Apurba Pradhan
Apurba Pradhan
Business Unit Director, Industrial Edge Computing

To meet Net Zero goals, make occupants more comfortable, and save costs, more and more building owners and operators are investing in IoT technologies such as Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) sensors which can be easily spread throughout a building to collect data. These sensors can report and collect data on temperature, air quality, occupancy and numerous other data points to provide real-time status on a building’s environment.

But truly "smart" buildings will only come when we can integrate all this data with a building’s other systems, such as HVAC, access control, lighting and others – as well as with data analytics and AI platforms. When all a building’s disparate pieces of equipment – made by different vendors, installed at different times and communicating via various protocols – can understand each other’s data and share it with AI platforms, we can start to build truly smart systems that can automate processes and predict outcomes.

The systems integrators whose job it is to connect new technologies like LoRaWAN sensor devices to legacy wired building automation and control systems (BACS) face a large challenge because there is often a mismatch between new IoT technologies and older technologies running protocols like LON, and BACnet. The disparate systems just can’t communicate with each other since they speak different languages and report data in diverse formats. Today there are manual workarounds, but they are time consuming, and the results are far from ideal. For integrators, projects take too much time and are not easily repeatable.

Renesas’ IoT Access Protocol (IAP) solves this problem. IAP – which was recently approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) as ANSI/CTA 709.10 – is the first open and extensible web services protocol for Industrial IoT networks. It is designed to get all a facility’s many disparate devices to understand each other’s data and share it with each other and with industrial applications, data analytics and AI platforms. It does this by defining a common information model and services that automatically bridge the gap between these many technologies. Its unifying information model enables AI platforms to understand and interpret the meaning of and relationship between data types.

IAP is integrated in Renesas’ SmartServer™ IoT edge server, an extensible and open multi-protocol IoT edge server that is hardened for industrial applications in smart buildings, factories and cities. SmartServer IoT is already deployed in hundreds of projects around the globe, and results are impressive. We anticipate that other companies will begin to integrate IAP into their products as well.

To learn more about IAP and how it works with LoRaWAN sensors to enable truly smart buildings, read this new article on IoTforAll: IAP Creates a Better LoRaWAN Solution for Smart Buildings.

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