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Building Automation: Edge Computing Meets the Maker Movement

Easy-to-use digital temperature sensor isolated on white

By Ken Sinclair

Our November offering speaks to and is a mash up of our digital transformation. Part of the mash up is Edge-ifcation” Meets Maker Movement: “The maker movement is a mindset, one that typifies the wonders of the 21st century while giving us hope that the turbulent times we’re currently living through may just be the growing pains of a more sharing, honest and productive society to come.

“The movement is changing how we think about education, our relationship with technology, and the underlying way we understand the world. The power of ‘I’ is being replaced by the power of ‘we’ as people wake up to the fact that not only can they achieve more themselves, but that together, anything is possible.”

The other part of the mash up is Edge-ifcation: Moving the Murky Muddled Middle to the Edge:  “This next chapter of the virtual book of our digital transformation deals with ‘edge-ifcation’; moving the murky muddled middle to the edge to add simplicity, clarity, and redefined purpose, while changing our perspectives to the advantages of a new world looked at from the edge instead of the middle.”

From October offering, Building Automation Is on a Journey to the Edge, we answer the question, “What is edge-ification? The process of moving intelligence and control to the edge.”

What is the edge? John Petze, partner and cofounder of SkyFoundry, helps me define in this interview, Deploying Data Analytics at the Edge – Continuing our EDGE-ucation series: “When we talk about the ‘edge’ or more correctly ‘computing at the edge,’ we are referring to performing essential data acquisition and computation functions as close to the data source as possible.”

In this article A City Full of Unconnected Building Networks Is Not Smart, the battle of centralization and decentralization rages on but we are closer than ever to having both existing simultaneously with an intelligent edge-fication pushing only the data that is needed from the edge reducing the complexity and volume of data. The article states:

“It is the failure of current standards, they suggest, that has led to the highly fragmented smart buildings industry and the restructuring of those standards that will offer the best solution. Only by bringing buildings and their disparate systems more cohesively into the IoT can we begin to create truly smart cities and unleash the cyber-physical revolution.”

We agree and much work is being done to rectify the failure of current standards. Please read this month's Project Haystack Update: "Last April Project Haystack entered into a formal collaboration to integrate Haystack tagging and Brick data modeling concepts into the proposed ASHRAE Standard 223P for semantic tagging of building data.”

Edge-ifcations as portrayed by the maker mash up movement  brings us rapidly into today's evolving IoT standards and the unignorable ecosystem wars of Amazon, Google,  Microsoft, and several others. No need for standards if you own the game. 

This issue is also our AHRExpo 2019 Preview. Yes, it is early but so is the event this year. We have nine free sessions in this our 20th year of hosting these education sessions at AHRExpo. Please add our sessions to "My Show Planner" if you are interested. It helps us gauge interest in each session and plan room size.

Very pleased to one of the keynote speakers at this event: Controls-Con 2019. Other keynoters are Kevin Smith, Jim Young, Scott Cochrane, and Laurent Vernerey.

Also looking forward to helping out with Haystack Connect 2019, May 13-15, 2019, at Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, Calif.

Give this interview with Chris Smith, vice president, service innovation, Otis Elevator Company,  a read: Otis Elevators on IoT and Smart Buildings:  How Technology Is Changing the Way We Move. It offers insight into the ups and down in our industry: “We’re able to collect real-time data via the cloud from individual elevators and escalators via smart sensors,” Smith says. “But we’re not just collecting data on specific units. We’re using data analytics and machine learning to analyze trends on our hundreds of thousands of connected elevators to create advanced algorithms that can predict performance trends.

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.





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posted on 11/21/2018