Solar Impulse: A Wearable Technology Enabled Journey

The world is watching the most incredible journey since mankind landed on the moon, the first round the world solar powered flight.  Solar Impulse is the plane, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are the pilots and wearable technology is an enabler in the journey.  Today during a Facebook LIVE Q&A session, I asked Piccard, who is the initiator and chairman of this adventure, this question:

You are coming to Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the wearable technology revolution.  Can you talk about the Omega cuffs and other sensing technologies that help you stay fit, alert and safe while in flight?  

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In reply, Piccard shared how he uses meditation and emWave Technology by HeartMath. “Its a mix of technology and meditation and its quite interesting,” he explained with a cheerful grin.

In addition to leveraging wearable tools to meditate, the pilot suits Piccard and Borschberg wear include special cuffs made by Omega.  The cuffs are similar to cuffs used to check blood pressure but include an interesting connected feature, they vibrate in order to alert the pilot of critical information about the plane.

Thus, sensing and notification technology allows the pilot time to relax and even sleep while flying for days on end.  These sensing and notification technologies are being built into all kinds of wearable technologies, including the two smart watches I wear, the Apple Watch and the Moto360.  Both of these wearables have heart rate monitors and both of vibrate with notifications.

But Piccard and Borschberg are leveraging the technology to accomplish something far more amazing than letting me know about a text message arriving.  They are showing the world what is possible with clean energy.  In his response, Piccard also expressed that Silicon Valley is “really the place for pioneers, of pioneers and innovation.”  Indeed, he is right and he will be welcome here as a pioneer in solar energy when he touches down tomorrow.

 

 

Will 2016 be the Year of the Wearable? A look at Wearables Trends & Predictions

 

2014 is the year of the wearable. 

No, wait.  Scratch that; it didn’t happen.

2015 is the year of the wearable.

No, wait.  Scratch that; it didn’t happen.

2016 is the year of the wearable.

No, wait.  Scratch that; it won’t happen either!

What?  Aren’t you the guy who wears two smart watches?  Isn’t this your annual wearable technology predictions update? Yes, I am and yes, it is.  But I’m also not lulled in by the seductions of wearable hype.  The wearables market is experiencing a fun and interesting journey; it is a market going places, although there are a few areas where it seems to be pulling in two directions and I’ll mention three of them.

There are things happening really fast that are awesome.  But at the same time there are also things happening slower than eager technologists and early adopters would like (generic, yes, but I’ll get there don’t worry).

There are experiences that are being delivered that are wonderful.  But at the same time there are also some questionable experiences.

There are richer wearables use cases, user interfaces and user experiences.  But at the same time there are also still a few folks out there disconnected from markets producing irrelevant use cases (their strategic marketing content also may not be market relevant) and the UI and UX may also be lagging behind.

Three is enough to demonstrate; each of these could merit its own blog post.  Let’s take a look at the 10 predictions and see where we are today with some of the companies in the 2014 Industry Watch.  Note, I said some.  I heard you after last year’s lengthy update, Wearables Dirty Laundry.  This update is half the size even though there is probably twice as much that should be covered.  Please enjoy this summary and highlights with a few deeper embellishments where some real battles are being won and/or lessons being learned.

Prediction #1

Wearables of the future will be more than fad devices; they will satisfy customer needs. (click to view original 2014 Industry Watch)

Status

We are getting closer!  As time is going on, the fad devices are fading.  Consumers are becoming more aware of wearable tech.

In the buy sell arrangement of retail, consumers have all of the power.  What is that power?  Purchasing power.  They will not exercise it unless they perceive that a product is relevant and creates sufficient value for them.

Early adopters have a different value equation than later stage adopters.  Entrepreneurs as well as large corporates are taking the lessons learned from early adopters and applying them to satisfy more needs. Some are doing this faster than others. This prediction applies generally to the general market trend so for it I have laid out several company/product examples.

Misfit

Misfit announced Misfit Ray and Specter since the 2015 update (Wearables Dirty Laundry).  Ray is a wrist worn wearable, it fits the traditional mold Misfit became famous for.  It is a sleek and beautiful wearable.

But, just like when they introduced a light bulb, I have questions about Misfit’s strategy with Spector, which is due out some time in 2016.  Specter is a set of “wireless” ear headphones that also track activity (note the air quotes, they’re important later).  So far so good and not far off the beaten path, right?  I’m not so sure.

Misfit claims Spector also tracks sleep duration and quality.  Yes. Sleep.  They expect you to wear your earphones when you sleep.  Now I don’t want to be biased because I personally don’t want to sleep with earphones.  Why don’t you have a look at this image and decide if you want to sleep with it.

MisfitWirelessHeadphonesWithWires

 

Now back to those air quotes.  This doesn’t look exactly wireless to me.  Redefining wireless to mean something with wires that doesn’t use wires to talk to your phone is a bit of a stretch.  Mix in sleep with these wires and my gut tells me this may not be the best idea.  Perhaps they have some strategic insight into their customers and target market that indicates that the product should be used in sleep situations.  But if they don’t have the qual or quant, then the function is not relevant and should be removed from the advertising content.

Google Glass

Google Glass is evolving.  It is becoming an enterprise solution with an enterprise grade experience.  There is little solid info I can write here because my sources all can’t speak publicly on this.  But what is public is the message on the Glass homepage, “Thanks for exploring with us.  The journey doesn’t end here.”

Glass

APX Labs

APX Labs is still kicking it in an awesome way.  Anyone who has met Brian Ballard, Founder & CEO, knows why.  The leadership in the space is getting noticed and the messaging resonates.  How so?  Let’s look at their home page.

APXLabs

What do you notice?  I notice strategic relevance to the market.  “A new way to work” catches the eye and is then backed up with “We help your employees where it matters the most.”  That is powerful relevance.  That is showcasing that wearables satisfy customer needs.

Epson

Epson is now taking pre-orders for its new Moverio BT-300 glasses, which launched at #MWC16.  The BT-200 is still available for $699.99.  The enterprise BT-2000 headset is also available for $2,999.99. What do all of these do?  They create real value by satisfying consumer needs, thus the quick mention here.

Note that Epson is one of many large corporates delivering real value in enterprise wearable tech.

Samsung

Samsung announced their seventh watch during the year that has passed since the last wearables review, the Samsung Gear S2.  I can’t really judge it because I haven’t used it, but the features list is impressive.  If you’re not in the Apple ecosystem for your mobile device, this may be a good choice for you.

Prediction #2

Where wearables are silo solutions now, in the future they will be better integrated with other wearables and the wider Internet of Things. Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch)

Status

Device silo barriers are still a challenge; however, progress is being made as the market shifts toward an ecosystem that is more open and interoperable.  This is happening far quicker than other industries, such as IoT enabled intelligent buildings, where incumbent solutions were designed and built to last 30 years in many cases.

An obvious leader in this space that was not included in the research on this particular prediction in the past is Apple and the Apple Watch.  The release of OS2 for Apple Watch enabled growth in the ecosystem of apps that link the watch to other devices.  Moreover, Siri is capable of controlling HomeKit compatible devices.  I see a lot of promise in this area in the future both with Apple as well as other key players, even if tech analyst and insiders wish the watch did more.

Prediction #3

Companies that combine the information of multiple sensors in multiple wearable devices will create more value for their consumers than producers of single wearable devices. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is still one of the more interesting predictions and it is still a challenge to see it clearly happen.  Here are three examples.

Sensum

My most favorite company in this by far is still Sensum. Since discovering them and meeting Gawain Morrison, Sensum’s CEO, a couple years ago, I’ve grown fond of the product, the solution and the people.  But don’t take my word for it, Morrison explains it best in this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZws5GUD6SI

Apple Watch

Apple Watch leverages sensor data in itself and another device (the mobile phone’s GPS). But this isn’t the same scale this prediction is really referring to.  Yes, it creates more value, but at the same time many people want a watch with a GPS in it.  I anticipate we’ll see more wrist worn devices in the future with both GPS and GSM, but I’m not adding that as prediction #11, just saying this is where it is going.

Wearable Textiles

Wearable textiles have advanced tremendously in the past year.  Those in the space, especially those providing precision clothing solutions for athletes, are extremely bullish on the sensor and data fusion that will occur.  I’ve compared wearables to zippers that were also cost prohibitive and the market didn’t imagine the ubiquity of zippers in pants today.

 Prediction #4

Wearables will become more intelligent because of developments in sensor technology and the ability to translate data from these sensors into insight via analytics. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

I still think we’re on track with this prediction but will only talk about a solution from one company, Apple.  Rumors of a new version of the Apple Watch that include more advanced sensors that were pulled from the first version because of accuracy issues are becoming more prevalent.  I don’t think that this is because of people repeating what they’ve heard and putting their own spin on it.  My sources lead me to believe there will be more sensors.  My hope is that they’re consistently more accurate than what is experienced with the heart rate in the current version of the Apple Watch.

Prediction 5

The cost of sensors will continue to go down, thus enabling more uses and innovation with sensors in wearable devices. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is happening and we’re also beginning to see the prices of wearable types that have been on the market drop.  For example, you can get a Phyle Phrm38bk Heart Rate Monitor Watch for only $22.13 at WalMart.  Obviously this is not a brand people are familiar with, or an experience most people would be satisfied with, but the fact of the matter is that the sensors inside it are going down in cost.  For devices where prices have not yet gone down as sensor costs have gone down, there is a different value equation where the data and insight are being leveraged to improve the product, so we can’t expect the prices of everything to go down.

Prediction #6

Wearable devices will need less frequent charging because of better energy storage and lower energy consumption. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

I started off last year’s update with this, “The battery technology in use in most wearables today is about 20 years old.”  One year later we haven’t seen any new miracle batteries come to market.  I wish I had more to say here.  A lot of people were tossing around a lot of fluff this time of the year last year about the Apple Watch.  Most people who purchased it in 2015, including myself, have no issue with charging it every night.  Yea, it would be nice, but we’re not there yet so we’ll get by charging frequently.

Prediction #7

People are going to use wearable technology to make a statement about who they are. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is by far one of the best winners in the past 12 months.  So many people are finally on board with designing wearables that actually fit the user expectations for beauty.  My favorite is WiseWear.  Jerry Wilmink, WiseWear’s Founder & CEO, has a team and a strategy no one is going to be able to beat.  He started with beautiful womens bracelets with simple functionality built in and has secured the mentorship and endorsement of fashion legend Iris Apfel.

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At #CES16 WiseWear announced their men’s belt and buckle.  It’s a statement.  The design is impeccable throughout, including the special clasp with the WiseWear brand’s W built right into it (see more on that here). Thank you Jerry for leading the world in this area!

Prediction #8

People are going to use undetectable wearable technology by using wearable ultra-sensitive micro sensors, sensors smaller and more sensitive than the innovative seat belt microphone in Audi’s R8 Spyder that enables clear cell phone conversation with the top down at lightning speeds. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

This is where the world is getting more technical and more amazing.  Last fall mCube, announced the world’s smallest 3 axis accelerometer.  At only 1x1mm and 75% smaller than the 2x2mm accelerometers on the market before its announcement, this sensor is a welcome addition to the wearable producer’s toolkit.

mCube isn’t alone in developing smaller sensors that will enable wearables to fit seamlessly in our lives but they’re the only ones included here not because of time constraints but because they’re approachable.  They’ve welcomed me to their office multiple times and we’ve enjoyed conversations about the status of the market and the future, whisperings of which they love to hint at (no big secret, they are great with monolithic MEMS and things are getting smaller).  I am bullish that sensor tech will get small enough to be seamlessly integrated in our wearable tech infused lives. It will be due, in large part, to great leadership in this space by mCube.

Prediction #9

The debate around ownership of wearables-generated data will continue. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

The hottest story on privacy right now is Apple vs FBI.  Of course this is not related directly to wearables but the outcome of this case and the debate will have ramifications in the wearable space, especially since Apple produces the most popular wrist worn computing wearable the world is aware of.  Ponder this comment by US President Barak Obama at SXSW earlier this week, “I am of the view that there are very real reasons why we want to make sure the government cannot just wily-nilly get into everyone’s iPhones or smartphones that are full of very personal information or very personal data.”

I won’t be surprised to see stories in the future where wearable data is hacked and data is used to expose things like health information and physical activity, including sexual activity, of celebrities or public figures. Society as a whole, though, won’t care about this a few months after the story breaks, as is the case today with the Ashley Maddison hack last summer.

Prediction #10

Contextual awareness will be enabled by wearable device adoption and become the next big thing in marketing and customer experience. (Click to view original 2014 Industry Watch).

Status

The topic of contextually appropriate wearables is not ever going to be the topic of conversation at parties; however, the magic contextually aware wearables will make most certainly will be when the wearables enable experiences that are context appropriate.  Disney is the leader in contextual experiences; the Magic Band is magic because of context. Dig in on the Magic Band if you’re learning about it for the first time here.

When it comes to context I could go on and on on this topic, but will only point at some of the trends enabling context and  enabling technologies such as BTLE.

 

 

 

Super Bowl 50 In The World’s Smartest Stadium

Lets talk about why this is really interesting: Money.  The new home of the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, CA is not a smart stadium because it has 2,000 beacons, over 1,200 Wi-Fi hot spots providing wicked fast internet, 90 Kezar digital ticket scanners and a great app with amazing features; Levi’s Stadium is a smart stadium because it leverages data from and solutions possible through these technologies to create real, monetizable value that enables higher profits on games and other events.

When the greatest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies available today are appropriately deployed to make a smart building, they completely disappear.  They become part of an enriched experience, not a technology experience.  This weekend, Levi’s Stadium will become the largest smart building the world has experienced, either live at the stadium or live on television screens world wide. Let me share my first Levi’s Stadium experience with you.

2014 was a tough year.  I returned to Silicon Valley from Australia and gave myself 6 months to figure out what I wanted to do.  I began blogging here on WorkTechWork and dug in to the Silicon Valley technology scene.  During the year I completed a few good projects and built out a great network that includes many new friends.  Later in the year I spent 3 months working at a hardware startup in the connected home space that ran into major problems in November.  All opportunity with the startup was dead and gone by mid-December.  Jobless, without a project and with the holidays to celebrate as if nothing was wrong so as to not dampen the mood of my young kids, I was having a hard time keeping it together.

When the phone rang Saturday morning December 20th, I had no idea I was about to experience the smartest stadium in the world.  Jeff Stevens, who I had worked with volunteering with VLAB and on a couple side projects during the year, was on the line and asked if I wanted to go to a 49ers game that afternoon.  Since the days of Joe Montana and Steve Young I had followed the 49ers but had never been to a game.  That answer was YES!

Do you know the first thing I did with Jeff still on the phone?  Download the app.  I didn’t know where the seats were, what the game time was, who they were playing and at that moment I didn’t care.  I had only heard great things about the technology in the stadium and I knew I wanted that app.

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So why is this app wonderful for fans?

  • Instant game replays
  • In-Seat Delivery
    • Order that hot dog and beer and have it delivered to your seat
    • Order and have concessions delivered to a friend’s seat
  • Express Pickup
    • Order and beat the concession lines by picking up in the express line
  • Lines
    • Find the shortest restroom & concession lines
  •  Tickets
    • Check your tickets
    • Email & transfer tickets
    • Check in at the stadium
    • View upcoming events
    • Directions in the stadium
  •  Parking
    • Buy parking
    • Check parking
    • Map & directions to parking location

But it gets better because this app, which is the creation of Venue Next, enables Levi’s Stadium to gather data, fuse it with data from other sources (like those 2,000 Bluetooth beacons) and make data driven decisions that improve the profitability of an event and provide a better experience attendees.  It is an experience they’re willing to pay more for.  Just how much more?  In-seat delivery is available to every seat in the stadium and costs $5.

Is it worth it?  What if you miss the most amazing play of the game?  There is nothing that beats the thrill of a long run and touchdown.  During the game, 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick did just that with this 90-yard run.

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Click to watch

Some moments are best enjoyed not in line, but from the 3rd row at the 20 yard line, or wherever your seat might be.

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Miss this to save $5 and you’ll regret it.  I didn’t miss it and I won’t forget it.  If you’re reading this before heading to Super Bowl 50, download the app now!

The Levi’s Stadium experience isn’t just about the app.  The entire stadium is carefully laid out and you can tell every effort has been made to make it visually appealing.  You don’t see any of the technology because the thousands of antennas for all of that Wi-Fi, the additional cell phone carrier distributed antenna systems to provide cell coverage and all of those beacons are neatly tucked away.  You’re not distracted by cables and wires for speakers, you hear the game and feel how the sound system both amplifies the experience and at the same time balances the crowds energy.

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Some technologies, such as the gigantic displays at both ends of the field, are meant to be seen and enjoyed.  You can see both displays in this panoramic.  Notice how nicely the digital signage on the balcony fits into the scene.  The gigantic displays provide instant replays to the fans.  Advertising opportunities abound for brands who want to reach fans via the gigantic displays and smaller balcony screens.  They are part of the technology enriching the experience and creating monetizable value.

Towards the end of the game, Jeff and I met up with Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica to explore the stadium.  We checked out the different concession areas and watched the kicker kick a field goal right at us.  It was cool.  Everything about the stadium is cool. This includes the cool blue lights on the escalators.

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I get excited about technology working for you, especially when it is creating enriched experiences and real, monetizable value.  Smart Building technology in Levi’s Stadium is no exception.

Whether or not you’re in the stands this Sunday, take the opportunity to learn more about smart building technology on Feb 16th at the San Francisco Bay Area’s chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum.  Tickets and info here.

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Ballasts, LEDs and Smart Lighting for Non-residential Buildings

One component of every nonresidential building may be an indicator of how complex creating a smart building really is: Ballasts.  Jesse Foote, Senior Research Analyst at Navigant Research explains, “You need a different kind of ballast for different lamp types (fluorescent, metal halide, high pressure sodium, etc), and for different tube sizes (T5, T8, CFL, etc), and for different wattages, and different numbers of lamps, and start types (instant start v programmed start), and ballast factors.  And, of course, there are multiple companies that manufacture ballasts.”

The result is that deployed today in nonresidential buildings around the world are hundreds, maybe even thousands of different kinds of ballasts.  Ballasts have been the go-to solution for regulating energy in commercial lighting for decades.  But with the entrance of LED lighting, which in some cases boasts 50% energy savings, runs up to 5 times longer and produces a higher quality light, ballast moderated lighting installations are on the decline.

Ballast Unit Shipments by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024

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(Source: Navigant Research)

While shipments are decreasing it doesn’t necessarily mean that building owners, operators and facility managers are rapidly replacing ballasts, because doing so is costly, labor intensive and facilities management does not typically get a sweet allocation of a building budget. These costs present a problem companies are vying to solve.

Alternatives have entered the market that make switching to LED less costly and less invasive.  One example, Lunera, developed LED lightbulbs that makes it possible to switch from CFL, from metal halide and from high-pressure sodium bulbs without replacing the ballasts or fixtures.  Thier retrofit solution brings the benefit of LED without the drawback of ballast replacement.

A second example is Enlighted, who’s investor Q Motiwala from Draper Nexus will speak on an upcoming MIT Enterprise Forum panel on Smart Buildings.  Enlighted has come up with a creative business model to address the FM budget issue.  The Enlighted Global Energy Optimization™ (GEO™) financing option offers Enlighted customers the opportunity to get the benefit of intelligent LED systems without a major capital outlay.

Enlighted CEO Joe Costello recently explained in an interview by Stacey Higginbotham on Episode 30 of the Internet of Things Podcast, “You don’t cough up a single penny. We come into the company.  We say…we’re going to design it, going to install it, going to finance it.  You don’t have to put up a cent.  It doesn’t impinge on your balance sheet one iota and you start getting the energy savings right away.”

This is a disruptive financing model with disruptive technology in a complex industry ripe for disruption.  It is no wonder the Draper Nexus investment in Enlighted is part of a $150M fund dedicated to smart building related technologies.  Silicon Valley investors looking for real value from the Internet of Things are finding it in smart building solutions.  For more information on smart buildings, check out the upcoming MIT Enterprise Forum panel on Smart Buildings to be held Feb 16, 2016 at SRI.

 

Markets Not Ready for Smart Home; Ready for Smart Building

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BlackRock San Francisco Office

Most people even in developed countries don’t know what a smart home is or what it can do.  Those involved in this game, especially in Silicon Valley where Internet of Things hype abounds, don’t realize just how many millions of people have no idea about the smart gadgetry entering the market today, even if they have heard of Google’s Nest.  People outside the hype don’t know how to use it.  They don’t know how it will benefit their lives.

And more importantly, most of the millions of people who don’t know, don’t actually care!  They have lights, thermostats and locks that work just the way they’ve worked for their lifetime.  Compelling reasons do not exist for them to change to security violation prone and buggy hardware and software, software that is currently delivering a less-than-ideal user experience because the leaders in the field haven’t had enough time to discover what the true UX ought to be.

On the other hand, the smart building market has been primed for smart building technology even though the people involved wouldn’t necessarily say they want a smart building. Building owners, operators and facility managers are looking for solutions to their problems, solutions that the IoT can deliver. But why has the pump been primed so that they are looking for these solutions?

Green building initiatives and legislation are pushing building investors, owners and managers to look seriously at energy consumption.  Talk to a building owner, operator or facilities manager about ‘smart’ or ‘IoT’ and their eyes will glaze over. Talk to them about technology delivering 83% improved occupant satisfaction while decreasing energy consumption in buildings 15-47%, as Building Robotics’ solution Comfy does, and they’re all ears.

The real estate crisis also made owners, operators and facility managers acutely aware of every cent on a budget, engendering a focus on lowering expenses and increasing operational efficiencies.  Their eyes will get excited again when you mention technology enabling operational efficiencies, the likes of which they haven’t seen before.   Anyone who has worked on a building budget (and my eyes saw hundreds at BlackRock over nearly 6 years) knows a % decrease in operating expenses trumps the same % reduction in building energy consumption every time.  When you cut tenant hot/cold complaints by over 90% that is a huge operational savings and that is just one area smart buildings reduce operating expenses.

Building occupants are also demanding smarter environments, open plans, flexible working space and building wide cell phone and Wi-Fi coverage.  Those same eyes will light up when you talk about these things and how they improve tenant satisfaction and comfort.

Because of the costs of managing large corporate campuses, companies are looking for ways to improve space utilization.  Companies such as connected lighting provider Enlighted can not only provide energy efficient lighting but also shine the light on space planning challenges and through data quantitatively answer the question, “Is our new open floor plan working?”

Smart buildings will be the center of the discussion on the most interesting panel discussion on commercial real estate technology the world has seen, and it will be held in Silicon Valley at SRI a place known for producing innovation.  Building Robotics CEO Andrew Krioukov and Enlighted investor Q Motiwala from Draper Nexus will participate in the event alongside other leaders in the smart building space.  More on the event can be found here: https://www.vlab.org/events/smart-buildings/

 

Building Automation Isn’t New; Home Automation Is

 

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With the invention of the elevator and the development of the world’s first sky scrapers, buildings and building systems became larger and more complex and building automation was born to automate and control individual building functions.  While some systems for the residents of luxury homes have been created to automate some experiences in recent decades, relatively speaking the entire idea of automating the home has been something of science fiction until quite recently when startups entered the market with connected objects that could be automated such as thermostats and lights.  Because of this head start, commercial real estate operators recognize and understand building automation while home automation is relatively foreign to home owners.

Home automation is just cutting its teeth with devices such as Nest and Philips hue, while Building Automation Systems or BAS have already developed offspring, BMS or Building Management Systems which network together multiple BASs and the BEMS or Building Energy Management Systems that use info from BMS and BAS along with information from utilities, information from the utility provider and even weather information through APIs to create a holistic energy management system that incorporates disparate variables into a cohesive energy management system.

One might be thinking that with all of this, a building is already ‘smart’ or a part of the Internet of Things or IoT.  Based on some definitions of IoT, this might actually be the case.  But stunning entrepreneurs and a select number of savvy investors believe that deploying hundreds of additional sensors in buildings will generate millions of data points that will actually create millions of dollars of value by harnessing the power of analytics to arrive at insights that will change the way owners, operators and facilities managers understand and operate their buildings.  Changes, savings and value generation will come in energy and operations as well as in other areas, like understanding and optimizing space utilization.

Smart buildings will be the center of the discussion on the most interesting panel discussion on commercial real estate technology the world has seen, and it will be held in Silicon Valley at SRI a place known for producing innovation.  More on the event can be found here: https://www.vlab.org/events/smart-buildings/

Why don’t you blog more? I do – just not here!

Someone asked me this week why I don’t blog more.  The truth of the matter is that I do, I just do not do it here.

I’ve found that engaging with people is far better on Facebook than on any other social media medium (Medium included).  Why?  Because the barrier to engagement is so much lower on Facebook.  If I blog about something here, in order for my network to see it a link to that blog post has to be posted to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  If someone sees the link they have to click it and come here to view the content.  Then if they engage, there isn’t a convenient way to do it. But, on Facebook there is a convenient way.  Click Like, comment, share.  It is so simple and easy and everybody understands how it works.  Plus you can all view things I post while you’re sitting in the ER waiting room to get doctored up after taking the crazy pic you just posted that made the ER visit possible.

Some people I meet at conferences are surprised when I invite them to connect on Facebook.  They keep their personal life private.  I respect their opinion and explain that I see myself in one way, neither professional or private.  My love for things, including technology in my life, is transparent.  You will see some personal things on my Facebook and they’re all water cooler appropriate.  While water cooler appropriate, you won’t see me posting pictures of food I love every day or other random things that people post, because wasting your time and brain is not what I’m about, privately or personally.

For those of you who want to know what I’m up to but still want to keep it personal on Facebook, I have enabled following on my personal Facebook account.  This way some of what I’m up to will show up in your Facebook feed and none of what you’re up to will show up in mine.  Trust me, if you use Facebook for ‘personal’ stuff like pictures of your food, your vomit, or even your dog’s veterinarian’s sister’s neighbor’s cat’s play toy I don’t need (or want) to see it anyway.

If we briefly met at one of the many conferences I’ve participated in or at a hackathon or a meetup and I’ve met tons of folks that day, I may not remember you.  In those cases, please don’t feel bad, but I probably won’t accept your Facebook friend request if I don’t remember you.  Not all is lost because you’re automatically a follower and will still see what I’m up to.  But don’t stop there.  If I don’t accept your friend request, send me a message.  Lets chat online or on the phone (my mobile number is 408-466-199seven, 1997 was the year I moved to Silicon Valley).  You probably have an interesting story to tell about your technology/entrepreneurship/innovation/disruption and I’d love to hear it, especially if it has anything to do with technology working for you.

So find me here to friend, follow or even Facebook stalk.  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000861755160

ps This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging here, I will occasionally crank stuff out here.  In  the time in between when you’re looking for me, find me on Facebook.

 

 

Redding’s Startup Weekend

Nov 20-22 was Redding, CA’s 1st startup weekend.  First, I’d like to thank Hope Seth from Shasta EDC for the invitation to mentor at the weekend.  The weekend was great, full of good ideas, fun and hard working people and the autumn weather was just amazing.  (I even made time to enjoy biking on one of Redding’s beautiful trails along the Sacramento River.)

Here are the videos shot during the weekend of three of the nine startups..So sorry I didn’t get them all.  You’ll notice they’re all on Facebook, which is where I’m posting almost everything these days but I realize there are followers here who, as they like to tell me ‘don’t do Facebook’.  I understand your reasons so here they are for you. Enjoy!

JUSTICEBOWS

The youngest entrepreneur at the startup weekend is 12 yr old Gabriel who is making eco friendly bow ties with a portion of sales going to charity. The website is in progress but should have more info later this weekend. Visit www.JusticeBows.com

https://www.facebook.com/100000861755160/videos/978324895539560/

PHOTOBOMB

Have you ever photo bombed? Watch this and see how you might be able to find those bombs.  I have to admit, since startup weekend I’ve photo bombed twice and I’m not a bomber, or at least I wasn’t until this startup influenced me!

https://www.facebook.com/100000861755160/videos/978404175531632/

SENSU5

Bryan P Cosby is leading a team that is doing something awesome and powerful for recording memories by making it easy to document what you see, feel, touch, feel and hear.

https://www.facebook.com/100000861755160/videos/978390952199621/

PS: WordPress has for some reason decided NOT to put the Facebook videos in here directly like it has in the past when I’ve pasted links in here and then previewed.  UGGGGrrrrr.  Yet another reason why I prefer Facebook to blogging.  WHY can’t WordPress get it right!?!?!?!?  Making it harder, not easier, is going to keep me from using it. Followers, if you haven’t friended or followed me yet on Facebook, do it because stuff like this means you’ll get less here on WordPress, not more.

IoT Meets API at Apigee #ILoveAPIs

Check out these videos from the Apigee I Love APIs conference in San Jose, CA this week.  If you click the little Facebook icon in the lower right hand corner of the video you’ll be able to read my intro to each video.  Enjoy!  And while you’re there, feel free to visit my Facebook page and check out more of the things I’m up to.  Likes, Comments, Shares and Follows are also welcome and will actually help you see more of the things I do as well as other interesting things from other sources that may be of interest to you.

A couple of notes – To view in higher quality video click HD.  Audio, unfortunately, is as good as I can get it after scrubbing it a bit to reduce the background noise.  New hardware is in the works for me, both camera and microphone, to improve on the audio quality for these videos.  I have to thank everyone who has contributed, either running the camera behind the scenes or offering comments and suggestions on how to improve from audio to video to content to length and more.  Keep the feedback coming!

SAP Beacons For Smart Building Maintenance

SAP AR

Revio

Philips Hue

Sereneti Kitchen

Yonomi

There will probably be one more video from the conference that was graciously recorded by someone who offered to use their nicer phone/camera to record but hasn’t yet provided a copy.  I’ll add it on Facebook and tack it on here when it is available.