HVAC Systems & IoT
There are different horizontal and vertical approaches to entering the IoT market. The debate on IoT market strategies will continue due to the bold predictions for the IoT market. Unfortunately, hype breeds myth, and myth breeds confusion. However, not everything is trendy when it comes to HVAC and IoT.
Moving forward means stepping back to look for clues as to how the IoT market might evolve. Let's dive into a practical example from the smart home devices market to see how the future of AI-powered HVAC and IoT systems will continue to improve.
What has changed since 1883?
According to the story, convection ovens operating in the basement of the building heated the classrooms. School custodians monitored heat through manual logs based on regular assessments of classroom temperature. The teacher, Warren Johnson, sought to eliminate these disturbances in the classroom and developed the technology to maintain a constant temperature in the classroom. Genius! He then founded a company now known as Johnson Controls.
Automated room temperature control technology has been around for 135 years! Has the basic architecture of temperature control changed significantly over this time? Unfortunately, we could say, not really. Even today, data from a single temperature sensor controls most residential HVAC units.
"Smart" thermostats are widely used in home automation but are a very recent innovation, at least in the 135-year history of HVAC. What Makes a Thermostat "Smart"? Programmable times and vacation mode? No. Internet connection? Not enough. In one definition, "smart" thermostats should have more than one two-way communication and should contain "algorithms".
IoT driving a third-party application layer
The AI analytics engine needs data to work. Where would it get the data from? IoT of course. IoT sensors can be installed anywhere in the home to collect data from any room, not just the room with the thermostat. IoT sensors send data to the cloud for processing by the AI analytics engine. HVAC and IoT connect via commands produced by AI algorithms and sent to the thermostat, ultimately optimizing and controlling the HVAC unit. Disconnecting the sensors from the thermostat control unit would certainly represent a significant change from the automatic room temperature control invented 135 years ago.
IoT + AI = the future
Let's go ahead with this investigation. Could the existence of IoT sensors lead to the development of better AI analysis engines? Or would the existence of AI analysis engines lead to the installation of multiple IoT sensors?
Many companies have already bet on this question. Of course, the investment community also played a role. It's not really a chicken and egg problem, but it reveals the interaction between AI and IoT. AI is the domain of subject matter experts (SMEs). These SMEs are spread across countless industries and already have "algorithms". You need data, lots of it. If this theory catches on, AI can pave the way for the IoT regarding data demand.
Consider the downside. There would be vast data stores if large-scale IoT deployments were a reality. Algorithms could quickly emerge to exploit this data. According to this theory, the existence of IoT data would pave the way for AI. Either way, IoT and AI represent two forces.