American conglomerate GE and German tech firm EnOcean announced a partnership on Monday on wireless building automation technology for structures that can't handle wired systems.
The partnership involves the use of EnOcean's battery-free wireless tech with GE'S HabiTEQ system, which controls energy usage in domestic and commercial buildings.
HabiTEQ runs a building's functional subsystems -- lighting, heating, ventilation, blinds and security -- from a central control unit, operated by a physical control panel or a web-based interface online. It can be programmed to respond to environmental stimuli such as changes in temperature, time or human presence.
Oberhaching-based EnOcean claims its devices are zero maintenance because they harvest energy from ambient heat and light or a switch being pressed.
Together, automation can be applied to locations where it's impractical to connect with existing devices using wires or batteries, the companies say. The upside to the wireless aspect: with ultra-thin sensors and switches, installation is simpler and cheaper, not to mention more aesthetically pleasing, making for a better solution to automating historic buildings or all-glass structures.
The companies announced the partnership at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. They didn't say whether the monument itself was automated, but we can dream, can't we?
Photo: Semper Opera Dresden. EnOcean outfitted the historic building with radio temperature and humidity sensors in 2005.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com