May 2018

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Creating Virtual Visibility

You must tag IT, every creation and make it virtual visible.

Ken Sinclair
Founder, Owner, Publisher


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The hours of daylight are increasing in Helsinki which is increasing the physical visibility of this amazing event.  What about our virtual visibility which is nnordicow exposed for every hour of the day and year by our new found transparency?

We are looking forward to exciting long days of learning and networking at the 2018 Nordic Smart Building Convention HELSINKI, JUNE 6TH & 7TH, 2018.  I am very pleased to be a moderator and a media sponsor at this event.  We are now focused on the preparation of the programs for this event.

This blog bit is about how we all need to increase our virtual visibility, additional words for my original blog about Talking Transparency & Creating a Digital Twin.  How do all these words fit together? Creating Virtually Visibility while Talking Transparency & Creating a Digital Twin?

These words from that blog help us to understand our Transparency Transformation.

As part of our never-ending transformation, we need to talk about Transparency which implies openness, communication, and accountability, operating in a way that thoughts, feelings, or motives are easily perceived and it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. This open to all transparent thinking is a significant shift.  So if we are to be transparent, we need to create a strong virtual identity while increasing our visibility, and making all that we do machine-readable.

It is this thought that transparency is not only exposing us to our clients, while holding us more accountable for our actions, but the fact that because this is all online this transparency is open to machine self-learning and AI evolution. For machines to use this information, we need to tag IT. "IT is our Internet Things."

This inspired my last column which was commented on by many that it was a bit geeky and focused on building automation standards, but if the gory geeky details were removed, the presented concepts are sound.

Want IT Virtually Visible? Tag IT!  Tagging IT is now mandatory or "IT" will virtually disappear as fast as created.  Worse yet, the Internet Things we create -- the "IT" -- will virtually disappear, and no person and no machine will be able to find them in the big data blizzard to further the value of their creation. If we wish to find our "IT,” our connected creations and have machine learning enhance and help us on our journey, we must tag IT.

Name calling, which in the past was discouraged, has become a mandatory requirement for our Internet Things connected creations and their components.

You will need to read my review Meta-Morphing Mash Up for Self Creation and wade through the geek speak to completely understand, but here is the skinny.

The Mash up is this ASHRAE's BACnet Committee, Project Haystack and Brick Schema Collaborating to Provide Unified Data Semantic Modeling Solution.

Meta refers to the reference in HTML, meta tags or meta elements are tags placed within the head section of your code that help define the contents.

Haystack co-founder John Petze describes here:

“The reason that you can point a web browser at someone else’s website to see what they have to say is that we have all agreed upon how website data should be marked-up or tagged. You and I don’t have to have any pre-negotiations to make that happen. We need the same thing for data coming out of systems and devices. We should be able to get all the data, and it should be easy to interpret when we receive it. It should be marked up with tags that describe what it is. Project-Haystack has been working on that challenge since its founding in 2011.”

By calling the things in our IoT world by a common name that is machine readable many other things start to unravel on our way to the transition to AI, self-learning, and a self-creation world. Please read the review for more insight.

I continued on a mind-expanding journey building on our meta-morphing-mashup towards our goal of self-creation. The importance of the call to tagging was underpinned in several of my last columns but highlighted by the announcement that the ASHRAE BACnet committee (, Project Haystack ( and Brick Schema ( are actively collaborating to integrate Haystack tagging and Brick data modeling concepts into the new proposed ASHRAE Standard 223P for semantic tagging of building data.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]The message is that tagging is mandatory.

Other organizations are working on the tagging of, well, almost everything. TagItSmart is changing the way products can be tracked and monitored. Their goal is to connect mass-market products. This Infogram shows the value of tagging from creation to recycling

My Conclusion: you must tag IT, every creation and make it virtually visible.

I hope this blog helps you understand that tagging is not just a nice-to-have feature, but a mandatory part of future-proofing our IT creations. Just in case one of these tagging standards is not the correct one, creators can always leave enough space to re-tag to a different one. If IT is machine readable there is plenty of space to work with, and best of all, completely flexibility for how IT will be used.

I am excited to be the moderator and lead discussions about how this will be implemented and add the tagging discussion to create virtual visibility to our Transparency/Twin session. 

THURSDAY, June 7TH 12:30 – 13:00
Panel Discussion: “Transparency and the Digital Twin: What it means to be seen”

I am sure that mention of virtual visibility will occur in this earlier discussion as well

09:20 - 10:00
DISCUSSION: "Empathic, Healing & Anticipatory Buildings"
Moderating: Ken Sinclair, Founder at
In the discussion:
Antti Ruuska, Co-Creation Manager at VTT
Henry Lawson, Senior Market Research Consultant at BSRIA
Ken Dooley, Technology Director at Granlund

See you in Helsinki.


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