Chips with everything
A future built on embedded intelligence — BSRIA’s Andrew Eastwell
A future for the building-services industry of all the components of plant and systems having fully embedded communications capability and intelligence has been suggested by Andrew Eastwell, chief executive of BSRIA. Speaking at the association’s annual briefing in November, he suggested that the ever-falling price of micro-processors is the key to fulfiling what he dubbed the ‘plug-and-play dream’. The event marked 50 years of BSRIA’s role as a leading research organisation in the building-services industry, and Andrew Eastwell was not shy of looking forward. Such built-in capability could mean, for example, that a fan would know its performance curve, its running time, pressure data and time to services. ‘Within 20 years,’ predicted Andrew Eastwell, ‘Most active products will have embedded intelligence and object definitions and be capable of wireless communication. All this capability will be joined together by systems integrators.’ He continued his vision by suggesting that designers will select the required product function from object catalogues and simulate system performance, followed by installers locating products that accord with the design schedule. The embedded intelligence could then provide an asset base of operation that can be compared to the simulation model — providing that long desired feedback loop to the design stage. It is this feedback loop that, suggests Andrew Eastwell, points to designers taking up the system-integration role and managing the object definitions.