It’s Earth Day, a day set aside to remind everyone that we should probably put some effort into not ruining the one planet we have available, and the IoT industry has stepped up to save the world from going to the Dark Side. No hyperbole.
According to Vivint, a smart home tech developer, Americans lose $443 billion a year on wasted home energy. The company created an interactive infographic full of tips for creating a net-zero energy home with M2M integrations. Check it out here. Some of the tips include: installing smart toilets that help you monitor flush water volumes, smart thermostats can save 30 percent of your home’s consumption, a 5kW solar panel system running for seven hours per day can power the average home and installing energy recovery ventilators can defray massive HVAC costs around the home.
It’s not all about encouraging better use, either. Daintree Networks, a smart buildings networks and operations solutions provider, is trying to encourage development, too. On April 22, it launched its 2015 Energy Champion Awards, which will recognize the efforts of those in the industry that are driving energy savings by using technologies and processes to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings. The nomination process is open and the company will announce the winners in October during National Energy Awareness Month. There will be two winners. The Thought Leader award will be given to the person who has made the biggest impact in raising awareness for the need to save energy in the commercial sector in the last 12 months. The End User award will be granted to the individual whose efforts have reaped the greatest demonstrated results in terms of reduced energy consumption and overall energy savings within their company.Image via Wikimedia
“As an advocate of open standards-based solutions for smart buildings, we feel it's important to recognize both those that are championing the need to save energy and the champions in these efforts,” said Danny Yu, CEO, Daintree Networks. “We look forward to highlighting the achievements of those that share our passion for energy conservation and the future of our planet.”
In the agricultural space, gThrive, which provides real-time irrigation information to farmers to help farmers manage their resources, has made its Field Monitoring Solution for Growers available to the general growing marketplace. The solution sends a user’s mobile device information about moisture, temperature, salinity, and sunlight conditions in the fields so farmers can better manage energy, water, and fertilizer consumption. That way they can reduce costs and environmental impact while increasing yield and profit margins. gThrive puts portable, wireless gStakes into the fields to collect data. The data gets sent to a gLink base station to relay the info into the cloud, where it can be accessed through the mobile app.
“Plants first put down roots. From their roots, plants get the resources to grow and produce. Our solution provides ground truth: what's going on in the soil,” said Bruce Borden, CEO, gThrive. “We want growers to have more data from more places in their field.”
To wrap up: what about the bees?
Honeybees are dying all over the world, and without bees it has become a pretty common adage that humans are mostly doomed. To avoid that end, vendors Eltopia and Gemalto on April 22 announced a M2M solution called MiteNot, which seeks to measure hive conditions and predict Varroa destructor mite breeding cycles, which is one major cause of honeybee death.
Colony Collapse Disorder threatens honey bees and a specific cause has not been identified by researchers. This MiteNot solution is a pesticide-free way to remove Varroa destructor mites in bee hives by sterilizing mites to eliminate them. To use it, beekeepers put a compostable circuit board into the hive that senses the stages of the bee brood reproductive cycles and applies heat at a specific temperature and time to sterilize mites, if present.
It’s still in the research, development and testing phase. Eltopia is looking for commercial beekeepers and academic institutions to participate in additional testing. If the testing continues to be positive, Eltopia hopes to make it available by fall 2015.
“We are confident that we will be able to bring MiteNot to market,” said Will MacHugh, CEO, Eltopa. “It will be an excellent affordable and non-toxic alternative for both commercial and hobbyist beekeepers to eliminate Varroa destructor mites.”
Help us, Obi Wan IoT Kenobis. You’re our only hope.
Edited by Maurice Nagle