The buzz around potential applications for the so-called Internet of Things is becoming positively deafening.
ABI Research is the latest market researcher to estimate the market’s size: In early May, it pegged the number of devices that already are wirelessly connected at 10 billion. By 2020, it believes that number will triple to 30 billion.
A new trade association, the International M2M Council, has even been created to help shape vertical machine-to-machine (M2M) applications that will build on the data generated by all of these gadgets, sensors and controllers.
"As the M2M industry enters a phase of broad-based growth, now's the time for leadership companies in the M2M community to create a forum where they can share lessons learned, best practices and ideas for future growth," said Patrick Shay, executive vice president of sales and marketing of Orbcomm, and one of the charter board members for the new council.
A report published by the Carbon War Room offers solution scenarios for energy efficiency, water conservation and agriculture that have particular resonance for sustainability professionals. Some solutions may take years to emerge, but one place where M2M technology is already producing quantifiable results is green buildings.
One early success story is IntelliCommand, a system introduced two years ago by real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). The service, developed in conjunction with Pacific Controls, gathers data from building systems for energy, lighting, heating, cooling, fire prevention and security, sending the information to a cloud-hosted software application for analysis.
When certain predefined parameters are breached, alerts are sent to a control center. There, the JLL technical team can make adjustments remotely or send a technician when human intervention is warranted.
JLL, which manages more than 2.5 billion square feet of commercial property on behalf of huge enterprise clients, has been piloting IntelliCommand with about 10 accounts, said Dan Probst, chair of energy and sustainability services at JLL.
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