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The term wireless is normally used to refer to any type of electrical or electronic operation which is accomplished without the use of a "hard wired" connection. Wireless communication is the transfer of information over a distance without the use of electrical conductors or "wires". The distances involved may be short (a few meters as in television remote control) or very long (thousands or even millions of kilometers for radio communications). When the context is clear the term is often simply shortened to "wireless". Wireless communications is generally considered to be a branch of telecommunications.
Reading the above general definition of wireless lends one to believe of a building system with no wires whatsoever. Velcro’d temperature and space conditioning sensors etc., but is this really the answer or the necessary reality?
The fact is most building system manufacturers today have, or are moving towards designing wireless building systems and components in an effort to reduce the total installed costs of controls. The answer to this problem really is wireless, or is it rather “no-new-wires”?
Our feeling is that the largest target market is the existing building market. This market poses the greatest risk for the installing controls contractor during the project procurement and retrofit process, but will see the greatest gains. These existing buildings are full of aging electric/electronic control systems, accompanied by miles of a matrix of wires which become redundant when applying completely wireless controls. Why not leverage this existing infrastructure and offer the best of both worlds, a hybrid approach if you will. Viconics has moved on this very principal over the past year and is on the verge of releasing a product which tackles the above mentioned opportunities in addition to others yet to be uncovered.
The second real-world problem the industry faces with wireless building systems and controls is the new training and application rules which technicians and engineers must become accustomed to. What kind of tools do we need? What is the correct positioning of the controller? Not to mention integration tools which have yet to be deployed!
These are all problems and opportunities for the controls industry to embrace and find intelligent solutions for. Meanwhile, the industry, contractors, building owners, operators and manufacturers alike have developed a fixation with wireless.
Viconics believes we have a great compromise solution which addresses the needs of the industry today, using existing tools, a minimum of training necessary for integration and application of the product, and which requires no batteries for operation. Stay tuned for more details, and be sure to visit our website for more information.
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