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The Amazon Echo.

Blog: The Amazon Echo is a wake-up call for building managers

Dec. 8, 2016
In this blog post from Sierra Monitor, Varun Nagaraj asks that we re-examine our ideas of what a Building Management System can be.

One of this season’s best selling gifts is the Amazon Echo with Alexa. Plug it in and Echo / Alexa will run your house for you: turning on lights, locking / unlocking doors, catering to your family member’s unique climate comfort needs, and reducing your energy bill – all voice-activated and without any hard-core programming. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It’s cool.

But if you are part of the Facility Management or Building Automation and Controls community, like I am, the Echo / Alexa will also make you and all members of our community feel old, unimaginative, and so last century.  We are the dads that wear sweaters and “dad jeans” (although “dad hats” are a hit with the youth these days), and justify our lack of fashion sense by claiming that we are just being responsible.

Consider the venerable Building Management System (BMS). Perhaps only 20% of all the commercial real estate in the United States is managed by a BMS because the rest of the market is too small or unsophisticated to be able to handle a BMS. So a debate rages on as to how to bring the “power of the BMS” to the other 80%. And it’s not like the 20% that has a BMS is thanking their lucky stars either...

Read the rest of this blog at Sierra Monitor.

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