IIoT Services: Features for Smart Buildings in the Post Pandemic Era

Mitch TsengMitch Tseng I have the right answer for you.

After all these years of hard work from the members of IIC, the industry pretty much has a good idea about what IIoT is. Several years ago, I pitched an idea in one of the Innovation TG sessions that "nobody is going to make any money in IoT business other than the ones in the IIoT sector!" Immediately, people challenged me "How about Apple watches, Fitbit's activity trackers, and Google's Nest thermostat?" Well, go ask them, and see if they are happy?

With the "stay-at-home" order being enforced by many states, this is a good time to examine your home and think about what features you'd like to have in your house and the building to make you feel secure, safe, convenient and comfortable while you are in it; and, furthermore, when you are away from it?

Regarding the features of a Smart Building/Smart Home, the common ones most people talk about are "energy and utility savings" and "home safety - including hazardous environment detection and entry-control with burglar alarms". What else?

For one, with all these scares that the virus may stay on the floor buttons of an elevator for hours, do you think you need a UV light in the elevators so that the elevators can sanitized themselves while there is no passenger?


  • TerranceTerrance Project Manager mod

    Pending FDA approval: Far-UVC Light (safe for humans) will be implemented everywhere people congregate (stationary and mobile) to instill public confidence and curb the spread of viruses.

  • Chuck ByersChuck Byers Associate CTO - Industrial Internet COnsortium

    I like the ideas of UVC and disinfectants being spread almost continuously on contact surfaces in smart buildings. One could envision this being done by floor roving robots, drones, or even a gizmo hung from a ceiling track. The smart building would know which areas were seeing the most traffic, and could pay special attention to danger scenarios "the kid that the building's thermal camera measured at 101 degrees just touched all 30 elevator buttons - better dispatch the disinfecting drone right now, and mark that car out of service".

    Smart building ventilation systems in high traffic areas could also be redesigned to direct the airflow from perforated ceiling tiles to perforated floor tiles. Any airborne contagions would be immediately sucked through the floor and into the UV-irradiated return air plenum for destruction. I filed a US patent application on a system that could support this, if you are interested, you can search for 20180313558 on uspto.gov

    There are other things a smart building could do to enforce social distancing. Surveillance cameras could measure the distance between building occupants, and do various things if unrelated people got closer than 6'. Those same ceiling tiles could include addressable lighting, and if anyone is too close, the lights overhead could blink red or something. As video projectors drop in price, one could turn the entire space into a big video screen. Most of the time, the projectors emit a pleasing warm white light (basically glorified light fixtures). But when the social distancing surveillance system discovers someone too close, it could blast animated "danger" pattern on the floor between the offending parties. This sort of system could allow, for example, the reopening of Disney World many months sooner and safer than "have the employees watch for violations" modes that are being planned now.

    Anyone want to work on a testbed, challenge or Industry Connect Service project for some of these ideas???

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