Wednesday, 15 September 2021 18:26

Beyond Eyes deploys 20,000 IoT sensors to innovate smart building concept

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Dutch construction service business Beyond Eyes has deployed over 20,000 LoRaWan-connected IoT sensors for construction company Heijmans’ clients in the Netherlands as part of their innovative smart building concept.

Beyond Eyes says it uses Clickey wireless sensors to collect anonymous data on a building’s utilisation, occupation, usage, and indoor environment. The sensors are connected through the private LoRaWAN Iot Network managed on Actility Thingpark Enterprise IoT platform where data is aggregated and then forwarded to Microsoft Azure IoT Hub using ThingPark Enterprise Azure connector.

ThingPark Enterprise helps customers build network infrastructure by managing LoRaWAN gateways, add new LoRaWAN devices, monitor network operations, and control the flow of data to application servers. 

In 2017, Heijmans, together with CSU Facility Management, initiated Beyond Eyes, a smart data-driven service which collects data in buildings, then combines that data with smart technology to achieve the business objectives of building owners and property managers.

Beyond Eyes Smart Building solutions leverage Clickey solutions and Actility IoT technology and expertise. Both provide a suite of plug-and-play sensors which can be easily integrated into existing building-management systems such as desk occupation, room occupancy, people counters, energy, comfort, and environmental sensors.

Each of these sensors, which can be mounted under desks, walls, and ceilings, have a unique ID number, and are wirelessly connected to a software system, using the LoRaWAN network.

The collected anonymous data is then sent to the Cloud where it can be analysed and visualised via an online platform. Clients gain access and insights from their data through a variety of front-end applications.

The sensors constantly measure space occupation, traffic to and from the building, comfort, and air quality (temperature, CO2 levels, light intensity, humidity, noise level), which are important to office spaces.

Information from various building environments and locations is sent to Actility’s LoRaWAN network server, where it comes together on the Microsoft Azure platform in the cloud.

This is where data security and management occur, after which the aggregated data is made accessible on a dedicated application.

Actility enables industrial grade integration between ThingPark Enterprise LoRaWAN networks and Azure IoT as well as IoT Central.

Beyond Eyes infrastructure is developed on Azure. The IoT hub ingests data which is then processed in Azure Digital Twins v2 (Beyond Eyes also participated in the private preview of ADTV1). Dynamics 365 is used as an implementation tool and to record the building structure.

Beyond Eyes Smart Building solutions provide insight into the performance of a building, which ultimately leads to process, staffing and building improvements to enable cost savings.

The solution is suitable for offices, museums, universities, hospitals, stadiums, and other organisations.

Beyond Eyes Smart Building solutions provides benefits to four end-users:

Employees: Employees are provided with immediate insight into workplace availability and occupancy rates in particular departments. Upon arrival, employees can quickly see what spaces are open to them. They can also reserve workplaces or spaces, make notifications, book transport, and register visitors.

Cleaners: Cleaners receive precise real-time information about which areas need immediate attention (toilets, desks, conference room) and can modify their duties, planning, and routes accordingly. Cleaners can also submit specific notifications through the app, in order to speed maintenance or repairs.

Facility managers: Facility managers gain full visibility through the app, so that they can optimise their building management, maintenance, and hospitality accordingly.

Ongoing monitoring and data collection is useful when it comes to refurbishment or new construction. Retail owners and other building tenants gain more insight into usage and traffic patterns, measure occupation by counting the number of people entering and leaving, and also monitor indoor climate and comfort. The solution also tracks energy consumption of the building and where that energy is mainly used.

CEOs: CEOs gain visibility into the actual occupancy and use of office premises, allowing them to make smarter, fact-based decisions about their housing and real estate strategy, that will ultimately save them money.

Beyond Eyes says LoRaWAN is especially useful in large-scale deployments because of its availability, cost, and reach, due to its use of unlicensed spectrum, the availability of standardised, low-cost modules with long battery life.

Actility provides the LoRaWAN network server with an IoT platform for network management – ThingPark, which powers the vast majority (over 50) of public nationwide LoRaWAN deployments.

ThingPark Enterprise offers a low power IoT communication infrastructure to enable an infinite number of industrial use cases. LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) connectivity like LoRaWAN is an important enabler for Azure IoT, as it provides integrators with a tool to wirelessly capture data “over the top” directly from the sensor, without a need to adapt to intermediary systems or concentrators.

Beyond Eyes says it is the ideal tool to rapidly add new sensors to an existing installation or to retrofit existing buildings.

For example, it is possible to implement air quality measurements in an entire building without a need for any wiring.

The LPWAN network can collect data from native LoRaWAN sensors, but can also wirelessly connect to most legacy wired interfaces like ModBus, mBus or RS485 systems, and of course digital, analogue and pulse I/Os.


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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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