GreenTech Media, August 8, 2016 – For years now, we’ve been talking about the internet of things (IOT) for the built environment — provisioning offices, stores, warehouses and other buildings with wireless thermostats and sensors, heating and air conditioning units, and other energy-controlling devices.
The only problem: the world of commercial real estate runs on decidedly last-generation technology. There’s nothing like the equivalent of the ubiquitous home or office Wi-Fi router to connect it all — at least, not until Intel’s Building Management Platform (BMP) comes to market later this year.
Over the past 18 months or so, Intel has been working with a set of software and hardware partners to put together a low-cost, simple-to-use IOT server of sorts. The BMP is meant to be as easy to set up as a wireless router, but equipped with all the legacy protocols required to tap into the world of energy-using “things” in buildings.
Intel debuted the BMP at its IBCon 2016 show in June, in the form of a certified gateway from hardware partner Advantech, using Intel-owned Wind River embedded software and McAfee cybersecurity, and running middleware from Candi Controls and software and applications from Lucid Design Group.
That same design will be put into its first pilot systems to be deployed this fall, and the “goal is to have this out in the market this year,” said Thierry Godart, Intel’s general manager of energy solutions. “This technology enables a simpler solution for installation, a software-as-a-service approach for applications, and a large and diverse ecosystem of hardware and software vendors.”
This could be a big deal for companies seeking to bring the latest advances in data collection, advanced analytics and device control to buildings. Today, these companies have been forced to limit themselves to the largest and most sophisticated buildings, or to jury-rig existing technology to run their applications in the vast majority of buildings that don’t have the latest building management system (BMS) from companies like Siemens, Schneider Electric, Honeywell or Johnson Controls.
The BMP’s target market is small to mid-size buildings that want to enable IOT and energy management, but can’t afford a traditional BMS, Godart said. For these buildings, “the barrier to entry was the cost of installation, and the fact that, without a certification program and an ecosystem of hardware and software, you were not sure you were getting the best-practice [standard] in usability and security.”
(This post by Jeff St. John first appeared August 8, 2016 in GreenTech Media)