - IoT Ready" sends a wake-up call to you and your people that propels you on your journey into our rapidly evolving IoT future. You can better define what the words IoT mean to you but you cannot ignore your need for readiness.
The next few months including the discussions in our education sessions and the back rooms of Chicago will lead me in June to the long bright days at https://nordicsmartbuilding.fi Helsinki.
For me, it is an amazing rush to ride "Today's IoT Wave of Change" which is much bigger and much more all-encompassing than the DDC wave that washed me into this industry.
Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.