Smart building with green fresh leaves.

Smart buildings to the rescue

Smart buildings offer the entire building sector serious appeal, and for good reason. In the midst of the unprecedented growth of smart technologies, there is a unique window of opportunity for product owners to get ahead of the competition and super-charge an existing product business.

This is the first in a series of articles that will shed light on what you as a product manufacturer should know about industry trends and the driving forces behind smart buildings.

Building Internet of Things

The expressions “intelligent buildings” or “smart buildings” are a tad bit overused, suggesting that it has something to do with sensors, monitors, and dashboards.  But the “smart” part is really their ability to reduce energy-waste, cut costs and promote productivity. So, in essence we build smart buildings to address environmental challenges, save money and get the enhanced lifestyles as a bonus. Technology is just the enabler. Having said that, Big Data, high-speed wireless connectivity, the cloud and IoT-enabled automation systems in buildings are somewhat a prerequisite to support all stakeholders bottom line as well as Mother Earth’s.

Point of no return

The world’s cities are already occupied by 4 billion people and by 2030 two thirds of the earth’s population will live in urban areas. Second only to fossil fuels, cities are the real culprits behind the amplified global warming. This development is deeply unsustainable both environmentally and economically. Clean, more habitable and resilient cities start with smart buildings. So, developing a truly networked infrastructure, where smart, green buildings can be fully realized, is undoubtedly an immediate global concern.

Sustainability is no longer a choice

Cities are speeding up the construction of smart buildings and retrofits of the existing building stock by partnering up with the private sector, the academia and innovative tech-startups. A strong motivator for this development is the EU Nearly-Zero Energy Building Directive. This new legislation requires all public buildings to be nearly-zero energy already this year to meet the EU’s targets to bring down CO2 emissions with 20% by 2020. The fast track to curb energy-waste has proven to be the nearly-zero energy building. A nearly-zero energy building is an environmentally friendly giant that produces the same amount of clean energy as it spends – and at that – in its own backyard.

Methods to support sustainable building practices

The BREEAM sustainability assessment method and the energy efficiency benchmarking tool LEED are developed to certify that a building delivers on all strict sustainability requirements from the get-go, from energy use and indoor environment to waste management and of course the overall environmental impacts of the building.

A sustainability certified building will also make a smart building’s performance comparable internationally which gives property owners a clear indication of how environmentally friendly their building is. The more sustainable, the better financial and environmental payoffs for building owners, tenants and facility managers.

Existing buildings will also get smarter

In the UK there is a commitment to halve all greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. But around 80% of the building stock that will exist in 2025 has already been built. This is more or less the case in the rest of the western world. Yet it’s not realistic to replace all outdated infrastructure, especially in older buildings that were not built with automation in mind. This is where retrofitting with IoT comes into play.

To retrofit existing building management systems with low-cost sensors connected to the Internet is an inexpensive way to start crunching the numbers without the need to sign up for a costly whole-system makeover. Standard systems for energy management, HVAC, access control, fire detection and lighting are the nearest shore. This system-by-system upgrade approach is increasingly adopted by building owners and facility managers according to research firm IHS.

So what about future proofing? Well, given that technology innovation is advancing in an unheard-of tempo it’s impossible to predict what lies ahead in just a few years. Just the same, we should be prepared. Even tough today’s smart technologies are state-of-the-art, they will surely be seen as antiquated compared to the technology that will be available in the future. So, to choose a wireless solution that at least can anticipate and adapt to what the future will bring is a clever move to safeguard the intelligent building systems’ lifespan over time.

Cybersecurity by Design

A major drawback on the path towards the promised land of connected buildings is cyberthreats. In a world where a smart lock (or any other connected device in a building) can initiate a cyberattack that cripple a whole building’s critical functions, it becomes mandatory to address cybersecurity risks. It’s important that digital, physical and cyber security is not an afterthought but is built in by design.

Data privacy

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect in May this year. It will impact what type of personal data we store in smart buildings. Making sure that individual tenants or office workers are informed that, and how, their data is used and get their consent stands in stark contrast to the tendency to collect data because it is useful for building operations or just interesting. It’s a no-brainer that all privacy question marks must be cleared up if smart buildings are going to reach their full potential.

The global market

It’s no understatement that there is a snowballing demand for clever networked solutions in the building sector, we see innovations pop up almost daily. Smart buildings are reputedly becoming the number one market for IoT-enabled products and devices according to Deloitte.

As per Navigant Research’s latest report the global smart buildings market is expected to grow from $3.6 billion in 2017 to $10.2 billion by 2026. Based on Market and Research’s recent report the global market for connected services and hardware will grow from $8.8Bn in 2016 to over $18.4Bn by 2021. IHS in turn predicts that the global building automation equipment marketplace will grow by 4 percent this year. Finally, the Memoori complete report on market sizing and opportunities for Smart Commercial buildings 2016-2021 indicates that unconnected BAS-market for energy and control systems will grow 7.2% CAGR with the strongest growth in lighting control.

Final words

Connected products are not just improving value creation, but are also shattering the boundaries of competition itself and creating whole new industries. For many manufacturing companies, smart products will push the underlying enigma to the surface; “What market am I competing in?”. Our next article will provide you with the answers that will make you hit the ground running! And – given that you as a manufacturer embrace the opportunities at hand, we would say – from now on you are in the smart, connected product market.

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IoT focus at Elmia Subcontractor

Meet us in Jönköping next week! Elmia Subcontractor is Northern Europe’s leading trade fair for product development and purchasing within the manufacturing industry and this year there is an IoT focus.

Since the digital and connected aspects of a product is becoming more and more important, Elmia Subcontractor is launching IoT technology and service providers as a new exhibitor group. At a special area called Subcontractor IoT Arena the best examples of products and services on the market today will be showcased and we are happy to announce that Swegon’s wireless climate control system New WISE will be a part of the exhibition. Come and learn more about this unique IoT enabled HVAC system and how it has enabled Swegon to leap-frog the competition.  

On Wednesday November 15th you will find LumenRadio at the Pop-Up Expo just next to the Subcontractor IoT Arena, helping visitors to get a better understanding of opportunities and challenges with wireless connectivity and how wireless connected products can give you a competitive advantage. Come by and get inspired!

Meet us there:

Pop-up Expo – November 15

Come and talk about all aspects of wireless and Future-Proof connectivity – find us in booth D05:30/26.

On stage in the IoT Arena – November 15

Our CEO Alexander Hellström will guide you through the 7 vital steps to take when launching an IoT solution – the presentation will be given both at 10:40 AM and 2:20 PM.

Product showcase in the IoT Arena  – November 14-17

Swegon’s New WISE is on display during the entire tradeshow.

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ABB’s innovation and growth hub SynerLeap choses LumenRadio

LumenRadio is proud to announce that we are now a member of ABB’s innovation and growth hub called SynerLeap, which aims to create an ecosystem for collaboration between ABB and small technology companies.

SynerLeap is located in the heart of the ABB Corporate Research Center in Västerås, Sweden and their vision is to reach shorter innovation cycles, decreased time-to-market and together strengthen the competitiveness. As the name implies it is about finding synergies between companies, partners, unique infrastructure and expertise and to let companies take the big Leap.

LumenRadio has been chosen as one of the technology companies that for a period of 18 months will have access to ABB’s infrastructure, customers and business areas to promote LumenRadio’s growth. And during that period LumenRadio will also give ABB an injection of innovative technology, energy and entrepreneurial culture.

“SynerLeap represents an opportunity for LumenRadio to solidify the relationship with the ABB Group, and provides a platform for us to interact with the product divisions within ABB related to the wireless solutions of tomorrow.” says Peter Lindkvist, Sales Director at LumenRadio and main responsible for the SynerLeap partnership.

Magnus Backman. Photo credit Jonas Bilberg

”We are excited to welcome LumenRadio as our new SynerLeap member. We see a lot of opportunities in LumenRadio’s wireless connectivity solutions and having them close by, it will be much easier to network and find synergies together with the other SynerLeap companies and ABB”, says Magnus Backman, Head of Energy & Power at SynerLeap.

“We look forward to bringing our knowledge of Future-Proof connectivity to the table, and to co-create wireless applications worthy of bearing the ABB name, in terms of reliability and quality-of-service.” concludes Peter Lindkvist.

More information about SynerLeap can be found at www.synerleap.com.

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Human learning

Why you should love wireless standards!

Do you sometimes get confused by all these standards? If you are working at R&D I bet you have been frustrated when you try to pick a standard for your wireless enabled products. I tell you there is a battle of standards out there.

So what is a wireless standard then and why is it important for you?

Well let me answer that question by explaining why we think wireless standards are important. Apart from the obvious reason of interoperability, that is a product being able to talk to others everywhere from the sensor to the IT system and Cloud, popular standards are implemented by many.

And why is mass implementation important?

I would say stability which in the end minimize risk during you design. That is you don’t want to be forced into a position where you would need to spend research resources in developing a standard. And you don’t want to be forced into spending resources in solving bugs because the stack you choose hasn’t got widely adopted and not been used much in real life. You just want to design that top notch product, the new innovative offer that everyone loves!

Which standard will prevail and which standard would do the job then?

I mean in the end you don’t want to be the one that decided about which standard to go for which later turns out not to do the job or is obsolete when the product is launched… At LumenRadio we can help you in that decision. We truly believe in using well recognised open standards from IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IETF, the Internet Engineering Task Force.

So which wireless standards do we support then?

The easiest way to illustrate the standards we support is to put those in the well recognised OSI model:

We have merged layer 5-7 (Session, Presentation and Application), 3-4 (Network and Transport) and 1-2 (Physical and Data Link) for simplicity reasons. Those layers are called a stack which you probably is familiar with.

Furthermore LumenRadio is a part of and supporting the Contiki community which is one of the most adopted so called 6LoWPAN stacks. Contiki is an operating system for networked systems very well suited for low-power wireless sensors and actuators.  Contiki is open-source software released under a simple license and has a vast community contributing ranging from huge enterprises to universities. LumenRadio is of course contributing but we are not alone. A worldwide team of developers from Texas Instruments, Atmel, Cisco, ENEA, ETH Zurich, Redwire, RWTH Aachen University, Oxford University, SAP, Swedish Institute of Computer Science, ST Microelectronics and many others contributes. A wide adoption and continuous development is important for stability point of view and will minimizing the risk for you.

We have configured Contiki for optimal performance in Smart Buildings, Healthcare, Retail and Industrial communication providing industrial grade large scale meshed networking. On top of that we have added our knowledge and IP for ultra reliable communication, over the air firmware upgrades and easy commissioning for future proofness. This is implemented on application level in a software suite we call FPCC, Future-Proof Coexistence Connectivity.

This is what we call Mira.

 

Want to know more about my love for standards? Drop me an email at niclas.norlen@lumenradio.com

And don´t miss our white paper Wireless IoT standards that will make your products Future-Proof.  Download it here.

 

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Retail store

Smart products – The future of the connected retail store!

How can your next generation of products enable your retailer to provider a better In-store experience, driving increased sales and better conversion rates? How can entrance systems, gates, shelves, refrigerated counters, lights or price tags become smart products that helps in the battle between the online vs the offline customer?

Well, making your products connected and equipped with sensors could be part of the answer and by doing this you could extend your offer to not only be an inventory in a store but also a think tank that can collect and gain a lot of understanding of the customer. By collecting and storing all the produced data from your products you will be able to use smart analytics to turn this data into new exciting services that you of course should charge for!

The “Amazon problem”

“Retailers don’t have weather problems, they have Amazon problems.” Those are the words coming from Scot Wingy, one of the co-producers to the weekly podcast  “The Jason and Scot Show” at RetailGeek [1].

It´s no surprise that the discussion within retail today aims at how to manage the battle between online vs offline and the questions I hear quite often is if it will be possible to get the customers back to the store again? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing is for sure. If we are going to succeed in attracting customers to the store, we need to be able to gain much more knowledge about what’s happening in the store and how we can influence the customers when they actually are there. Compared to an online-retailer, who’s got access to a never ending story of analytics and campaign tools for optimizing the online experience, we don’t have that many (if any at all) in the physical store,

So what if we could gain as much knowledge about the offline customers and their habits as the online retailer can? How could that impact your average retailer?

POPAI claimed in their “Shopper Engagement Study 2014” that up to 82% of all buying decisions were made In-store  [2]. That means that today’s shopper is making more decisions in-store than ever before and can very much be influenced in the buying moment.

What are the new retail store opportunities?

So in this context, what are the new opportunities in your offer when all your products all of a sudden become connected and maybe equipped with sensors?

Let’s give an example of a dumb simple product that now is connected – a hanger. What value could that possibly add to the in-store experience? Let’s have a look at the picture below:

What does the number show – price, weight, inventory level? It’s actually the number of “likes” on Facebook in real time. The brazilian fashion retailer C&A has connected their hangers and if you, while walking the shop’s racks, find something likeable you just touch the Facebook-connected hanger and your “like” will immediately be up on the network. An exciting idea that may help some undecided shoppers to do the right pick purchases based on each items popularity.

At LumenRadio we think this trend of connecting products and making them smart, is just the start of a really big wave of new exciting value added services that will be provided by the manufacturers.

Engaging the customer

How can your products influence in-store customers to become more engaged in their purchases and decision making? I dare to say it doesn’t matter if you provide entrance systems, gates, shelves, refrigerated counters, lights or price tags. All of them can become smart products that helps in the battle between the online vs the offline customer

Imagine a customer journey where the customer is just window shopping. Imagine developing a concept named, let say, “The Barker” – with the purpose of attracting more customers into the store. “The Barker” could be a solution that detects the number of visitors passing outside the store window and when a potential customer is passing by it triggers an event (the sound of a whistle, something moving) making the customer look into the store while at the same time the spotlight is dimming up over a real bargain deal, making the customer enter the store.

Equipping your product with sensors and connectivity you would not only be able to see how many are entering the store but also how many that you are able to attract into the store (conversion rate).

But today’s retailers aren’t just interested in WHAT the customers buy… they also want to know HOW they shop. Taking the concept one step further – when the customer enters the store, where do they go? Where do they spend time? And what do they touch or interact with?

This is just one of many examples on how existing products can provide exciting value added services. So how can your product be a part of the customer journey? How can your product collect data, help increase sales or cut costs?

If you want know more about how your products can get connected and optimize the in-store experience drop me an email at alexander.hellstrom@lumenradio.com.

References

[1] National Retail federation

[2] POPAI Mass merchant shopper engagement study 

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Climate Control

Climate Control has become a cutting edge IoT Technology 

The Swedish magazine Elektroniktidningen has published how Swegon is facing great interest in its new climate control system. 5000 wireless nodes in the same property is an achievement no other standards or competition can match today.
 
Swegon has undeniably taken the lead regarding developing IoT solutions for Smart buildings. We are very happy to receive great praise from their behalf in the article. 
 
“5000 nodes was a technical demand from our side to LumenRadio. If you made such a request to any other provider, they would just laugh. There is no one today that can match LumenRadio’s capabilities.” 
 
Read the article in Swedish here.
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IoT-enabled Climate Control System is Nominated for Prestigious Award

Swegon’s unique IoT-enabled climate control system, WISE, is changing an entire industry. For its achievements, WISE has been nominated for the Great Indoor Climate Award (Stora Inneklimat priset).

The aim of the award is to acknowledge companies or organizations who have developed extraordinary climate control products or services. They should be innovative, contribute to good indoor climate and limit resource utilization. The jury have had to choose among more than 40 contributions and the four nominees are:

Swegon AB – New Wise

Lindab AB – UltraLink

Installatörernas Utbildningscentrum – Ny utbildningsplats för inneklimatbranschen

HSB Riksförbund – HSB-FTX

Swegon’s new WISE is based on LumenRadio’s ultra-reliable wireless technology and makes buildings sustainable, flexible and energy efficient. The system grants real estate owner’s great savings on installations, and at the same time, allows them to reach the future environmental requirements.

“Hearing about Swegon’s nomination makes us all at LumenRadio really proud. We are happy that our technology has supported Swegon in taking the leap from wired to wireless technology thereby placing them miles ahead of the competition”, says Alexander Hellström CEO at LumenRadio.

With a meshed network and a self-healing system for large scale networks LumenRadio creates sustainable and flexible applications for Smart buildings (Retail, Physical security, BECS, Lighting controls, Fire detection and safety)

The winner of the Award will be announced on May the 18th at Inneklimatgalan.

More information:

https://slussen.blob.core.windows.net/newspdf/I_466_NewsPdf_1229976.pdf

http://www.vvsforum.se/nyheter/2017/april/de-ar-nominerade-till-stora-inneklimatpriset/

 

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Micro Gateways for collecting KPI data from the factory floor

By: Erik Orrskog – LumenRadio & Erik Halvordsson – HMS Labs

The Industrial Internet of Things means that data will need to be transferred from industrial devices to IT systems, often using some kind of edge gateway as a translator. But how do you get the information from the devices to the edge gateway in an easy and cost-efficient way? Micro-gateways could be the answer.

HMS Labs and LumenRadio recently finished a joint concept study that aims to demonstrate how existing industrial sensors and IO devices can be connected directly to an IoT platform using wireless communication and a new type of gateway which we call micro-gateways.

Such applications are today only implemented in large scale facilities using wires. The proposed system and involved technologies help to bring the cost and complexity down to a level where it is possible to install this also on smaller production sites. This was not possible until now since the technologies involved (IoT platform, MIRA protocol, edge gateways) were not commercially available.

For more information and the full paper please go to the following link: 

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Swegons technology in a conference room

Swegon launches a unique IoT (Internet of Things) enabled climate control system for HVAC with LumenRadio’s reliable wireless connectivity.

Swegon, the market leading producer and supplier of energy efficient ventilation and indoor climate systems has together with LumenRadio produced a revolutionary wireless climate control system which is easy to install, maintain and upgrade. The new system, New WISE, gives Swegon and real estate owners great savings on installations and at the same time allowing them to reach the next level of Energy Efficiency.

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CRMX Nova launched

LumenRadio is proud to announce the launch and immediate availability of CRMX Nova at PLASA 2009. CRMX Nova redefines reliability and fidelity in wireless DMX & RDM distribution and is our first smart and adaptive wireless product range for the Entertainment and Architainment industries. CRMX Nova offers the same robustness as cables, but with the convenience, flexibility, and low installation costs of wireless.CRMX Nova will be demonstrated to the world for the first time during PLASA 2009 at LumenRadio’s booth 1-D36 and A.C. Entertainment Technologies’ booth 1-E10. We recommend you stop by to see the full demonstration. See the full press release here and information on CRMX Nova under Products or visit our dedicated CRMX Nova website at http://www.crmxnova.com. Hi-res images for printing can be found here

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