Dell and UK-based computer software company Canonical, have partnered to test IoT technology running on open-source operating systems in a bid to deliver cost-effective IoT solutions for smart buildings.
Dell’s IoT Gateway is currently being tested with Canonical’s Ubuntu open-source operating system for cloud-based computing and its Ubuntu Core variant is being developed to control equipment such as fridges.
In a media statement, the technology is said “to allow automation and optimisation algorithms to be used to minimise energy use without inconveniencing the building’s users”
Dell has said that smart buildings will be able to run on relatively inexpensive computers.
The US computer technology company added that its IoT Gateways will be small in size and a relatively slow dual-core processor will be capable of “driving a wide range of IoT applications including building and industrial automation”.
IoT application is designed to collect a large amount of detailed data about the building’s physical state and the behaviour of its occupants, upload it to a cloud and then condense it into information using real time analytics.
In addition to helping owners/occupants understand how the building is behaving, the technology would allow automation and optimisation algorithms to be used in order to minimise energy use without inconveniencing the building’s users.
Market for smart buildings
According to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the market for smart buildings was estimated to be worth US$4.8bn in 2012 and is expected to reach about $36bn by 2020, growing at a rate of about 12% annually.
Driving the market forward are lower operating costs, greater interest from building occupiers and tightening government regulation. The CIOB adds that “the growth of smart buildings is expected to be an important factor behind the spread of the IoT.”
Smart buildings will be incorporated into the wider energy control networks of smart cities in the future, notes the CIOB, as well as be linked to other kinds of infrastructure, such as transport.
The decreasing cost of IT systems is also seen to be an incentive to implement smart buildings solutions.