Cutting the Cord with IOT and SensorSuite

Today, wireless remote monitoring and control systems are doing far more than simulating the architecture of the wired systems of old.

Transmitting data without a wire is not new the marketplace.  With the emergence of smartphones and other wireless data transmitting technologies, the world as we know it is due for a big upgrade.

Offering substantial operating and cost advantages over wired systems, wireless systems are becoming more prevalent in a variety of applications.

SensorSuite® (www.sensorsuite.com) is an Internet of Things (IoT) company involved in the capture, processing, and delivery of real-time building information to stakeholders in the multi-residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

As an organization, SensorSuite solutions support a wireless architectural with sensors that draw wired power from a local source.

In the early days, it wasn’t easy for SensorSuite to be wireless in a wired world- but as people and businesses continue to cut cords, the promises of our new IoT world become more real and

As with any change to the status quo, there is generally a level of uneasiness as it relates to technology.

Should you wait?

Should you defer this decision to your successor?

What if it fails?

Let’s face it.  Doing nothing is not a viable option.

Your business cannot close the door on new opportunities to cut costs and improve on productivity.  Unless you operate in a high-volume market with few players, watching your competitors adapt and exploit its advantages over you will simply leave your business in the dust.

As the existing market workforce passes the torch to a next generation of Managers that are far more technically literate than their predecessors, the time for change is now.

Wired infrastructure is old technology.  Wireless is the new way of doing things- and the market is ready for it now.

Here’s why:

1)    No Wiring Required

Obviously, a system supported by a wired infrastructure may require thousands of meter of cable to connect to different endpoints.  The cost of large quantities of wire can be expensive.  The cost to install and maintain these wires can be even greater.

Powered by battery, solar, or local power, wireless systems have no conduit requirements, eliminating the need for hardwiring instrumentation.  The decision on how to power wireless sensors should be heavily reliant on how many sensor nodes have been deployed.

If the number of deployed nodes is high and they have access to local power, I would recommend tapping into these power sources.

Who would want to change hundreds of batteries over time- especially if these nodes are not conveniently accessible.

2)    Lower Retrofit and Installation Costs

Wireless system can cost a few hundred dollars per measured point, depending on vendor and application specs. If repaired or reconfigured, a wired system can require new cables, involving trenching, hardware and more labour. A wireless system is scalable and may not require the addition new hardware. After its initial set-up, wireless systems can easily add new wireless components to meet changing and expanded requirements of your business.

Last, a wireless system can be configured off-site, reducing on-site labour by as much as 75%.

3)    Operate in Different Terrains

In some cases, wires can’t run on property not owned by the company (ie: roads, streams or other structures).

One of the best and most cost-effective ways to spread a digital coverage footprint over an area is with a 900 MHz wireless mesh network.

Wireless mesh networks have a topology whereby all devices can communicate with all other devices in the network- either directly (if in range), or indirectly via one or more intermediate “nodes”.

Mesh networks have no central hub and offer multiple ways of transmitting data from one device to another.

Compared to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, this makes for an inherently more reliable network design.

SensorSuite had tried utilizing wireless mesh networks supported at a higher frequency-  but concluded that at 900 MHz, the reliability, reach, and in-building coverage of its network makes for the best fit for its solutions.

Reliable Connectivity and Signal Strength: The primary advantage of 900 MHz range is the reliability of connection and signal penetration- especially for in-building applications.

Further Reach: 900 MHz frequency fixed radio link can be almost 2.67 times farther in distance than a typical 2.4 GHz connection.

Better Penetration: A longer wavelength of 900 MHz transmission allows the connection to easily penetrate amongst dense materials such as tree-lines or buildings between sites. This property helps in linking multiple sites where dense vegetation or structures would otherwise cause hindrance.

4)    No Loss of Data

Should a wired system fail due to cut wires, corrosion, dirt or another adverse condition, stakeholders are not notified of the problem, resulting in sub-par operations or failures until the system is back online. Programmed with a event-based, a wireless system provides an alert when data is not in transmission. Most problems can be avoided through preventative maintenance linked to wireless diagnostics.

5)    Sensor Integration

Once a wireless mesh network is implemented over a given campus or geography, other equipment and lighting can also be remotely monitored- and in some cases, remotely controlled.

An open wireless system allows users to integrate an array of sensors to monitor and/or control assets.

 

As a result, a variety of sensors can be added or removed as needed to measure parameters such as pressure, run-time, power, temperature, and flow. Users can choose the best sensor for each application and bring all that data from these different sensors to a single point with a single data interface- and present this content on one graphic user interface.

SensorSuite is excited about what’s possible in our new connected world and accepts the responsibility of educating the masses and leading the case for change in the markets that we serve.

Many will continue to debate over wired vs. wireless architectures- but as this debate continues, more and more wireless installations are happening.

The SensorSuite Team

The success is of SensorSuite is due in no small part to the strength of our team.  As an organization, SensorSuite is recognized as an innovator.

Our team has over 40 years of industry experience coupled with a team that has an array of complementary skills and knowledge.

By design, with solutions that are easy to use and understand, our team’s focus is on supporting a product suite that addresses the present and future needs of our clients.

By putting trust in us, we accept the responsibility of assisting organizations with sound advice and feedback- so that more informed decisions on how to move forward can be made.

Visit: www.sensorsuite.com for more info.

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The Benefits of Remote Boiler Monitoring

Many commercial property managers and owners operate with an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude when it comes to the maintenance of their commercial boiler.

In the short-run, this might help in curbing costs, but what could happen down the road? Issues such as decreased boiler efficiency, costly breakdowns, and premature failure are on the rise.

Commercial boiler life expectancy is also falling- and many of those that should care simply accept this reality as a cost of doing business.

Perhaps it makes sense to let your old boiler die so that you can roll-out a new high-efficiency one.

Certainly, there are several business and social benefits for doing so such as:

  •  Reduced heating costs.
  •  Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Increased profitability and competitiveness.

But as enticing as this may sound, high-efficiency commercial boilers have created a new challenge for the market.

Higher efficiency units have more fans, sensors, switches, relays, and electronics. With the increase in parts and components, the points of failure are significantly higher.

In addition, the computers/circuit boards in higher efficient units are far more prone to failure than older electrical/relay controls- and they cost a LOT more to fix when they do fail.

You can expect to pay twice as much for a contractor visit to address issues with a high-efficiency boiler.

Furthermore, you can also expect several more visits during its life-span.

Let’s also not forget the increased risk of contractor error. The prospect that you will pay for needless repairs or for things a contractor broke or fried due to lack of knowledge or training is very real.

Until recently, monitoring a boiler’s performance was easier said than done. But thanks to BoilerLink by SensorSuite (www.sensorsuite.com), all building stakeholders- especially down-market where technology adoption is limited or absent, can now reap the benefits reserved for those that have the money and resources to do so.

Utilizing SensorSuite’s easy-to- use cloud dashboard and an internet connection, BoilerLink is able to detect small variations in boiler performance and report them in real-time to a smartphone, tablet or PC.

After receiving these alerts, not only would they help key stakeholders maintain peak operational efficiency, but also minimize costly repairs and arguably extend a boiler’s life.

From a cost savings perspective, BoilerLink can clearly cut spending in a variety of ways:

 

Boiler Optimization – Charts and historical data logs give stakeholders the ability to optimize their boiler’s performance. These optimizations allow for energy savings and as a result, reduce expenses for a given building.

Alarm Notification – Custom alarms provide immediate notification, so that problem can be addressed immediately.

Reduced Maintenance Time – Boilers can monitored 24/7/365- eliminating the need for many maintenance check-ups. Furthermore, multiple boilers in a portfolio of multiple building can be monitored at the same time all on one cloud dashboard.

Maintain Warranty – Eliminate the risk of a warranty being voided due to boiler misuse or neglect.

Avoid Costly Upgrades – Extend the life of a given boiler by installing BoilerLink at a fraction of the cost.

 

Today, as it relates to accountability, many property stakeholders are unable to generally hold anyone accountable for boiler mishaps or damage because:

1)  There’s typically a high turnover of Property Managers and Maintenance Contractors in the space.

2)  It’s difficult to pinpoint the source of a boiler problem until it’s too late.

A building’s boiler is like the human heart. It provides heat and circulation. Its works is unseen. And when it fails, the rest of the system will follow shortly thereafter.

Maintaining a commercial boiler for the sake of those who rely on it to perform as intended is as essential as it is for a person with a heart problem to avoid the conditions that lead to a heart attack.

Let SensorSuite help you keep your boiler “healthy”.

Learn more about how our Smart Building Initiatives make sense, visit www.sensorsuite.com or email: sales@sensorsuite.com.

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Sleep warm and peacefully while your grocery store fridges stay cool

FridgeLink™ monitors grocery store fridges and freezers wirelessly and remotely, saving energy costs and reducing risk of inventory loss for owners. In grocery store monitoring, where shrinkage from refrigeration mishaps account for a large part of losses, FridgeLink™ helps alleviates this pain.

Low Cost, Intelligent Grocery Store Fridge and Freezer Monitoring using Wireless Sensors

SensorSuite™ Inc., an Internet of Things company that monitors commercial and industrial buildings has opened a new door in their business. Namely, a refrigerator door.

The newest addition to SensorSuite’s™ line of wireless monitoring devices is called FridgeLink™ and it monitors grocery store fridges and freezers wirelessly and remotely, saving energy costs and reducing risk of inventory loss for owners. In grocery store monitoring, where shrinkage from refrigeration mishaps account for a large part of losses, FridgeLink™ helps alleviates this pain.

FridgeLink™ wireless temperature monitoring for fridges and freezers

Fridge and Freezer Monitoring in Grocery Stores

The monitoring platform can be viewed on desktop and mobile devices and allows owners to visualize the whole store in one place. The system tracks real-time updates like temperature, status of doors, run-time of fridges, open times and even predicts problems before they become apparent.

Earlier this month, the company worked on a pilot project with a NoFrills location in Whitby, Ontario which proved to be a crucial step in preventative maintenance. By monitoring the defrost cycle and it’s effectiveness over time, the platform was able to predict a critical potential problem in the refrigeration system for the grocery store, saving the owner over $7,000 in costs.  The owner said the ROI was “very quick”.

Benefits of fridges and freezer monitoring in grocery stores

But beyond tracking changes in temperature, the FridgeLink™ sensors can also provide insight on power consumption, helping stores strive for better energy efficiency. Quality of food is kept optimal with temperature automated conformance and the system can be upgraded to detect operational issues like water leaks, notifying owners via smartphone of any problems that require immediate attention.

This update to include refrigeration monitoring in SensorSuite’s line of products hasn’t come without a lot of preparation. Having worked with companies like No Frills, Hyatt, TELUS, Westin Prince, Maverik in monitoring of buildings, Robert Platek, CEO of SensorSuite™ explains that connected accessible devices are a part of the future.

 “The Internet of Things is a term we often use, but essentially what it means is connecting things or devices to the Internet to ultimately make our lives easier. With FridgeLink™, this also means reducing waste and energy consumption. I see this being the trend of the future. More and more devices will be connected to the Internet and we’ll be monitoring them all from our smartphones – something FridgeLink™ is already providing grocery store managers.”

 

Maintaining an optimal temperature in your food storage fridges and freezers allows you to keep your food fresh and compliant. If the temperature falls above or below the optimal range costly spoilage or potential for food poisoning can occur. SensorSuite can help you maintain the proper temperature in your grocery store fridges and freezers.

Fridge and Freezer Monitoring in Grocery Stores

Find out how SensorSuite’s wireless fridge monitoring solutions can help your store become smarter.

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SensorSuite featured on CBC The Current

What’s hidden among the Internet of Things?

Like it or not, our things are starting to talk to one another through wireless connections. And critics believe we may not like the stories they're spreading about us. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

Like it or not, our things are starting to talk to one another through wireless connections. And critics believe we may not like the stories they’re spreading about us. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

We text with it, download with it, buy with it, sell with it, play with it and work with it. And now, it may be payback time. Today we look at how the Internet of Things may be poised to tell tales about us over the web.

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marshall-mcluhan-180.jpg“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”

Marshall McLuhan, Philosopher of Communication Theory

 download Fifty Shades Darker 2017 movie

 download Fifty Shades Darker 2017 movie

 download Fifty Shades Darker 2017 movie

 download Fifty Shades Darker 2017 movie

That’s an idea that’s long been promised – home gadgets that talk to us, learn our desires and practically become friends, but increasingly, interactive appliances are now keeping you comfortable.

There’s the thermostat that gets to know you. The fridge that makes its own shopping lists. And — in Brazil at least — there are even diapers that will tweet you when the baby is wet.

This is what is called The Internet of Things.

We’re in the early stages yet, but a future where a toothbrush books a dental appointment may be barreling down on us.

Today, we’re asking where all this technology is heading, how we can benefit and what we may lose in the process.

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  • Robert Platek is the CEO of Sensor Suite, a technology system that lets building owners get real-time alerts about their properties over their smartphones. It’s currently in use in 30 buildings across Toronto. Robert Platek was in Toronto.

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  • Avner Levin is the Director of the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute at Ryerson University. He shares his insight on how to protect ourselves and our data from the Internet of Things. Avner Levin was in our Toronto studio.

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  • Christine Rosen is a fellow at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think-tank in Washington.

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Source: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2014/01/20/whats-hidden-among-the-internet-of-things/

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[TORONTO STAR] SensorSuite featured on front page Business

Sense-ing a market opportunity

Toronto startup, SensorSuite, fills industry need with creation of a digital nervous system that can control a building’s heat, light and power from anywhere

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Robert Platek, the CEO and co-founder of SensorSuite — a Toronto-based startup specializing in wireless and remote building monitoring — was visiting properties with his father, a green energy consulting engineer, when a market need announced itself.

“My father was the initial instigator of this whole thing. Without him, I’d never actually be doing any of this,” Platek says.

“He would actually go and sell stuff that didn’t exist to his building customers and then would say ‘OK Rob, you have to build this now,’ ” Platek says. And he did. After a few years of building and experimenting, Platek officially launched his company in February with his co-founder Marc Carignan, Salman Habib and, the catalyst for the whole idea, his father Vlad Platek. They have created wireless sensors and cloud-based infrastructure that in their words can create a digital nervous system in any building. Small and sleek, the sensors can monitor boiler room activity, temperatures, humidity, lights, whether doors are open or closed, power usage and other functions.

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“It was all built out of something that people actually wanted,” Platek says. “This has implications in pretty much every industry, from health care to manufacturing, to transportation to retail, to building automation and property management — which is the first niche we’re hitting. We call it a niche but it’s projected to be a $50 billion niche by 2018.”

When their wireless sensors are paired with the company’s proprietary app for mobile devices, SensorSuite enables property managers to monitor those critical building functions from anywhere. The result? Time savings, improved efficiency and reduced energy costs.

“In 2009, we installed a system in a 400-suite building,” Platek says. “That owner is still saving between $70,000 and $80,000 a year.”

The concept of building automation isn’t new, but SensorSuite is overhauling the experience for users, reducing cost, improving usability and adding features — points that Platek says “old-school players” such as Honeywell and Johnson Controls can’t beat. Plus, installation is simple. Retrofitting a building can take as little as a half-hour and because the system is, as Platek describes, “plugand-play,” the process is nonintrusive. “A big part of our go-to-market strategy is in the way we’re creating these tools so that installers can install our technology easily,” he explains. The company currently has pilot systems in place in more than 20 buildings in Toronto, including gyms and condos. Next up is Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre — the old Maple Leaf Gardens — an opportunity Platek credits to the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson, where the company is currently incubating.

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“We’ll be monitoring temperature, humidity, sound of the audience. We might monitor ice temperature and we can add on some extra security on doors,” Platek explains. “We were lucky to get introductions and get in there. That’s one of the cool perks of being at the DMZ.”

The DMZ has been instrumental in many ways for the company. Both Platek and Habib were working with other incubating companies — Jobdeals and Tapgage Inc., respectively — at the DMZ when they met. A business relationship was formed and Habib joined Platek to launch Sensor Suite.

With the technology ready to go and $200,000 in funding raised, Sensor Suite is now developing its next offering — a product that will enable “full control from your phone, turning up and down your boilers, the thermostats in all the rooms in your building,” Platek explains, and focusing on sales.

For Platek, ramping up means wearing many different hats.

“I’m the janitor and the CEO of the company,” Platek laughs. “I do the sales materials, I do programming on the hardware, I do the marketing stuff, social media. It’s hard to juggle so many things but it’s all been good.”

sensorsuite product shot

 

Toronto Star Article

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10x Growth in Wireless Sensor Networks in Small and Medium Sized Buildings by 2017

Wireless Sensor Networks in Small and Medium Sized Buildings

Wireless Sensor Networks in Small and Medium Sized Buildings

 

A new report recently published by ON World  is predicting that Wireless sensor networks (WSN) will be responsible for the majority of the growth in intelligent building systems over the next decade.

“A paradigm shift is underway in the building automation market due to the advent of low-cost sensors, cloud infrastructure and mobile technologies.” says Robert Platek, SensorSuite CEO and Founder.  “From building-wide wireless mesh networks to room-level controls, companies like SensorSuite are leading the way and challenging the building automation incumbents that are too expensive for small and medium sized buildings.”John Wick: Chapter 2 movie streaming

Wireless HVAC monitoring and control solutions have increased dramatically over the past few years with the majority of the growth from Internet enabled smart thermostats and sensors in smaller buildings.

In 2017, there will be 32 million Wireless Sensor chipsets shipped worldwide for smart building applications with 6lowpan, ZigBee and EnOcean increasing the fastest. However, technology market shares and growth rates will vary significantly by market and application. ZigBee/802.15.4,  and EnOcean will make up 61% of the combined market for HVAC and lighting in 2017.

Professional installers rank data reliability and security as the most important WSN adoption considerations followed by equipment costs, installation flexibility and scalability. IP addressable sensors also rank high with nearly 8 in 10 saying this is “important” or “most important.”

ON World’s recent survey of 85 professional installers found that 80% are targeting commercial markets. For the installers targeting commercial markets, 27% of their combined businesses comes from commercial versus residential deployments. One in four of the installers have deployed wireless sensor networks with >100 nodes. Sixty-four percent are using or planning WSN systems such as those offered by Control4, Crestron, Ecobee, HAI/Leviton, Honeywell, Lutron, Nest Labs, SensorSuite and Vantage.

Although they only made up about 15% of the WSN unit shipments in 2012, small and medium sized buildings are the fastest growing segment in building automation. In 2017, global WSN revenues from buildings under 50,000 square feet will increase 929% from 2012 and reach $1.3 billion at this time.

ON World’s report “Smart Building Wireless Sensor Networks” is based on phone interviews and online surveys with over 250 individuals including facility/property managers, professional installers, equipment manufacturers, software developers and component suppliers. It covers the global WSN market for non-residential buildings including six application areas (lighting, HVAC, security/safety, metering, environmental monitoring and guest controls) in ten market segments. Forecasts are for WSN equipment and services in each market as well as by geography and technology.

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Wireless Sensors for Apartment Management

Apartment ManagementManaging apartment properties efficiently, yet cost effectively is challenging. In large and small apartment complexes there’s plenty to worry about without having to spend time and money to manually monitor areas of a building that could be monitored by sensors. SensorSuite has a low-cost, easy to use wireless sensor solution for apartment property management.

Using SensorSuite Wireless Sensors for apartment property monitoring allows property managers to be notified immediately if any issues occur that could cause damage. Know instantly about water heater leaks, plumbing issues, AC unit failure, and many other things critical to maintaining safe living areas for residents. SensorSuite wireless sensors track conditions for you, sending the information to the SensorSuite cloud  Sensor Monitoring and Notification System where custom alerts can be sent via SMS text or email. We recommend using SensorSuite’s affordable wireless water sensors to monitor for plumbing issues. We also recommend using SensorSuite’s wireless temperature sensors to monitor temperatures inside or outside of tenant apartments and common areas.

Detect issues before costly damage occurs with SensorSuite’s Wireless Sensors!

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Cold Chain Monitoring with Wireless Sensors

Cold Chain monitoring
Cold Chain monitoring

SensorSuite’s affordable wireless temperature sensors measure and track the environmental conditions of your storage coolers and send instant notifications via email or SMS text if a set condition is exceeded. Save time and money while conforming with Health and Safety Standards.

Maintaining proper cold chain distribution processes extends and ensures the shelf life of your produce, frozen food or pharmaceuticals by keeping them at the proper temperatures all the way to the customers hands. SensorSuite’s wireless temperature monitoring solution provides an efficient, low-cost way of tracking cooler temperatures for proper operation and temperatures, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in  spoilage.

Ensure that your cold chain is being maintained by using SensorSuite’s wireless sensors.

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