Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
EMAIL INTERVIEW Anto Budiardjo & Ken Sinclair
"Anto Budiardjo is President & CEO of Clasma Events Inc., the organizer of BuilConn Europe in Amsterdam, November 8-10, 2005 (www.builconn.com) and the co-located M2M Expo & Conference (www.m2mexpo.com)."
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IP + XML + Wireless = Amsterdam
.....it is clear that IP-based technologies (XML, Web services, etc.) will dominate upper levels of building systems architecture.
Sinclair: I detect a change of focus for BuilConn Europe this year.
Budiardjo: As we analyze BuilConn progress, understand current trends and anticipate future directions, it is clear that IP-based technologies (XML, Web services, etc.) will dominate upper levels of building systems architecture. We are thus focusing a great deal of the BuilConn Europe agenda on this, specifically to help the industry develop products, applications and businesses around this new paradigm.
Sinclair: How does wireless fit into this?
Budiardjo: Wireless sensor networks specifically will have a significant role to play in the architecture of buildings, and so does broadband and longer range wireless technologies. There is a great deal of interest in wireless, although there is still confusion about the different flavors of wireless. Standards are also an issue as they evolve with groups such as ZigBee. While wireless sensor networks could prevail in the lower levels of the architecture, we still are not confident about “cutting the cord”.
Sinclair: Like cell phones in the nineties?
Budiardjo: A good analogy, cell phones back then were expensive, difficult to use (roaming issues) and not reliable compared to land lines. Nowadays, mobiles are an acceptable way of communication, it’s affordable and the technology (GSM) is a global standard, as well as better regulatory standards (number portability) making them easy to own. According to the FCC, in 2004 the number of cell phones has passed the number of land lines in the US.
Sinclair: Is the future IP + Wireless?
Budiardjo: Clearly it is, the question is how far in the future? My feeling is that this trend will be driven from two ends; the first from the technology supplier end and the second from an end-user perspective.
Sinclair: Please explain.
Budiardjo: Technology purveyors of both IP and Wireless are very active and well funded and we expect to see at BuilConn and M2M, their offerings becoming more and more compelling. On the end-user side, individuals and corporations are demanding Internet-based solutions much like what they use day-to-day (Amazon.com, eBay, online banking, eCommerce, etc.) and wireless products they have in their pockets.
Sinclair: Are vendors and integrators being caught in the middle?
Budiardjo: Yes, and that is the focus of BuilConn in Amsterdam as well as BuilConn conferences next year. Your readers should not get the wrong message here—this is a HUGE opportunity for them, NOT a threat.
Sinclair: How about legacy systems and standards such as LON and BACnet?
Budiardjo: They will continue to play a huge role. As systems remain in buildings for many years, the opportunity for retrofits and gateways to IP will be there. Also, the field network side of LonTalk and BACnet will continue to be popular. These constituents have a large amount of buildings domain expertise, experience and user base; I have no doubt that these standards will continue to be used. The data definitions that LonMark and BACnet have created also have immense value to the world of IP, and as you know, both BACnet and LonMark are embracing XML, with BACnet/ML and oBIX.
Sinclair: But there is a difference in emphasis!
Budiardjo: Yes, IP will dominate the upper level network and XML/Web services will dominate how data is presented and exchanged. Many feel that everything will need to fit into that model. The fact is that the rest of the world is using IP and XML, and as the Borg say on Star Trek, “resistance is futile”.
Sinclair: How does oBIX and OASIS fit here?
Budiardjo: Both oBIX and OASIS continue to endorse and support BuilConn. OASIS is partnering with BuilConn and M2M to conduct a conference track in Amsterdam. This will be a good way to bring IT people into the fold and provide an education for us to better understand the world of XML-based standards.
Sinclair: And ZigBee?
Budiardjo: Again, ZigBee is endorsing BuilConn/M2M Europe as well as contributing to three days of wireless educational and conference tracks. There will definitely be a buzz about ZigBee there.
Sinclair: Thanks for the update – Convergence is really happening!
Budiardjo: Yes, it is indeed, and thanks for your continued support.
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