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Echelon: Smart Lighting Can Be a Launchpad for an Array of IoT Apps

By Paula Bernier November 22, 2016

Echelon, which says it has been delivering Internet of Things solutions for a quarter century, has some advice for others in the IoT ecosystem: Create solutions that solve specific customer problems and then build from there.

That way, customers can justify the investment upfront and implement value-added applications later in their lifecycles, says Echelon CTO Sohrab Modi. For example, he says, once a city upgrades to a smart lighting system and has sensors on lampposts all over a city, it can leverage that infrastructure to do other things like traffic congestion and parking.

If you try to do traffic counting at a large intersection, the infrastructure could cost $50,000 to $100,000 for just one intersection, he says. But if there is already a network connected and sensors are in place, he adds, it becomes much more affordable.

Echelon has a broad IoT portfolio, which includes a centralized management system, chipset, controllers, gateways, routers, sensors, a full SDK, and networking. The company caters primarily to building automation companies, but its solutions are used by cities, in malls, and transportation environments such as Amtrak.

The company connects 110 million nodes and 30 million energy meters today. And it has done two city-wide deployments of smart lighting for two U.S. cities.

I wrote a piece in early 2014 about how aggregating and sharing data can be very beneficial to smart city efforts. But that’s often not as simple as it sounds, even when only a single city is involved, Nathalie Leboucher, head of Orange Business Services’ Smart Cities strategic program, told me at the time. That’s because cities tend to work in silos – with different agencies being responsible for different applications and requirements. However, she added that city planners are increasingly working to define IT strategies and priorities as a whole related to smart city efforts.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Executive Editor, TMC

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