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Connecting Buildings to the Internet October 22, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware, iPhone, virtualization.
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It’s great that LEED certified buildings can record the energy savings they return to their owners.  Now it is possible from every home, building or project in design to bring the activities and consumption data on-line with realtime sensors.  Energy and environmental data from objects, devices and buildings can be captured, reported and shared. Both Physical & virtual environments can be tapped.  I’d like to introduce you to a company focusing on the value of this technology called Pachube.

I read a recent interview with Pachube’s founder in Frontiers Economy Blog post called “Wiring Up the Internet of Things”  that caught my attention.  Today you need to look at “where technology, telecommunications and architecture are beginning to collide”.   The Construction Industry, Governments and Manufacturers can take advantage of these tools to make an impact on energy conservation and provide transparency.  Here are a few insightful ways Pachube can be used per their website:

an architect, you might use site-specific realtime sensor data to modulate (or generate) a Sketchup model, or use EEML data in conjunction with IFC-compliant models (as can be exported from AutoCad, etc.) to undertake post-occupancy evaluation
a facilities manager, you might connect up specific outputs from your Building Management System, so that specific data items (like current energy consumption or temperature level) can be shared with the public without compromising security
a property developer, you might connect together several buildings to allocate resources or monitor energy consumption and occupancy
a consumer, you might connect up your electrity meter to track it over time, embed usage graphs in your own website, calculate your realtime carbon footprint or use iPhone or gPhone applications to monitor it remotely

Pachube has been used to measure Air quality in Beijing, Hurricane Gustav’s strengh and location and has numerous apps for connecting environments and patching the planet.  The video below shows augmented reality of the sensor readout:

I am always interested in hearing about how anyone in the AEC industry has leveraged this technology.  Hope to hear from you soon.

Education Abounds at the Phoenix Tech Summit October 2, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, dedupe, virtualization, VOIP.
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I always am looking for education and found a variety of topics and vendors of value this week at the Tech Summit.  If you missed it, here is some of the wisdom that was shared by the speakers and vendors:

  • Virtualization is the best way to test your future IT deployments and improve efficiency.
  • Don’t sell virtualization on cost savings as training & licensing fees can creep up on you.
  • If you want to capture metadata /indexes, Kofax is the leader.  They’re also great for notifications during the workflow process.
  • IT Experiments Never Fail since there’s still progress…you need to ask more questions
  • Fully 85% of existing networks can’t handle VOIP traffic.  Analyze your IP infrastructure before deployment!
  • Your IT department needs to think more business-side and collaborate further.  The top 10% of IT leaders are noticeably different.  Where do you add value?

So here are a few gems I found at the vendor booths:

Able Information Technologies Inc had invited Elliptical Mobile Solutions to showcase the S.P.E.A.R.  (Self-propelled Electronic Armored Rack).  For the construction industry this is more than you need at a jobsite, but their R.A.S.E.R. (Relocateable Adaptive Suspension Equipment Rack) might be great for the large  jobsite.  These are available as fully air-conditioned, insulated, all-weather data centers that allow you to deploy your computer systems in the field without worrying about the harsh elements the  jobsite exposes us to “under construction” .  The R.A.S.E.R.s 3 layer of shock & vibration dampening to protect your sensitive servers. 

Data De-duplication is such a hot topic that I snagged a “Data De-duplication for Dummies” compliments of Quantum.  Speaking of deduping, EMC will be hosting a Data Domain Luncheon: Data Deduplication Strategies on October 21, 2009  at Flemings in Scottsdale.  To register go to http://www.emc.com/deduperroadshow

While Social Media is a buzz, most government agencies are using it just for notifications and postings of public information.   GITA has  incorporated a verification process with Twitter so you know that the source info is valid.  The e-policy for the state of Arizona will published in the next week or so.  I think this might be of value to all of us working on government projects.

For all those interested in IT Security, don’t miss out on the ISSA Phoenix 1/2 day education forum! Your registration includes lunch, snacks, door prize drawings, three hot security topics from industry experts, and 4 hours of CPE credit. It’s free to paid members who pre-register, and only $25 for guests and walk-ins. It will be held on Oct 6 11:30 AM- 5 PM Tempe, at ITT Technical Institute, 5005 S. Wendler Dr. Visit their site and register today at  http://phoenix.issa.org  

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