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Contractormag 11442 Whispers
Contractormag 11442 Whispers
Contractormag 11442 Whispers
Contractormag 11442 Whispers
Contractormag 11442 Whispers

Building Whisperers

Aug. 9, 2018
People will rely on voice for more tasks throughout their day because voice removes friction.

Voice is the hands-free, multi-tasking, low-cost game-changer interface for our IoT devices, a device-less interface that allows our whispers to shout with immediate real action (complete with reassuring feedback) while self-learning our emotions and voice printing our identity.

This article, The Answer is Voice, from Ken Herron, Chief Marketing Officer for UIB starts out with an important quote:

It all comes down to one word: friction. People will rely on voice for more tasks throughout their day because voice removes friction. As the builders of tomorrow, I urge you to consider daily routines, from the memorable to the mundane, and those moments when you want to take action right now. Which tasks can you make faster, easier, and more delightful with voice?  Gary Vaynerchuk on July 17, 2018 (source:

Want to create Building Emotion? Talk to your Building!

What are Building Whisperers? Those people who adopt a sympathetic view of the building’s humanistic purpose. Whisperers need to clearly educated and well-informed industry practitioners in the art of building those humanizing relationships.

Those that well understand what I am talking about are probably younger; we all need to “think younger” if we want to better understand. The main thing slowing and sometimes preventing the necessary (albeit radical) change is our existing mindset and our fear of the unknown. Yet daily we take giant leaps towards digital transformation in our personal lives.

This interview I did with Nicolas Waern, the CEO of the fast-growing Nordic IoT company Go-IoT, turns out to have a simple theme: the technology is already here – the real change needs to happen in our implementation.

Changing the way we think about buildings, making them more attractive and useful, focusing more on the well-being aspects, that’s where I want to see more things happening. Urbanization is a global megatrend and more focus has to be put on the well-being and productivity aspects. But at the same time, doing this at scale, in robust and useful ways, requires roots that are firm and strategically placed in order to get the juiciest fruit in the long run. Wireless is by no means the answer to everything. But it is growing and it will take a bigger place moving forwards. And that is why this industry is so fun to be in. It always depends and there’s no silver bullet.

Several budding Building Whisperers shout their questions, thoughts, and opinions in the following articles:

When Will Smart Buildings Make Hearts Sing? - Therese Sullivan, BuildingContext Ltd

The world is awaiting the Smart Building that can make an emotional connection to those living and working inside, akin to how the iPhone made the emotional connection to cell phone users worldwide.

Occupant satisfaction is not quantified. It’s intuitively obvious (and proven in numerous peer-reviewed studies) that more comfortable occupants make for more productive employees, but we never followed up. We never created the mechanism to take occupant feedback and quantify how comfortable a tenant is and how that directly affects their productivity. Without a known value to a problem, no solution gets proposed.

Is our industry Building-IoT ready? - Pook-Ping Yao, CEO, Optigo Networks

I’m coming into the world of OT from an IT perspective. I’m in the middle, and I can see the industry is coming from behind. If these big companies don’t respond and fundamentally change the way they do business, soon they won’t be industry leaders anymore. Instead, they’ll be replaced by companies from the digital age. Companies that built themselves around the cloud, data, web, and consumer electronics; companies that built themselves around change.

Google finally approaches the edge! – Stacy Higginbotham writing on

Clearly, edge computing has hit the mainstream, as both Google and Microsoft devoted a lot of attention to the concept at their recent respective developer events. Google shared several announcements at its Cloud Next conference last week, including the development of a machine learning processor for edge devices, a version of its IoT Core device management software for edge devices, and news that its Google Functions service is now out of beta.

This video from Talkamatic discusses their proprietary conversational interfaces that integrate voice, chat-bots, GUI, or any other sensory system or IoT input and output.

This article from Marc Petock, Chief Communications Officer, Vice President, Marketing for Lynxspring and Connexx Energy, Analytics at the Edge discusses how facility management operations can rapidly accelerate processes, reduce data storage and data transfer costs and improve system resilience and performance:

In conclusion, we can expect more analytics to move even closer to the edge and become ingrained in the same devices that are generating the data, creating even greater possibilities for inter-device intelligence and interactions and better-optimized user experiences. As access to data and the use of analytics becomes mandatory, not optional, demand increases to make computing and analytics availability at the edge as non-negotiable.

This article Solving the Smart Building Problem by Matt Ernst writing on shows strong support for building emotion.  We need to find a way to make an emotional connection between a building and its occupants.

If you can revolutionize a boring industry like the taxi industry, then surely you can find the HVAC industry interesting enough! Jokes aside, there is a burgeoning “Smart Building” industry that is showing a lot of potentials. The first major Smart Building / Real Estate Tech focused VC firms were created in the past 2-3 years (Fifth Wall Ventures, MetaProp, BuiltTech, etc). The big property managers (JLL, CBRE, C&W, etc) are building out a Smart Building teams. The application of new software (occupant experience, applying analytics to building data, etc) has exploded in the recent years. For example, building analytics company SkyFoundry has its software installed in over 1 billion sqft of real estate

The way we construct the physical world around us will change because of digital technology but not necessarily through digital technology. To help understand what I’m talking about – and this analogy seems of a piece with Building Emotion and Building Whisperers -- are we looking for the fourth wall?

You know the fourth wall, the imaginary "wall" at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play. It’s basically the movie screen or TV screen; any imaginary boundary between a fictional work and its audience.

To my mind, the building is our fictional work!

Contributing Editor Toby Considine, as always, hits the nail on the head:

Last month, in the July issue, Ken Sinclair called for smart buildings to spearhead an improved relationship between the physical, the virtual and the emotional world. Relationships go two ways. When we consider how buildings can manipulate our emotions, we also are considering how our emotions can manipulate buildings.

Tried of reading? Give a listen to this episode of ControlTalk Now. Many thanks, by the way, for the kind words about Building Whisperers. (Jump in at the 20:20-minute mark to catch up quickly.)

How does one start in our industry and share their digitally raised thoughts while joining the fun and the profitable future our industry can provide? Our industry is a mosaic of thinkers and doers that allows new autodidact makers and shakers to burst onto the scene, turning their hobbies into realities without much formal training. Folks working on new concepts not yet well understood by traditional educators often find the open window into our industry and we welcome them on our journey to grow younger.

This article, Where to Get a Building Automation Degree by Scott Holstein, Marketing Manager for Computrols highlights a select few universities that are at the forefront of building automation system (BAS) curriculum.

Nicolas Waern (interviewed above) has agreed to join our panel of young open-everything zealots in Building Emotion @ in Atlanta. A recently-added 7th Session, Next Generation HVAC Controls: Open Hardware – Open Software, has been added since last month. From the Session Description:

Truly open hardware and software is common in many industries but has only made relatively small inroads in the world of building automation where proprietary solutions still reign supreme. Open standards like BACnet enabled a revolution in open communications, but the vast majority of building automation software and hardware is still closed.

The mass marketing of powerful micro PCs such as the Raspberry Pi brings low-cost computing power to technical professionals and hobbyists alike. Suitable for most field installations, they also provide an excellent training and experimental platform for individuals interested in controls and automation. Coupled with an open protocol in BACnet and an open programming language in Sedona, it only takes the imagination of the systems integrator to define the next generation controller. is very pleased to introduce this amazing panel of less that forty-year-olds for a very interesting perspective on our future by those that are now creating it.

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