How the Internet of Things will transform building management | GreenBiz.com

When it comes to managing energy consumption, safety conditions and other building processes across your company’s real estate portfolio, which scenario sounds more efficient?

Option A: responding to alarms and maintenance crises reactively after they happen. Or Option B: monitoring systems continuously in real time to anticipate and address potential problems or incidents.

Yes, the question is largely rhetorical, but the reality is most facility managers currently operate somewhere in between these two extremes. Many have access to building systems that collect data about operating conditions, but far fewer have the tools to parse that information for insights into future conditions or inefficiencies.

That’s about to change. Intelligent, machine-to-machine, or M2M, applications that use sensors to collect information about operating conditions combined with cloud-hosted analytics software that makes sense of disparate data points will help facility managers become far more proactive about managing buildings at peak efficiency, said experts participating in the GreenBiz webcast, “Sensors, Buildings and the Coming Internet of Things.”

 AT&T to launch Digital Life in 15 markets, hopes to enter home automation field
AT&T is finally set to launch its Digital Life home automation service, and it’s ready to do so in a big way. Initially planned for just eight markets, the telephony giant has expanded its coverage to 15 starting this spring, with the hope of 50 by the end of the year. Essentially a way to monitor your home, Digital Life packages may include live video, the ability to remotely toggle the light on and off, change the thermostat, unlock the door and more. Customers are able to set up programs and alerts via smartphone or tablet applications or the web. AT&T should bring some heavy clout to the home automation party, though it won’t be the first big-name communications company to do so. For more information on Digital Life and what it offers, have a peek at the source below.

 AT&T to launch Digital Life in 15 markets, hopes to enter home automation field

AT&T is finally set to launch its Digital Life home automation service, and it’s ready to do so in a big way. Initially planned for just eight markets, the telephony giant has expanded its coverage to 15 starting this spring, with the hope of 50 by the end of the year. Essentially a way to monitor your home, Digital Life packages may include live video, the ability to remotely toggle the light on and off, change the thermostat, unlock the door and more. Customers are able to set up programs and alerts via smartphone or tablet applications or the web. AT&T should bring some heavy clout to the home automation party, though it won’t be the first big-name communications company to do so. For more information on Digital Life and what it offers, have a peek at the source below.

Cheaper LED Bulbs Make It Easier to Switch Lights - NYTimes.com
LEDs last about 25 times as long as incandescents and three times as long as CFLs; we’re talking maybe 25,000 hours of light. Install one today, and you may not own your house, or even live, long enough to see it burn out. (Actually, LED bulbs generally don’t burn out at all; they just get dimmer.)
You know how hot incandescent bulbs become. That’s because they convert only 5 to 10 percent of your electricity into light; they waste the rest as heat. LED bulbs are far more efficient. They convert 60 percent of their electricity into light, so they consume far less electricity. You pay less, you pollute less.

Cheaper LED Bulbs Make It Easier to Switch Lights - NYTimes.com

LEDs last about 25 times as long as incandescents and three times as long as CFLs; we’re talking maybe 25,000 hours of light. Install one today, and you may not own your house, or even live, long enough to see it burn out. (Actually, LED bulbs generally don’t burn out at all; they just get dimmer.)

You know how hot incandescent bulbs become. That’s because they convert only 5 to 10 percent of your electricity into light; they waste the rest as heat. LED bulbs are far more efficient. They convert 60 percent of their electricity into light, so they consume far less electricity. You pay less, you pollute less.

Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion
Home automation and smartphones are a natural fit. As such, we’re seeing the proliferation of systems that let you turn lights on and off, brew coffee, monitor security cameras and control other things around the home from anywhere, just by tapping on your phone’s screen.
The WeMo Switch + Motion is a $100 kit from Belkin that acts as a simple home automation system. Plug the self-contained unit into an electrical outlet, connect a light or an appliance, then pair the WeMo your smartphone over Wi-Fi. Once everything’s hooked up, you gain the ability to switch lights (or whatever) on and off without leaving the comfort of your bed. Activating the included motion sensor will give you a truly automated setup, but if all you need is the Switch, it’s available on its own for $40.

Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion

Home automation and smartphones are a natural fit. As such, we’re seeing the proliferation of systems that let you turn lights on and off, brew coffee, monitor security cameras and control other things around the home from anywhere, just by tapping on your phone’s screen.

The WeMo Switch + Motion is a $100 kit from Belkin that acts as a simple home automation system. Plug the self-contained unit into an electrical outlet, connect a light or an appliance, then pair the WeMo your smartphone over Wi-Fi. Once everything’s hooked up, you gain the ability to switch lights (or whatever) on and off without leaving the comfort of your bed. Activating the included motion sensor will give you a truly automated setup, but if all you need is the Switch, it’s available on its own for $40.

Giant Nasa spider robots could 3D print lunar base using microwaves (Wired UK)
The first lunar base on the Moon may not be built by human hands, but rather by a giant spider-like robot built by Nasa that can bind the dusty soil into giant bubble structures where astronauts can live, conduct experiments, relax or perhaps even cultivate crops.
We’ve already covered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) work with architecture firm Foster + Partners on a proposal for  a 3D-printed moonbase, and there are similarities between the two bases — both would be located in Shackleton Crater near the Moon’s south pole, where sunlight (and thus solar energy) is nearly constant due to the Moon’s inclination on the crater’s rim, and both use lunar dust as their basic building material. However, while the ESA’s building would be constructed almost exactly the same way a house would be 3D-printed on Earth, this latest wheeze — SinterHab — uses Nasa technology for something a fair bit more ambitious.

Giant Nasa spider robots could 3D print lunar base using microwaves (Wired UK)

The first lunar base on the Moon may not be built by human hands, but rather by a giant spider-like robot built by Nasa that can bind the dusty soil into giant bubble structures where astronauts can live, conduct experiments, relax or perhaps even cultivate crops.

We’ve already covered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) work with architecture firm Foster + Partners on a proposal for a 3D-printed moonbase, and there are similarities between the two bases — both would be located in Shackleton Crater near the Moon’s south pole, where sunlight (and thus solar energy) is nearly constant due to the Moon’s inclination on the crater’s rim, and both use lunar dust as their basic building material. However, while the ESA’s building would be constructed almost exactly the same way a house would be 3D-printed on Earth, this latest wheeze — SinterHab — uses Nasa technology for something a fair bit more ambitious.

The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities’ climate woes: Triple-pane windows | Grist
Climate scientists have estimated that, in order to avoid runaway global warming, the world would need to cut its carbon emissions roughly in half by 2050. Since emissions in developing countries like China and India are still rising fast, meeting this target would require developed nations to aim for a figure more like 80 percent. When you consider that the United States, the largest polluter in the developed world, has no real strategy in place to achieve that — and that no binding international agreements appear to be on the horizon — the goal can start to sound nigh impossible.
The task is so intimidating that even serious people are starting to entertain extreme-sounding geoengineering ideas like flying business jets into the stratosphere and spraying sulfuric acid all over the place to try to deflect sunlight before it reaches the Earth. Others reckon it’s already too late to prevent catastrophic warming — we’ll have to build sea walls and hope for the best. President Obama alluded to a possible cap-and-trade system in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but few believe such a sweeping policy would pass Congress.
Yet in a report released on Thursday, the nonprofit Urban Green Council makes the case that the country’s largest population centers needn’t rely on a federal breakthrough. Specifically, the 51-page report, titled “90 by 50,” finds that New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget.

The surprisingly low-tech solution to big cities’ climate woes: Triple-pane windows | Grist

Climate scientists have estimated that, in order to avoid runaway global warming, the world would need to cut its carbon emissions roughly in half by 2050. Since emissions in developing countries like China and India are still rising fast, meeting this target would require developed nations to aim for a figure more like 80 percent. When you consider that the United States, the largest polluter in the developed world, has no real strategy in place to achieve that — and that no binding international agreements appear to be on the horizon — the goal can start to sound nigh impossible.

The task is so intimidating that even serious people are starting to entertain extreme-sounding geoengineering ideas like flying business jets into the stratosphere and spraying sulfuric acid all over the place to try to deflect sunlight before it reaches the Earth. Others reckon it’s already too late to prevent catastrophic warming — we’ll have to build sea walls and hope for the best. President Obama alluded to a possible cap-and-trade system in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but few believe such a sweeping policy would pass Congress.

Yet in a report released on Thursday, the nonprofit Urban Green Council makes the case that the country’s largest population centers needn’t rely on a federal breakthrough. Specifically, the 51-page report, titled “90 by 50,” finds that New York City could slash its emissions by a whopping 90 percent by 2050 without any radical new technologies, without cutting back on creature comforts, and maybe even without breaking its budget.

What Is the Industrial Internet? | MIT Technology Review
What is the industrial Internet?
As good a place as any to find the answer is at General Electric’s newest U.S. factory, a $170 million plant it opened in Schenectady, New York, last July to produce advanced sodium-nickel batteries for uses that include powering cell-phone towers (see “GE’s Novel Battery to Bolster the Grid,” “Inside GE’s New Battery Factory,” and “Can We Build Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs?”).
The factory has more than 10,000 sensors spread across 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space, all connected to a high-speed internal Ethernet. They monitor things like which batches of powder are being used to form the ceramics at the heart of the batteries, how high a temperature is being used to bake them, how much energy is required to make each battery, and even the local air pressure. On the plant floor, employees with iPads can pull up all the data from Wi-Fi nodes set up around the factory.

What Is the Industrial Internet? | MIT Technology Review

What is the industrial Internet?

As good a place as any to find the answer is at General Electric’s newest U.S. factory, a $170 million plant it opened in Schenectady, New York, last July to produce advanced sodium-nickel batteries for uses that include powering cell-phone towers (see “GE’s Novel Battery to Bolster the Grid,” “Inside GE’s New Battery Factory,” and “Can We Build Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs?”).

The factory has more than 10,000 sensors spread across 180,000 square feet of manufacturing space, all connected to a high-speed internal Ethernet. They monitor things like which batches of powder are being used to form the ceramics at the heart of the batteries, how high a temperature is being used to bake them, how much energy is required to make each battery, and even the local air pressure. On the plant floor, employees with iPads can pull up all the data from Wi-Fi nodes set up around the factory.

Dutch architect to build house with 3D printer
A Dutch architect has designed a house “with no beginning or end” to be built using the world’s largest 3D printer, harnessing technology that may one day be used to print houses on the moon.Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-dutch-architect-house-3d-printer.html#jCp

Dutch architect to build house with 3D printer

A Dutch architect has designed a house “with no beginning or end” to be built using the world’s largest 3D printer, harnessing technology that may one day be used to print houses on the moon.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-dutch-architect-house-3d-printer.html#jCp

In the Coming Age of the Connected Home, Your Phone Will Be a Magic Wand |  Wired.com
Your smartphone is going domestic. In the age of the connected home, your mobile devices are becoming the central command, the brains, if you will, of the entire smarthome experience.
It makes sense. Rather than remote controls with menus to memorize and knobs, dials and switches to manipulate, your smartphone or tablet becomes one remote to rule them all. You’ve always got it with you when you’re out and about, it’s never far from hand when you’re sitting on the couch and it’s dead-simple to use.
What we’re seeing started with the birth of the smartphone, when gadgetmakers realized smartphone integration could add tremendous value to consumers’ product experiences. It started with simple apps that transform your phone into a remote control for a DVR or set-top box, letting you use a touchscreen to navigate complex user interfaces. It grew with apps that tie into our home security systems and, more recently, our appliances. Remembering if the milk in your fridge is past its prime or whether you have recipes based on the things in your freezer was once the stuff of The Jetsons, but is increasingly commonplace today.

In the Coming Age of the Connected Home, Your Phone Will Be a Magic Wand |  Wired.com

Your smartphone is going domestic. In the age of the connected home, your mobile devices are becoming the central command, the brains, if you will, of the entire smarthome experience.

It makes sense. Rather than remote controls with menus to memorize and knobs, dials and switches to manipulate, your smartphone or tablet becomes one remote to rule them all. You’ve always got it with you when you’re out and about, it’s never far from hand when you’re sitting on the couch and it’s dead-simple to use.

What we’re seeing started with the birth of the smartphone, when gadgetmakers realized smartphone integration could add tremendous value to consumers’ product experiences. It started with simple apps that transform your phone into a remote control for a DVR or set-top box, letting you use a touchscreen to navigate complex user interfaces. It grew with apps that tie into our home security systems and, more recently, our appliances. Remembering if the milk in your fridge is past its prime or whether you have recipes based on the things in your freezer was once the stuff of The Jetsons, but is increasingly commonplace today.