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  • New Research into IoT Innovation

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Improved sensor technology is bringing efficiency to nearly all verticals, including how traffic is managed

Schneider Electric’s collaboration with HKUST-MIT Research Alliance Consortium beginning to bear fruit for IoT innovation

Thanks to a multi-year collaboration with the HKUST-MIT Research Alliance Consortium, focused on IoT Technologies in intelligent buildings and transportation, researchers are collaborating with leading companies to better understand important application challenges in the market.

The goal is to understand what problems can be solved through development and application of advanced sensors, signal processing, communications, analytics and machine learning.

At the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA, the consortium – which includes members from MIT and multiple Hong Kong universities, as well as microelectronics, computer companies and Schneider Electric – held a summit to reveal breakthroughs in research. The discussions were focused on practical applications of highly advanced technology in smart buildings, cities and transportation systems.

From this meeting, it was clear the research teams are on their way toward resolving long-standing issues through advancements in fundamental IoT.

This unified research initiative between academia and industry is crucial in the development of cutting-edge research of sensors, signal processing and analytics for building and transportation connectivity.

Multiple research groups, each focused on a unique area of smart building and smart city technologies, presented to an enthusiastic group of peers and sponsors. The discussions centered around the development of technologies which will enable the deployment of massively more advanced sensors into building control and monitoring systems. In turn, it will allow the corresponding communication networks and data mining to make sense of a much richer array of data.

The research is driven largely by a desire to leverage and apply Moore’s Law – the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. Based on history in microelectronics, Moore’s Law applied to IoT is likely to deliver exponential growth in capabilities of smart sensors, and how they network and communicate.

As IoT continues to permeate more verticals, industries need to place more focus on the accurate, efficient capture of digital data. This research moves them closer to creating and honing smaller, smarter sensors, that can solve a much wider range of problems at an extremely low cost.

Though the research presented at the summit focused on smart buildings and traffic infrastructure, the participants explained how improved sensor technology can be applied to virtually any smart vertical, including cities, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare.

We remain keenly interested in this consortium, not only because it falls directly in line with our Life is On philosophy, and our approach to IoT technology, but also because our Boston One campus is a virtual test bed for prototype solutions from the research teams.

As a test scenario, the Boston One campus – already one of the region’s smartest, most efficient buildings – would see advanced sensors improve the facility’s intelligence. This would be accomplished through higher levels of automation that leverage advanced smart sensors, reduction in complexity, more efficient data collection, smarter use of edge computing and more.

The goal is not only economic savings, but a much more efficient energy profile for a variety of facilities.

Smart sensors and efficient data collection are becoming mandatory in today’s environment. But what do business leaders around the world think about the future of IoT technology?
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