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Cisco and Philips form alliance to bring IoT to office lighting

Steve Rogerson
December 15, 2015
 
Philips and Cisco have formed a global strategic alliance to create value in energy savings, building efficiency and employee productivity, using the IoT in modern offices. This alliance brings together Philips’ LED based connected lighting system with Cisco’s IT network to address a global office market estimated to be worth €1bn.
 
Lighting is everywhere, making it one of the easiest ways to bring the IoT to office buildings. Light points in the Philips system, equipped with sensors and software applications can be connected using Cisco technologies. This lighting network creates a pathway for information and helps enable new services.
 
Philips and Cisco will also collaborate on a joint go-to-market strategy.
 
“Our alliance has two of the world’s biggest and trusted lighting and connectivity brands working together to bring the internet of things to life in offices and commercial buildings across the world,” said Bill Bien, head of strategy and marketing at Philips Lighting. “Customers will receive the best energy efficient lighting experience in the connected world and be able to use information acquired from their connected lighting system to save energy, reduce costs, improve productivity and optimise their workspace environment. Lighting that is connected to highly secure, reliable IT infrastructure will form the backbone of the smart office of the future.”
 
Together Philips and Cisco aim to accelerate adoption of this technology in the market and deliver increased connectivity, comfort and efficiency, constituting the most innovative features of a modern building.
 
“The world is becoming digital, and by working with Philips, we can help building owners more quickly digitise their lighting networks to drive better user experiences and efficiency,” said Edwin Paalvast, senior vice president at Cisco. “By partnering with Philips, we are delivering a reliable PoE-powered LED lighting using a highly secure IT network.”
 
Lighting is a logical first-step to bringing IoT to enterprises worldwide. Equipped with sensors, connected lighting becomes intelligent to sense and measure the environment. For example, occupancy sensors in the system can provide information on space utilisation to help reduce costs.
 
Typically, lighting is responsible for 40 per cent of a building’s electricity use. Nearly 80 per cent in energy savings and reduced building maintenance costs can be realised by managing, integrating and controlling a Philips LED connected lighting system through a network with Cisco.
 
To make offices more comfortable, office workers can personalise and adjust LED lighting to their preferences and tasks. For mobile access, office workers can use a smartphone app to access other building services through a communications network.
 
To showcase how Philips and Cisco can work together to unlock the benefits of the IoT in offices, Cisco is installing a Philips connected lighting system at its Canadian headquarters in Toronto.
 
“The possibilities of this connected lighting system are endless,” said Richard Lees, senior project manager at CBRE, a commercial real estate and investment services firm. “There are so many capabilities of this system that we haven’t even explored yet.”
 
• Bosch, Logitech and Samsung SmartThings have been added to the Philips Friends of Hue partners list. This means that their connected home products, applications and platforms integrate with Philips Hue and are certified to deliver seamless new lighting experiences.
 
There are a number of significant factors that impact the successful adoption of the IoT in homes. Key to this are new experiences; for example lights, thermostats and cameras working together to understand how a home is occupied, saving energy or providing the occupiers peace of mind when away from home. For this, flawless interoperation with other connected products is crucial.
 
“We are pleased to announce our new partners,” said Sridhar Kumaraswamy, business leader for connected home systems at Philips Lighting. “We have already teamed up with the likes of Apple and Nest; all of these Friends of Hue partnerships strengthen the impact of lighting to help realise the internet of things for homes. By integrating our lights with innovations from our partners, we can deliver new lighting experiences today and far into the future, unlocking the value of light beyond illumination.”
 
Light can help provide comfort and peace of mind with Bosch and Nest integrating with Philips Hue. Lights can turn on and off to simulate a user’s presence when away; or light flashing yellow in case of a smoke alarm then dimming down to a red state which is best to help navigate through a smoky environment; or lights set to a relax mode when the temperature in the bathroom rises.
 
Integrating with Philips Hue can also enhance entertainment at home. Logitech integrates Philips Hue into its Harmony platform meaning its universal remote control can operate lights to enhance TV viewing and other entertainment activities at home.
 
In terms of platforms, SmartThings from Samsung integrates Philips Hue lights into its smart home platform allowing Hue lights to respond to daily routines and work in tandem with a wide range of sensors, locks, cameras, thermostats, speakers and more.
 
In addition to Apple Watch, Philips integrated Hue into Apple’s HomeKit platform meaning it works seamlessly with other HomeKit-enabled products and Siri voice control.
 
Through its developers programme, Philips now has more than 450 third party apps available. It is transforming how light is used in and around the home to enhance a space, heighten a mood or simply ease day to day life.
 
With the Philips Hue ecosystem including bulbs, luminaires, strips and controls, users can interact with lights through apps, tablets, smartphones or even voice. Occupants can use the Hue app to change the lights in a particular room, a group of rooms or the full house when at home, or the Hue portal when away from home.