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Contractormag 12991 Man And Machine

Becoming the Internet of Things

June 12, 2019
Most of what we do not know revolves around our evolving new identities as walking and talking IoT.

In the past, our industry was concerned that we would be replaced or simply consumed by the Internet of Things. It is now very clear the complexity and value of our industry will not disappear under IoT, but instead that we are a valuable part of IT and in rapid transition towards becoming a new subset of the Internet of Things.

We are rapidly becoming the Automated Intelligence With Autonomous Interactions sub-set. As I summarized in my observations from the Project Haystack event at which we all found out a few more things You Do Not Know That You Do Not Know.

Most of what we do not know revolves around our evolving new identities as walking and talking IoT. Because we are an industry with deep roots and a strong connection to physical things—the "Things" in the equation—we are doing it our own way.  We all need to stand firm on our roots while learning what our new IoT world looks like. We are organizing our events like IoT folks, we speak the lingo (yes we all are starting to talk funny—just listen to your selves!)  We Digital Immigrants need to merge with younger folks, the Digital Natives, in order to continue our IoT journey.

This amazing metamorphosis has us all closely coupled with the internet and IT ways. To succeed we need to grow younger very quickly and become more IoT-ish. In our reinvention we need to attract the talent that is driving the Internet of Things. In one of my recent chapters I wrote:

Propagating our People Power is our ongoing challenge. To grow our industry younger: we need to get our message out that we are an exciting industry in which young folks can make a difference and offer them Job Crafting and promote “Job flexibility as a game changer” to attract them. As first adopters, we tend to bear the brunt of the cost/education curve, but we are the ones that eventually make the new technology affordable and accessible to all. We need to tell the world why they want to be part of our passion.

Here is a fun interview between myself and Lucy Kidd, a Data Scientist with BUENO Systems, The New Kidd on the Block. Lucy is helping our industry grow younger and smarter through machine learning.

Sinclair:  How did you start working within the Smart Buildings industry?

Kidd:  I was a fresh Graduate that was mainly interested in robotics and AI when I came across an online ad for a Data Scientist at BUENO. It seemed like a great application of programmatic knowledge to the real world, while also being socially conscious. 

Sinclair:  What does BUENO do and why are you passionate about it? 

Kidd:  BUENO designs and builds leading edge technology that enables Data Driven Engineering services within the built environment. We believe in the best possible performance and efficiency of our built environment. By continuously developing the highest quality analytics platform for building systems, we reduce costs and environmental impact, streamline workflows, increase transparency, visibility and potential of a building’s performance and efficiency. We apply data science over operational technology dataset to automate diagnostic tasks and fuel optimisation of a variety of building systems.

Working with BUENO has been super rewarding for me, not only do I consider everyone in my office kind of like family, but I get to hear about some incredible energy-saving results that clients have achieved using software that I have contributed to. Hearing these good news stories, paired with the challenge of solving complex problems, is what makes me passionate about the work that I do.


Sinclair:  How did you come across the haystack project? 

Kidd:  I was introduced to the Haystack community when I started working at BUENO. I had no background in HVAC, and so I learnt about Project Haystack the same time as I was learning about building systems. Building my knowledge in the context of the haystack project helped me immensely when trying to make sense of the systems we work with. I’ve found the haystack project super useful when we’re building out new areas of our analytics coverage, but we’ve also created our own models for a number of areas yet to be covered by Haystack.

We need to celebrate our success and tell the world with an article like this one, Women in Controls: Inspirational, Innovational, Indispensable , from Skip Freeman, Senior Partner & Technical Recruiter with BASI Solutions, Inc. (thanks, Skip!)

Recently I had the privilege of speaking with eight remarkable women in Building Automation & HVAC Controls.  A common thread permeating all eight conversations is the unbridled enthusiasm each has for our industry along with their confidence, futuristic outlook, and tenacity. These eight professionals are truly inspirational.

The catalyst for this article occurred at AHRExpo 2019. In case you aren’t aware, AutomatedBuildings.com hosts a number of free sessions at the expo each year. 
The nine sessions held in January 2019 each attracted standing room only crowds (200+). Tuesday afternoon, January 15, a crucial session regarding the future of our industry was conducted by four under forty-year-old BAS/HVAC Controls professionals, “Next Generation HVAC Controls: Open Hardware-Open Software.”1

During the break, Ken Sinclair (the Founder/Owner/Publisher of AutomatedBuildings.com) and I were chatting, and our conversation segued to discussing the next generation of BAS/HVAC Controls professionals. Where are we going to find them? How are we going to train them? And in the recruitment of younger people to our profession, how do we attract more women?

In speaking with the eight women highlighted below, it’s practically a consensus that continued (and even increased) emphasis needs to be placed on the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers in grades K-12. Equally important will be the realization by our politicians and educators that not all STEM careers require a college education. Ours, for example, is one of them. A renewed respect for the trades presents a world of opportunities for those not wishing to pursue the traditional 4-year degree, and not just for men but equally for women.
But this is not a problem we will solve in this article!

We need to ask for input from this next generation of rising stars and let them help us address our next generation of concerns. That turn to the possibilities—and perils—of the future is the topic of this article from Sabrina Venish, Marketing Manager, Nube iO:  

You don't know what you don't know  - Does IoT serve us or take from us? 

Admittedly, a little over a year ago, I barely knew what IoT meant. As I started working at Nube iO, a smart building tech startup, I began to learn more about this buzzword and the opportunities it has created for the building automation industry. However, among the benefits, a growing awareness of this powerful, virtual world made me question the consequences for society it claims to serve.
With a background in marketing, I am well aware of existing privacy concerns among internet users, which are warranted given unauthorised breaches of hundreds of millions of users' data in 2018 alone. Cookies, virtual profiles, data mining and data brokering are just some of the legal activities that have developed over the last two decades that give companies the ability to access AND SHARE sensitive, personal data. This isn’t black market stuff either; legitimate personal data exchanges now retails at $200 billion annually.
As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, we must consider the repercussions of connecting everything from fridges, watches, pillows, transport and buildings. Where does this data go? Who can use it? What does this mean for you if corporate giants know your every move, interest and intention? 

In reality, many consumers are not aware of what they don’t know about data privacy and how IoT will exacerbate this issue.

This article from memoori.com helps to explain why our industry is becoming exciting. We are creating buildings that interact with their occupants in a completely new way, and we all need to be part of the coming changes:

The Best Talent will Demand the Smartest Buildings

Supporting current employees is on one side of the productivity coin while attracting better employees is on the other, and the building can do both. By creating a healthy, comfortable, collaborative, and functional workplace, employers become more attractive when trying to attract the best talent. Once again, when one company has begun to benefit from the building its competitors will soon feel the pressure. In this case, that means losing the recruitment battle to those with smarter workplaces, an increasingly common situation with younger recruits.

“Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, whilst Generation Z will begin to enter the workforce from 2018. These are generations that have grown up with digital and connected technology, and they will prioritize smartly designed and technology-rich workplaces when choosing between employment options,” our Future Workplace report states. “They will place great importance on companies and workplaces that promote health through lighting and environmental control systems, for example, as well as those who offer them the time and facilities to engage in healthier living.”

I am the moderator of the following session in Nashville at Realcomm 2019 (going on right now! June 11-14th):

Autonomous Interactions - Integrating the OCCUPANT EXPERIENCE into Smart Buildings 

We have the dream team panel of industry experts to discuss this very important topic but only 30 minutes at the end of the day to do it.  Follow the link to take a look at the qualifications of my panelists and see what they are doing integrating the OCCUPANT EXPERIENCE.

Plus a speaker at this session - Connecting to the Enterprise – The Fast-Changing World of HVAC

Joseph Aamidor Managing Director AAMIDOR CONSULTING and I are the speakers for this Realcomm session 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Room 207D  TRACK: TECH.TALK A large topic to cover in 30 minutes we will both speak for 10 minutes and then invite questions from the floor.

Nashville is poised to be a kaleidoscope of industry change at the end of 
my road trip connecting creative communities

Right now I’m still trying to digest all the changes I’ve seen, having our readers share their thoughts. We now have over 15,000 in our "Who is Who" LinkedIn network I am amazed at the diversity of these folks and their interest in what we are doing as an industry.

More in this video interview with Eric and Kenneth of Control Trends just online Just back from the 2019 Haystack Connect, I share more insights into our digital journey, a journey with transformational potential… “in the time-warped age of information that we now live in, when a new URL or a new APP, or YouTube can create a new direction with new prospects, while teaching us something we do not know. ”

This video explains the value of well-executed Autonomous Interactions while exploring our softer side and hopefully will attract some Digitally Augmented social science folks to our industry.

Empty buildings have no people, no emotion. How can you automate building intelligence to accommodate for changing employees needs with empathy? How do you change a meeting room for multi-user experience with AI?

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