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Berlin, Germany — Feb. 16, 2016 — Cisco has introduced a new Building Internet of Things solution, the Digital Ceiling, a Power over Ethernet (PoE) network that enables the convergence of building systems including lighting, heating, cooling, sensors, and other actuators.
All of these work together to increase efficiency, lower costs, and enable unique user experiences. The net-net: creation of buildings that are not only smart, but also connected, secure, and easy to manage.
Digital Ceiling is based on an optimized Cisco IP network that includes enhanced switches that enable lighting and building automation to run on a converged IP network. Features like Perpetual Power over Ethernet (PoE), Fast Boot, Smart Install, and software for sensor integration (including motion, light, temperature, infrared, and humidity) are also included.
Digital Ceiling leverages dramatic gains in LED technology. LED costs are dropping 12 percent year over year, said Tony Shakib, vice president of the IoT verticals business unit of Cisco in a virtual roundtable. Meanwhile, LED power efficiency is improving by 20 percent annually, he said. Today, as more building services are moving to IP networks, LEDs can be powered by those same IP networks.
The partner community supporting Digital Ceiling currently includes Cree, Philips, Johnson Controls, Eaton, nuLEDs, and nine others.
A new Information Exchange provides Digital Ceiling with open and secure communication. This eases interoperability among devices, sensors, and actuators. It enables more efficient communication over CoAP — a standards-based IoT protocol.
Mobile County (Alabama) Public Schools plan to use Digital Ceilings to enhance student achievement and improve security by providing lighting for early warning and fire detection, while reducing operating costs.
“Mobile County Public Schools is working toward blending lighting with intuitive technology to personalize learning environments and deliver more value than we’d ever imagined,” said David K. Akridge, executive manager, information technology, for the school system, in the virtual roundtable. “Beyond high-performance energy efficiency, we now have the ability to tune the color of our lighting to create custom, comfortable classrooms.”
Digital Ceiling is one of three new solutions in Cisco’s Digital Solutions portfolio. The other two are Customer Experience (which aims to deliver a better experience, as well as to measure and optimize on each customer interaction) and Workforce Experience (using face-to-face collaboration and conferencing, this offer is made up of standardized room types that allow you to set to your preference and then roll out). The new digital solutions are based on validated designs and use cases. Orderable as one solution, they bring together hardware, software, and services.