The integration of legacy infrastructure with IoT sensors and applications, newer networks and cloud services is the key to making buildings truly smart, Apurba Pradhan, Adesto’s VP of product marketing, systems and software, told In-Building Tech.
“Though the concepts of smart buildings and the IoT are relatively recent phenomena, building automation and management systems have been available for a number of years, used to operate and monitor lighting, security, HVAC, and other building systems. However, these are traditionally standalone systems without the ability to easily connect or integrate with other devices and networks,” the executive said.
“The big challenge today is in how to integrate these systems in a scalable, cost-effective and open way. The integration of legacy infrastructures with IoT sensors and applications, newer networks and emerging cloud services is the key to making buildings truly smart. Through this integration, building managers can extract meaningful data that will enable them to benefit from AI and achieve return on investment.”
Pradhan noted that wired connectivity will continue to play a strong role in networking the core operational infrastructure of smart buildings, including HVAC, elevators/escalators, access control, lighting and emergency systems.
“These systems are embedded with a high degree of need for local networking using industry-standard protocols which will not be replaced with 5G anytime soon. However, systems for people tracking, asset tracking, and other user/tenant facing technology including security cameras will likely go the way of 5G due to the flexibility of the network,” he said. “These two realms of technologies will need to be connected both an operational level for controls applications, as well as a data level for AI/analytics applications.”
The executive also highlighted that artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics can add value for building managers in certain areas including energy management, improved space utilization, enhanced safety, and more efficient operations/maintenance.
Commenting on the awareness of the real estate sector regarding the benefits of these innovative technologies in the smart building segment, Pradhan said: “We can’t speak to whether the real estate sector is already aware of the benefits of these technologies in commercial buildings, but there is certainly well-understood value for building operators and property management. A space that is less costly to operate, provides better and ready insights on space utilization or people movement, offers more comfortable or customizable space for tenants, and is more secure or disaster-ready will command higher premiums. Adesto provides technology to systems integrators to help them realize these building improvements,” he said. “We are seeing more and more demand for IoT driven analytics, so I would say that owners and operators are definitely seeing value and putting projects to work.”
“How widespread use of these technologies [5G, AI and IoT] will be depends on the level of integration. One of the most widespread areas will be in the area of smart lighting networks with occupancy data for space analytics. We are also seeing adoption in the area of smart predictive energy management systems. Perhaps less widespread at this time are predictive management of building equipment and assets, and AR for maintenance operations.”
Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Adesto delivers end-to-end open-standard networking platforms and tools for connecting, monitoring and controlling devices in commercial and industrial IoT deployments.