EnOcean Alliance, IBM team on energy harvesting smart building standards

The EnOcean Alliance, backed by German energy harvesting pioneer EnOcean, has teamed up with IBM (Armonk, NY) to standardize intelligent building technology for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The EnOcean Alliance is a consortium of more than 400 companies which standardises and develops intelligent building solutions integrating energy harvesting wireless technology. With IBM as a promoter member, the Alliance aims to bring sensors to the cloud and develop self-powered solutions as a standard for the Internet of Things.

EnOcean-based sensors and devices operate large numbers of IoT devices efficiently and supply reliable data to IoT systems. The Alliance provides a broad ecosystem of interoperable energy harvesting wireless sensors and gateways for intelligent buildings worldwide with new service models to make buildings more flexible, more energy-efficient and more cost-effective.

EnOcean has standardized its ultra-low power sub-1-GHz band technology as ISO/IEC 14543-3-1X for building automation and smart homes worldwide. This enables self-powered ‘fit and forget’ sensors that gain energy from the surrounding environment, including motion, light or temperature differences, to power wireless modules.

The sensors will connect to IBM’s Watson IoT platform, which is a fully managed, cloud-hosted service that makes it simple to build and deploy apps for IoT devices, sensors and gateways. When combined with the IBM Bluemix environment, and the secure Watson APIs, the platform allows integration and predictive, cognitive, and contextual analytics so that organizations can securely and easily connect devices from chips and intelligent appliances to applications and industry solutions.

The Alliance is wokring with IBM to define and expand standards for self-powered solutions for the IoT, starting with the EnOcean to IP interface that is used for the gateways to simplify the usage of applications in the IoT. This allows the integration of energy-harvesting wireless technology into the IBM Watson IoT Platform to conduct predictive and real-time analysis, and can be used in various cases from asset management, ambient assisted living projects, insurance or hotel and campus projects, giving maintenance-free wireless switches and sensors based on EnOcean technology.

The deal is a big step forward for the Alliance, potentially giving access to large enterprise customers that will operatecorporate, industrial and even home networks.

EnOcean and IBM have already launched a certified development kit with Digital Concepts and distributor element14 for self-powered IoT in intellligent buildings using batteryless wireless sensors.