Source: Energy Manager Today
By Carl Weinschenk
A key reason why the building automation market is growing quickly is that the benefits are broad and all-encompassing. There is far more than a single “killer app.”
The key to all this – the most important factor in how smart a building will be — is the sensor. Sensors are, in essence, where the rubber hits the road. Tanuj Mohan, CTO and Co-Founder of Enlighted, suggested that there is a distinction between a sensor that simply triggers an action and one in which information that is gathered is used to influence the future.
“[A] way to think about a sensor that is not smart is to think of an automatic door opener in a building,” Mohan told Energy Manager Today. “There might be a motion detector above the door, and when the light pattern above the door changes, it assumes there is someone there and opens the doors. This is useful, but not ‘smart.’ There is no central data repository and no application layer that allows the building to be optimized dynamically. It’s Pavlovian – stimulus A always causes response B. No learning over time.”
The world is moving towards extending sensor intelligence. This week Navigant Research released research that predicts that the market for advanced building sensors will reach $1.2 billion this year and more than double – to $3.2 billion – in 2025. The rise of smart sensors, the report says, is being driven by an “aging workforce, changing expectations from tenants and employees, and new pressures on sustainability and efficiency.”