Creating an Agile Smart Building with an IoT Ecosystem
August 4, 2020
Businesses are becoming more connected every day as they rely on new technology to keep operations running smoothly and employees satisfied with their work environment. While these smart technologies may enhance your business, siloed systems offer only limited insights and analytics to help your company grow and improve. To keep up in today’s evolving world, the best way to leverage the data collected by your smart devices is to create a fully connected IoT ecosystem which integrates all of your smart building technology via one user-friendly platform.
What is an IoT ecosystem?
An IoT ecosystem is typically made of a combination of systems, software solutions and smart devices. In an IoT ecosystem, all elements need to integrate seamlessly in order to function properly, perform the desired tasks and provide value to users.
Often, multiple companies will work together to create an IoT ecosystem. When each vendor contributes specialized IoT devices and expertise, the result is a robust IoT solution and an optimized smart building experience for occupants.
The idea of an ecosystem comes from biology. In a biological ecosystem, a community of organisms interact with one another and with their physical environment, causing a network of interactions and outcomes. IoT ecosystems are similar: digital components interacting with one another and with their physical environment.
What are the components of an IoT ecosystem?
At its simplest, an IoT ecosystem requires a remote and smart device. The remote, typically a phone or tablet, sends commands for the device to execute. In return, the device sends information back to the remote, which analyzes the data. Many IoT ecosystems are much more robust - the “remote” controls dozens of systems which rely on multiple sensors and power everything from lights to security equipment and more.
Complex IoT ecosystems may include one or more of each of the following elements.
Smart Devices and Sensors
These are the most visible elements of an IoT ecosystem. Igor’s PoE enabled IoT platform can integrate with a variety of products, including sensors, LED lights, security devices, smart thermostats, UV disinfection lighting and more. Even non-PoE devices work with Igor’s agile IoT ecosystem.
The Igor Node is responsible for discovering devices connected to the IoT ecosystem and assigning an IP address so each device can be fully integrated and controllable using the software application. The Igor Node works with devices from any manufacturer and can accommodate non-PoE fixtures.
The Gateway connects applications to Igor’s IoT platform, Nexos, allowing users to layer on additional functionality such as conference room scheduling or asset tracking.
Igor’s IoT software application is where users interact with and control all devices and sensors. Users can also use Igor’s IoT ecosystem software to set up programs and protocols, connecting devices according to predefined plans.
When an IoT ecosystem integrates cloud analytics, users can receive real-time data from any connected device. With actionable insights from Igor’s AI-ready cloud analytics platform, facility managers and owners can efficiently automate and optimize the smart building environment.
An IoT ecosystem’s user interface serves as the “remote” for the system and is used to control all connected devices. Igor’s user interface is simple and streamlined, allowing users to easily manage and control all elements of the IoT ecosystem. Within the dashboard, users can also set up schedules and spaces.
When businesses start to use multifaceted IoT ecosystems, they realize the true value of smart buildings. To Igor, an IoT ecosystem means bringing together cutting-edge smart devices and robust software applications. Together, the elements of an IoT ecosystem enable powerful and flexible smart building solutions.
How does an IoT system work?
In an IoT ecosystem, all of the components are fully integrated and interconnected. All devices, nodes and software elements in the ecosystem communicate with each other, transmitting data and information in real time.
In Igor’s PoE-enabled IoT ecosystem, data streams back and forth from software interface to smart devices via Ethernet cable. Because Ethernet cables can carry data and electricity, Igor’s IoT platform is more streamlined and more energy efficient than other IoT solutions.
What is the difference between an IoT platform, IoT solution and IoT application?
- IoT Platform typically refers to the software that controls everything in an IoT ecosystem. Nexos is Igor’s IoT platform.
- IoT Solution refers to the IoT ecosystem as a whole or the company which provides the architecture and components for an IoT ecosystem.
- IoT Applications work within the IoT platform. Igor’s partners create applications that work within the Nexos IoT platform. Examples include conference room scheduling and gunshot detection applications.
Smart Buildings Are Here to Stay
To understand how an IoT ecosystem plays an essential role in building automation and business success, we must start with smart buildings. What are smart buildings? They are automated buildings that harness the power of IoT to create an optimized experience for building owners and occupants.
Oftentimes, buildings of all sizes will start with some of the simpler automation tasks, such as temperature control or intelligent lighting. These devices are connected to the network and can be controlled remotely or may be set on automatic schedules. These simple smart building solutions are just the tip of the iceberg.
In a data-driven world, smart devices can reveal inefficiencies and enable mindful business decisions. Smart building technology is implemented across all types of industries:
Smart healthcare facilities quite literally save lives. Incorporating IoT into healthcare provides real-time data doctors can use during health crises. Smart building solutions such as automated door locks make IoT-enabled healthcare facilities more secure than your average hospital or nursing home. Security and access control systems help ensure equipment, personal records, patients and staff are safe.
Multi-tenant facilities present unique management challenges. With so many unique spaces and tenants to take into account, IoT solutions provide increased opportunities for customization. Energy efficiency is another struggle for multi-tenant buildings. With smart building technology such as occupancy sensors, building owners can automate simple energy-saving tasks such as turning off lights and adjusting temperatures when rooms are unoccupied.
Smart building solutions in schools and universities can actually make students more productive. The ability to change the environment means you can easily have a comfortable environment for a number of drastically different uses — from gym class to test-taking. On top of optimizing for productivity, IoT can help to keep students and staff safe.
IoT can be used throughout industrial facilities to more easily track supplies, expedite shipping and limit errors. The result is a smart building that saves you money. While industrial companies have different security concerns than healthcare, the fact remains that all businesses have security top of mind. IoT can help you stop security risks, or detect them quicker.
Smart hotels are a growing trend in the hospitality industry because they provide an optimized guest experience and help improve the efficiency of hotel operations. IoT trends in hotels and hospitality include everything from enhanced security to optimized lighting and water temperature according to guest preference. Using the data and analytics available to IoT smart hotels also helps streamline the process of maintenance and housekeeping.
How does Igor’s technology enable smart buildings?
Igor has set itself apart from other IoT ecosystem technologies by offering an all-in-one hardware, software and analytics solution. Igor’s plug-and-play smart building automation technology makes it easy for devices to be discovered and configured into an enhanced smart building ecosystem.
Igor’s node allows devices which are not yet IP enabled to be connected up to a Power over Ethernet (PoE) network. One node can handle multiple devices, allowing them to communicate across the IoT platform.
Igor’s IoT system allows businesses to choose their own devices. Many manufacturers are compatible with Igor, and setting up devices in Igor’s Gateway is easy. Simply choose the device from a list of profiled SKUs and the node will automatically configure for that device. From intelligent lighting solutions to sensors and other devices, connected smart building technology is revolutionizing the future of IoT.
Igor also offers cutting-edge technology such as a UV disinfection solution that can sterilize individual rooms or entire offices after business hours while there is no occupancy. Ultraviolet disinfection technology enables a healthy environment and peace of mind for employees and other occupants.
Contact Us to Learn More About IoT Ecosystems and Smart Building Solutions
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