innovation

Tesla, Solar Impulse, SRI, Comfy & More in this ControlTrends Interview

Emerging technologies, including Internet of Things technologies, are enabling building owners, operators and managers to leverage technology to impact asset NOI.  This weekend I was a guest on the ControlTrends videocast and podcast with hosts Kenneth Smyers and Eric Stromquist.  ControlTrends is a weekly show exploring the future of HVAC and building system controls, including emerging technologies.

In the podcast we talk about

You can listen to the ControlTrends ControlTalk NOW podcast here:

http://controltrends.org/?powerpress_embed=21194-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio

 

You can watch the ControlTrends ControlTalk NOW videocast here:

Note: I’m the second interview so in this link I’ve queued up my conversation with Kenny and Eric but I’d recommend you back up and watch the whole thing.

 

 

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RealComm/IBcon 2016 Summary & Videos

JoshJimHoward.jpgThose of you familiar with my background know that it is in real estate technology. Those of you that understand my present passion know that it is in disruptive technologies, most of them enabled by the Internet of things.

June 21-24, 2016 I attended RealComm/IBCon 2016, the world’s largest real estate technology conference.  During the conference I had the opportunity to meet and talk to the most brilliant thought leaders in real estate.  A few of them stepped in front of the lens to share their views and the videos were posted on my Facebook page. Here they are for you to browse.

If you like a video, click through to the clip on Facebook and let me know via the comments on the video. Enjoy!


In this clip I talk with Jim Young, Co-Founder and CEO of Realcomm following the Realcomm 2016 opening session. Topics covered in the opening session included robots, drones, wearable technology, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, big data, intelligent building solutions, the shared economy and much more.

This is a quick peak at the #SmartBuildingshowcase at Realcomm/IBcon 2016. Real value generation. Real ROI. Real impact on asset NOI. All the big names are in this game. Companies represented in the case studies include Intel, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Stanford University, and that’s just the ones with space here in Silicon Valley. Shanghai Tower, multiple buildings in Australia including Barangaroo South in Sydney, are some international buildings. The world is on board with IoT solutions for the building. Are you in the game?

Check out this demo of Microsoft HoloLens by Jordan Lawver from Trimble at RealComm. The future is here: #augmentedreality that creates real value.

The tours following RealComm/IBCon 2016 both impressed and inspired.  I toured the new Stanford University Central Energy Facility and interviewed Gerry Hamilton, Director of Facilities Energy Management at Stanford University’s Department of Sustainability & Energy Management. This is the place that provides the hot and cold water pumped all over campus to heat and cool buildings, labs and the new hospital. Everything is state of the art.  I invite you all to learn more at https://sustainable.stanford.edu/

In this interview I speak with Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen at Realcomm 2016. The Cityzenith solution provides what they call ‘Big data for the built environment’ and Michael and his team won one of this year’s Digie awards. Note: The video got cut, so it jumps from talking about the property to the individual sensor, but you can look at floors too.

In this video I catch up with Eric Stromquist and Kenneth Smyers, the hosts of the ControlTalk podcast and show. It’s the place to hear about the latest in #cretech #smartbuilding and many other related topics in the real estate industry. Check it out at www.controltrends.org

Tech, natural design and much more in this interview with André Borschberg of Solar Impulse

“Each obstacle can lead you to a better path, maybe to an opportunity,” André Borschberg shared with me in this interview on Sunday, the day after Solar Impulse completed the Pacific Crossing and arrived in Silicon Valley.  The camera wasn’t rolling right at the beginning so I added a short intro.  Enjoy!

 

 

Advice for Entrepreneurs from Bertrand Piccard of Solar Impulse

“It is not with what we have learned that we will go further than others. It is with what we have not learned, with what we have not yet done and thought” Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot of Solar Impulse shares in this interview.

 

Solar Impulse is a mission to fly around the world with only the power of the sun and share the message of clean and renewable energy. This is accomplished with a pioneering attitude and by leveraging the best of technology to do what has never been done before.

Piccard is no stranger to breaking records and inspiring the world. In 1999 he completed the first non-stop balloon flight around the world, setting world records for aviation’s longest flight in both distance and duration. When I asked his advice for entrepreneurs he referred to the function of balloons and then explained, “a good entrepreneur is the one who can drop his certitudes, his beliefs, all the common assumptions, to raise to other levels and catch other influences, other visions of the world, other solutions and strategies that will bring him in completely different directions.”

Piccard is not alone in this mission. Solar Impulse is also piloted by André Borschberg, Entrepreneur, Engineer and Explorer. The two are supported by an excellent team and by technology at every level, including monitoring and alerting the pilots and providing global live coverage during each leg of the mission. The Solar Impulse mission exemplifies the WorkTechWork mantra: Don’t work for technology; make technology work for you.

Learn more about Solar Impulse at www.SolarImpulse.com and follow the hashtag #FutureIsClean.

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

Navigant_Ballasts_image003.png

(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/

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.

Corporates Participating in the Silicon Valley Ecosystem

No one wants to be the next Kodak, Blockbuster or Borders.  Failing to embrace innovation comes with consequences. “Corporates around the world are worried about getting disrupted by Silicon Valley innovators,” explains Steffen Bartschat, a longtime Silicon Valley tech executive and technology scout for Faurecia, a $20B tier one automotive supplier. To keep up with rapid advances in technology, “they establish listening posts here, to connect with startup entrepreneurs and divine future trends,” Bartschat said.

Those listening posts come in various forms, from partnership with startup accelerators and incubators to creating their own innovation labs following in the footsteps of Citi with its 15 innovation labs around the globe.  Innovation is also outsourced by corporates to innovation consultancies such as HowCanWe, which focuses on helping companies innovate internally, and to organizations such as BCG Digital Ventures, launched by The Boston Consulting Group, whose teams around the globe take an idea or disruption, build businesses and/or products for partners and then bring solutions to market.

With many options for embracing innovation and leveraging the technology of the future, one challenge is knowing which is the best innovation investment decision. “Funding Innovation Labs in Silicon Valley is a similar problem as picking a nice bottle of California wine – sure, that $150 bottle is highly likely to be a better experience, but maybe the $25 bottle is good enough?  There is a vast range of dollars being spent on corporate innovation here in the Valley, and much of it is wasted,” Bartschat explained.

To shed more light on the issue of effectively participating in the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and generating a valuable return  Bartschat will moderate a panel for the German American Business Association in Palo Alto on June 4th with panelists from Deutsche Telekom, Schneider Electric, SanDisk and Crestlight Venture Productions.  The event is open to GABA members and non-members; tickets and more information can be found here.

FootLogger: Wearable Shoe Insoles That Sync & Charge Wirelessly

Check out my latest #WearableTech piece published on WearableWorldNews by clicking here

 

Audience raises hands indicating wearable ownership/use at #KOTRA2014 Connected Self Panel September 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA

Audience raises hands indicating wearable ownership/use at #KOTRA2014 Connected Self Panel September 24, 2014 in Santa Clara, CA

 

WorkTechWork Founder Josh Bradshaw with 3L Labs CEO Jinwook Lee in Santa Clara, CA September 25, 2014

WorkTechWork Founder Josh Bradshaw with 3L Labs CEO Jinwook Lee in Santa Clara, CA September 25, 2014