May 2014

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 15 Years in the Collaboratory

Why It Was Time for a Timeline

“What’s past is Prologue”

In celebration of our 15th anniversary on line we requested fresh eyes to extract the evolutionary stories of our industry.

Therese Sullivan our newest contributing editor has taken on the task to provide a new perspective and insight as to why these articles and interviews are important, and carefully represents them in a time line to show our Automated Buildings industries' evolution.  In her own words she connects, timelines, and provides fresh comments on major events of our history in her 15 Years in the Collaboratory.

To interact with the timeline click on Continue.

Why It Was Time for a Timeline

“What’s past is Prologue”

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Past Issues
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”The backstory prepares us for and increases appreciation of the present,” says wikianswers about the meaning of the above quote from The Tempest.  It’s hard to argue with Shakespeare. So when I read our own Shakespeare’s March Obix review and was pointed back to ‘dinosaur bones,’ I clicked and I read. Writing in 2002, Eric Craton and Dave Robin of Automated Logic described a path that is still ahead of us. My take was “Dinosaur Bones?  No, This is Thought Leadership!”  They knew what had to be done; the industry just hasn’t been in the position to implement yet. I was glad that Ken had pointed me back to their Information Model: the Key to Integration article. Which led to my next thought, “If these are dinosaur bones, maybe it’s time to build Jurassic Park!”
I shared my ideas with Ken about a Timeline Infographic and about new Cloud Applications that result in easily-shared, responsive-design (i.e. graphics-filled, digital content that stretches and contracts per device screen size).  Ken shared with me that the time frame was 1999 to the present and that, as it happened, May would mark the 15th anniversary edition of as an online magazine. Then the bigger idea that we should launch a campaign to celebrate that milestone and to recognize the building automation and facilities management visionaries who outlined the journey to connectivity convergence in the pages of Engineering Systems (ES) and from 1999 to today.  The “15 Years in the Collaboratory “ timeline embedded above is just a first and an incomplete element  of the campaign. As you can see from complementary “Over 150 Past Issues” timeline embedded in Ken’s May editorial, there is so much more content available in the archives. The approach I took was to curate a handful of articles from each year to reflect some of the most influential writings, events and announcements in terms of how they paved the way to today’s world of building automation.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]The fact that the Collaboratory timeline is not complete - it certainly doesn’t include all the important commercial product introductions - leaves ample opportunity for you to get involved. Let me know if you want me to help with your own corporate timelines or insertions to this. More than that, let’s use this look backwards to help us move forward.  How would you advance the conversations that these pioneering thinkers started? Other than vocabulary, what adjustments to the roadmap are necessary now that we’ve entered an age when the Smart Device reigns and the IT and Communications industries are striving to put a new “Internet of Things” framing on the topic of building connectivity. The Building Automation industry should lead the dialog, especially on the core convergence topics of HVAC comfort through data analytics, energy efficiency management, smart grid connectivity, wireless infrastructure, lighting control, building performance visualizations, BAS data security etc. As the Anniversary Year progresses, I’d like to put supplement content together, again in easily-shared, responsive-design format on each of these topics. Contact me at if your company would like to participate.



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