September 2017

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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So you think you know the future of IoT?

IoT WILL have an overwhelming impact on the Building Automation controls industry and you should know more about it.

Hector Hernandez

Hector Hernandez,

CEO, Founder

So you think you know the future of IoT?

Netflix and Blockbuster   Uber and the Taxi   AirBnB and the Hotel

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Netflix, Uber, AirBnB and many other innovative ideas all share a single commonality: People didn’t see their immediate need and didn’t want them. In fact, their industries flipped ‘right-side-up’ and no one saw it coming. Likewise, you may recall Henry Ford’s famous quote when he unveiled the automobile:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Now consider BACnet and IoT.

Today, IoT is a trendy term that’s sparking internet searches like fireworks. There are a lot of people uncomfortable with the term and many are unfamiliar with its meaning. I’m here to tell you the harsh reality. IoT WILL have an overwhelming impact on the Building Automation controls industry and you should know more about it.

So what the heck is IoT?

IoT stands for the ‘Internet of Things’. ‘Things’ ….really? Yes. By ‘things’ they mean any object, device, sensor that can be connected to the internet. These ‘things’ have unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without the need for human interaction.

Experts estimate that the entirety of IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020 and will quickly become a competitive requirement for commercial real estate owners. In fact, smart commercial buildings will be the biggest users of IoT technology through 2017, growing the install base of sensors in commercial buildings from 377.3 million in 2015 to well over a billion in 2018.

You may be familiar with a few of the major players in the IoT market for at-home monitoring - both of which will quickly be moving into the building automation industry:

Notion, allows users to monitor their homes with a multi-functional, single sensor from anywhere. The sensors can monitor anything from water leaks and temperature to motion and sounding smoke alarms. As products like Notion move beyond the home into the commercial space, you can only imagine how they will compete with BACnet technologies and transform building automation as we know it.

Nest, offering smart thermostats, cameras and smoke alarms, allowing residents to control their at home devices from a user friendly mobile app and proactive alerts.

So you as a controls contractor may be thinking...Isn’t IoT just BACnet on steroids?

Well, yes, you’re right, BACnet has a lot of beneficial aspects that are absolutely relevant, but so was the video cassette before Netflix. Many of the benefits that IoT offers have been around since 1987 when BACnet emerged for HVAC, fire/life safety, lighting control and other building automation systems.


Aside from the benefits listed listed to the right I believe DATA is the number one benefit of both IoT and BACnet. We’ve already began seeing big players like Google entering our industry for the data and that will only continue over the next decade.


So if you refer back to IoT in the comparison of Netflix and Blockbuster. I believe IoT has the opportunity to take BACnet by storm, just as Netflix transformed at-home entertainment. This is just the tip of the iceberg. As with any emerging technology in our business, you should stay informed, while it will guide your future success as a controls contractor.

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