Eden brings you embedded AI on a cloudless platform
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Colin Merry

Senior Digital Marketer at IoE Corp
Published - 04/17/2023   |   Reading time - 6 min 55 sec

Understanding what makes a building "smart" comes down to understanding what embedded systems are and how they interact with the systems they're installed on. How does AI assist in building infrastructure? What kinds of benefits does embed technology provide to building construction companies, managers, and the people who use them?

How Does a "Smart Building" Work?

There are a lot of different aspects that go into a modern "smart building" construction project. We can easily understand why buildings have gotten smarter, considering the reduction of energy costs, air quality management, cleaning service access, and other areas, but let's look at how this happens. What sort of IoT technology and embedded systems are under the hood of the world's most functional intelligent buildings?

Smart Sensors - What and Why

A "smart" sensor is a device that captures data input from the physical environment in which the sensor is installed. They use built-in computing resources to perform sets of pre-determined detection functions of a specific input variety. For example, when sensors are trained to monitor temperature fluctuations in a building ecosystem. They process that data to pass it on to the following link in the building chain of command. These sensors enable more accurate and automatic collection of data within an environment which makes the data more suitable to be used for things like system monitoring and control mechanisms across a huge range of environments. Smart sensors are what make IoT possible and are where data gets input into any embedded system. After all, the data must come from somewhere.

Smart sensors are critical in the Internet of Things and are used across installations like smart cities, smart buildings, smart construction, and more. For intelligent buildings, these sensors are the eyes and ears of management, maintenance, and cleaning crews. Deploying these around a building lets you collect data across various building aspects like air temperature, light usage, energy consumption, air quality, occupancy management, elevator systems, garage functions, and more. Without sensors reading data in an environment, there is no such thing as IoT.

Platform & Ecosystem for a Smart Building

Sensors acquire data throughout a building, but that data must be analyzed, stored, and sent to the next piece in the smart building chain. The sensor data analysis platform is critical to making a smart building possible. But there are serious questions surrounding any IoT platform:

  • Can the system analyze large amounts of internal data in real-time?
  • Can that data be relied on as accurate and uncorrupted?
  • Does the data have to be sent long distances to a central cloud server?
  • What coding language is the platform infrastructure built on?
  • Is it efficient?
  • Is the system scalable?
  • Is the system secure from vulnerabilities and outages?
  • How complicated is the platform to use? Does it require certifications?
  • Can you scale it easily?

Undoubtedly, more questions surround a building's technological architecture, but this is a good start.

The point is that capturing sensor data is only helpful if you have the right platform in place to analyze the data with artificial intelligence (AI). A well-trained AI can understand the huge amount of data and use it to provide actionable outcomes. If a building's sensors constantly monitor the temperature of different rooms, but the platform isn't trained to turn on, or off the heating or air conditioning based on pre-determined desired levels, the temperature data is meaningless.

Instead, the sensors send temperature data to the platform, which can turn heating and cooling on or off in individual rooms or areas to keep temperatures stable. Or, if sensors capture that an entire floor is empty of people, the system can lower the temperature as it doesn't make sense to heat zones with no people. This is the idea behind a smart building. The building itself "understands" what it needs at any particular moment in any specific area.

For our heating example, a building management company can reduce wasted energy costs that come along with heating empty floors. Lighting is another prominent area this applies. If sensors detect there are no people on the floor, the platform can turn off the lights. When someone enters the floor, the sensors see that and turn the lights back on. This helps minimize building costs and increase overall building efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What can Embedded Systems Automate in a Building?

There are many ways embedded AI can simplify building management and reduce costs. For one thing, different items that used to be controlled on a time basis are now being controlled by an autonomous platform, like when and where to turn on or off lights. In the past, management would say, "Well, the cleaning crew gets in at 5 am, so that is when the lights will be turned on". But what happens if the cleaning crew has the day off or is running late by an hour? Does it make sense for the building to get lit when no one is inside? No, it doesn't. It wastes energy and increases building operational costs with zero benefits. Lighting is one area an embedded AI can maximize building efficiency, but there are plenty of others.

Smart Building Capability Insight: Air Quality & Safety

One example that has grown in importance since the 2020 pandemic is building air quality safety. This is also the perfect place for a "smart building" to show off its benefits to any commercial space, be it an office building, hospital, school, or something else. The concept is simple, but the benefit is great. It works like this:

Embedded technology within IoT sensors is installed around a building to capture simple occupancy data using infrared sensors. If there are 20 people in a room, the platform reads the sensor data and can see there are 20 people in the room. If the system has been trained to optimize air quality, it will turn on the building's HVAC system when the occupancy of that room hits 25 people (for example). This is done automatically and ensures that visitors and staff in the building have clean air to breathe, no matter how many people come and go throughout the day. A few of the capabilities of the right platform for indoor air quality assessments:

  • automate HVAC system activation & shut-down
  • predictive maintenance on building air filtration systems
  • enhance building safety while reducing energy waste
  • keep building staff and others safer

Finding the Right Smart Building Embedded System, EDEN

Eden includes tailored, AI-enhanced service solutions like predictive maintenance, remote diagnostics, advanced risk assessment, compliance monitoring, data security & transparency, and more. In a building, Eden transforms the environment to optimize building performance across all areas, including safety and comfort improvements, among others. Here are some of the benefits of an Eden installation:

  • Building performance (space optimization and funds planning)
  • Operational performance (workflow, equipment usage, continuity, etc.)
  • Asset performance (uptime, asset life expectancy, reduced spending)
  • Remote operations & control (maintain, monitor, and control systems remotely)
  • Energy efficiency & security
  • Advanced security, security compliance, and emergency response
  • Healthier people driving productivity & safe workplace environment
  • Reduce energy use, waste, and water consumption
  • Streamline sustainability goals & reporting

Eden is different in a few key ways when compared to other systems. First of all, there is no centralized server, so there is no central point of attack, and data doesn't have to travel long distances to be analyzed and then sent back to the source. Using a private online edge cluster, the data is analyzed and stored at the "edge," close to the source where it was generated. This saves on energy costs and increases bandwidth speeds when compared with a traditional cloud model. The system also has enhanced security through the use of blockchain.

Digitally Transform your Building with an Eden Partnership

Whether for new building construction or to digitally transform the infrastructure of a current building, an Eden partnership with IoE Corp is the way forwards. Leverage our research which sets the standard for smart building embedded systems that is scalable, easily installed, and powerful. The return on investment (ROI) to your building, or your customer's buildings, doesn't take long to see. You also get peace of mind the entire process is being managed through IoE professional services, and very little on-site training is required.

Want to learn more about IoE Eden and how it can digitally transform your operation? Please apply to our Planet Partnership Program, and we'll reach out shortly.

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