KNX is an open standard for commercial and domestic building automation. KNX devices can manage lighting, blinds and shutters, HVAC, security systems, energy, audio & video, white goods, displays, remote control, etc.
Verhaert Digital does not only develop applications, we develop custom software solutions of any kind. The KNX IoT project is a perfect example of such a development.
KNX and IoT
The more the Internet of Things takes shape, the higher level of automation users expect. More products and things become available, generating more data. These increasing data streams are processed with big data techniques. Devices act upon this processed information, to execute action to serve users in many ways. Complexity has increased, reliability and interoperability is however still not guaranteed:
Many solutions are available that cover just one single use case (voice control, internet connected door bell, lights and room temperature regulator controllable by App…).
To try to connect the different services provided by devices in a reliable way is not trivial.
In many cases, the correct functioning of devices depend on an internet connection.
Reliability and stability
Customized software integrations can break upon every software update and are very complex to secure. Reliability and stability is not guaranteed over a longer period of time, which are a must for building automation.
Adding advantages from KNX to loT
KNX now wishes to make the key KNX advantages of interoperability, reliability and extendibility also available on IoT level which is where Verhaert Digital comes in.
The KNX IoT solution will lower the barrier to access KNX as part of the Internet of Things. The aim is to reduce the knowledge required and open the current KNX ecosystem to non-KNX IT specialists through ‘out-of-the-box’ operation, while still allowing advanced configuration and adaption by specialists.
Verhaert Digital developed a gateway software to route messages from any IoT device to the existing KNX Classic solutions and has added support for Thread enabled devices.
The KNX IoT solution is defined in partnership with key KNX manufacturers and standardisation bodies (like Fairhair and the Thread group). KNX is also working on proof of concepts to validate the solutions. Leveraging standards ensures that the value of KNX products is increased and long-term support can be guaranteed in a constantly changing IoT world.
It’s crucial that devices can understand each other and humans can understand what a device or service offers.
Understanding the meaning of data (= semantics) is necessary to be able to combine functionality to create new functionality. The current KNX system ensures this by creating a project with ETS, thereby relying on KNX standardised data types to combine several products/functionalities. For IoT, it is important to be able to share this semantic information also outside the boundaries of the KNX ecosystem. Semantics allow devices and services to interact at different levels.
Linked data is an already standardised and well accepted way to share semantic knowledge. Linked data is the technology behind the semantic web, the so called “Web of things”.
Verhaert Digital is leveraging this standard and has created a KNX IoT ontology based on this technology. The Linked-data model will be made available through open REST API standards to enable developer friendly integrations with the system.