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BIoT – BUILDING Internet of Things

Over the last few months, anyone in the tech space has been inundated with a new catchphrase describing the next generation of the Internet: IoT, an acronym for the Internet of Things; and its close cousin IoE, the Internet of Everything.

These memorable acronyms refer to what the industry feels is going to be the next iteration of the Internet. The early Internet consisted of simple HTML pages; rich media came next, then business application development, mobility and consumerization, and now the Internet of Things. It seems that in order for big ideas to take hold they need catchy names…hence the IoT.

In reality the IoT is not new. I remember having conversations three or four years ago about the IoT but it did not become mainstream. If you were to ask industry insiders what the predecessor to the IoT was, most would likely answer M2M (Machine to Machine). This is where machines are connected via a network (the Internet) to share data and ultimately create complex machine process automation schemes. From a consumer standpoint, the IoT again means all sorts of devices connected to the Internet for the purpose of information transfer or process automation. This ranges from wearable devices such as Google Glass and Qualcomm watches, to bathroom scales and sensored sports equipment such as bicycles and basketballs.

Realcomm actually first made reference the IoT in a 2002 article, Connecting Buildings and Processes to the Net. In this article we described how all electrical/mechanical devices found in a building would be connected to the network, their data normalized and secured, and then that data parsed off to third parties, where it would be processed in an analytics engine and ultimately involved in complex business and machine process automation.

To clarify and further define how the IoT is going to impact the commercial, corporate, government and institutional real estate industries, we decided to add a “B” to the acronym for BUILDINGS. The BIoT stands for BUILDINGS Internet of Things and allows us to focus on all the components in a building that could be connected to the network (the Internet) for the purpose of creating operational efficiencies, reducing energy consumption, improving occupant experiences (DAS to security), achieving sustainability goals, and effectively optimizing financial performance (increasing NOI and subsequently value).

When you consider the various equipment or devices found in buildings, the list is daunting. HVAC, lighting, security, lifts, AV, communications, parking, utility meters, vending machines, energy management, water management, landscaping/irrigation, digital signage and voice and data are the major categories, but by no means do these encompass all the different types of devices and elements you might find in a building or portfolio, especially at campus or city scale.

The big question is what are the benefits of including BUILDINGs in the IoT discussion? The answer is multi-faceted. The BIoT is actually the next generation of open, integrated, open architected, IP-centric smart, connected, high performance, sustainable, energy efficient, operationally efficient, green, Intelligent buildings we have been discussing for over ten years. The reason that it is important to transform our existing building stock and build all new buildings to these smart buildings or BIoT standards is quite simple. We want to operate buildings in the most cost-effective manner, save energy, be good stewards of our resources, make sure the occupants are safe and happy, and ultimately achieve a more profitable enterprise.

This new way of thinking about real estate, overlaying an IT network, connecting all our traditionally unconnected equipment, monitoring, analyzing and controlling business processes (integrating with ERP’s) without much human intervention, will lead to much better managed assets, which translates to happier occupants and improved finances.

We are excited about embracing this new concept of the IoT, adding our “B” (BUILDING) and continuing to be an integral part of the commercial, corporate, government and institutional real estate transformation.

If interested in this topic, you will not want to miss IBcon 2014!

Jim Young, Co-Founder & CEO, Realcomm
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.

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