Report: User Interfaces Shaping the Development of Building Automation Systems

AUSTIN, Texas — A new report by IMS Research has revealed a growing trend in building automation systems toward photorealism and increased end user interaction.

According to the report titled, “The World Market for Value Added Services in Intelligent Building,” the “gamification” of the graphical user interface (GUI) is shaping the way building automation systems are being developed and used. In the past, spreadsheets offered the main tool to present data from the building management system. However, the spreadsheets limited how to data could be presented, and prevented the system from being user-friendly.

“In terms of user interfaces, building automation is playing catch-up with the rest of the electronics industry,” IMS Research Market Analyst Sam Grinter says. “This change in direction over the last six years towards photorealism and gamification of graphical user interfaces is a result of growing end user expectation.”

Because end users expect their building automation systems to be as simple to understand as their smart phones, tablets and other entertainment systems, 3D graphics and animations were introduced to building management systems. Now, K-12 schools, colleges and officer use the graphics on public displays. The public use of displays makes systems more interactive and helps to raise awareness for energy efficiency.

“A key barrier for photorealism is the building management system itself,” Grinter says. “High resolution graphics require greater processing power and the current crop of building management systems often limit the quality of graphics and the complexity of animations. There is a disconnect between controls companies and graphics providers over the importance of photorealistic GUIs. For the graphics to become more photorealistic, the controls and graphics companies must strengthen their working relationship.”

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