Cisco Unveils ‘Digital Ceiling’ IoT Solution to Connect Building Systems

The new smart lighting solution converges multiple building networks – lighting, HVAC, IP video, IoT sensors and much more – through a secure and intelligent network platform.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Cisco has developed an Internet of Things (IoT)-based solution that connects all building services in a single, converged IP network by using a building’s smart lighting grid to provide the backbone for other indoor networks.

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Called “Digital Ceiling,” the new smart lighting solution acts as an aggregation point for other building networks, including HVAC, security, building controls and corporate Wi-Fi facilities, among others, IoT Hub reports.

As more companies make the switch to networked LEDs for power efficiency purposes, Cisco has made use of the pervasiveness and close proximity of these lighting systems to provide a central connection point for other – usually disparate – networks contained within a premises.

Cisco has also incorporated a number of other sensors to monitor things like proximity, temperature, carbon dioxide (CO) levels and motion detection.

Visual light communication and Bluetooth Low Energy have also been added into the platform, according to IoT Hub.

The aggregation of all of a building’s networks and sensors would enable these entities to interface with each other, and give an organization numerous automation options in terms of driving efficiencies and predicting occupant behaviors, the networking giant discussed this week at its Cisco Live Europe event.

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For example, many buildings are configured for the lights and air-conditioning to switch on and off at set times.

A Digital Ceiling-enabled system would allow sensors to detect when an employee enters a part of the building and only switch the lights and air-conditioning on in that section. Over time, the system could learn employees’ usage patterns and become more predictive.

To facilitate the Digital Ceiling networks, Cisco is providing a range of PoE switches, protocols, APIs and a range of sensors.

Cisco also announced partnerships with Philips and Cree to supply the LED lighting, Johnson Controls for building automation and Relayr for ISVs (independent software vendors), among others.

You can learn more about the Digital Ceiling in this whitepaper.

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