The AV/IT convergence is no more apparent than in a smart building.
Internet of Things (IoT) promises to bring together the physical world of AV technology and the digital world of IT services like never before. Systems will be so intertwined that the one will not be able to exist without the other. Users will be interacting with displays and technology in the physical world, but they’ll be doing so using mobile devices, and the usability will be determined by how well the digital landscape behind these technologies was built.
Enter Cisco, and its new Catalyst Digital Building Series switch.
As connections within buildings grows to include an unprecedented amount of IoT devices, the system required to handle these connections becomes more complex. Cisco hopes to untangle some of these complexities with its new product – bringing lighting, HVAC, physical security, sensors and AV equipment into a single system.
The Catalyst Digital Building Series switch is the industry’s first purpose-built switch optimized for low voltage PoE deployments, IoT connectivity and building automation. Cisco understands the need to innovate for IoT in order to support a digital building, and the new switcher aims to do just that.
How will the switcher manage this? ReadWrite recently detailed two examples:
The Sinclair Hotel
The Sinclair Hotel in FortWorth, Texas is being converted into a 165 room four-star hotel as a part of the Marriott Autograph Collection.
The building will use switches for guest experience. Guests will download a mobile app that will allow them to control lighting, air conditioning and smart blinds in rooms. The hotel will also use occupancy sensors to turn off utilities when a room is empty.
The Perpetual Universal Power Over Ethernet of the Catalyst switch will provide uninterrupted power to endpoints during upgrades, reboots and power outages.
The hotel has already seen a 50 percent reduction in energy costs.
Alpiq In Tec
Switzerland’s market leader in building technology and renewable energy, Alpiq In Tec, is building a new platform for smart lighting using Cisco’s switch. According to ReadWrite:
LED lighting fixtures equipped with integrated sensors to analyze environmental data, traffic patterns & building occupancy, manage space and control lighting and connected devices throughout the building, lowering energy consumption and improving employee satisfaction. Combined with Cisco Spark, tenants can interact with the building and utilize open rooms and smart spaces. The Digital “meeting room” experience enables interactions via iPads, wireless file sharing, voice and video to connect across geographies.
The Catalyst switchers can be deployed over Bluetooth, and a mobile app makes it accessibly to more than just the tech staff. There is reportedly interest across many different verticals and regions. These examples are only a slight glimpse into how IoT will affect businesses everywhere, and Cisco’s switcher hopes to be a central piece of the convergence.