It seems that our industry is on fast-forward as the events, articles, interviews, reviews, news releases, and new products cross my computer screen before finding their way to our RSS news feed. This news feed is also carried on the Engineered Systems blog to keep you up to date at http://blog.esmagazine.com/component/option,com_newsfeeds/task,view/feedid,1/Itemid,19/.

If all this information seems a little overwhelming and blurry because of the speed and volume of presentation, let me pick a few fast-forward freeze frames that you may wish to retain this month.

THE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

John Petze leaves Tridium to create another river of change as CEO of Privaris. Not sure if you heard, but John Petze, the CEO of Tridium, is leaving that company. John has been and remains an industry icon. From a small stream flowing from the company called Tridium, John and his team created a raging river with over 50,000 instances of Niagara installed worldwide. Tridium's partners now include a wide range of global innovative new companies and major OEM's. Thank you John, for all your guidance and support, and for being the drummer for our industry. You have led the Niagara movement from nowhere to everywhere.

Who and what is Privaris? They make a device that is the world's first mobile, handheld biometric fingerprint fob for secure access to multiple facilities, computers, and networks. It provides a fast and simple means of verifying the identity of its user while maintaining their personal privacy.

A Blended City - A review of Realcomm Dallas by Jim Hayman, director, CGNA. Part of the struggle for CIOs is how to connect the incredible technology now available into what Michael Joroff of MIT called in his Realcomm keynote address, "a blended city."

Joroff defined a blended city as commercial real estate that brings together a physical and digital environment to enable human capital to contribute to the global economy. He described communities where intelligent buildings are helping the tenants in them to live and work better as they participate in a universal marketplace. The aforementioned John Petze was one of the speakers at the roundtable, and he highlighted recent developments that make possible intelligent building convergence across an enterprise.

Engineered Systems' Building Automation 2006 Fall Conference will be held in San Diego on September 12 - 13. It will cover topics that include open systems, integration, technology, specifying, and commissioning, plus an increased focus on energy sourcing and management. For more information, visit www.bnpevents.com/ES/BAC/index.htm.

BUILCONN AMSTERDAM

BuilConn Amsterdam will be held October 3-5. AutomatedBuildings.com recently spoke to organizer Anto Budiardjo regarding the focus of this event:

Budiardjo: It seems that discussions of vision, vagaries, and theoretical issues we've had should now be behind us. The industry wants to know how convergence is going to be turned into a profitable and strong business. The focus of the first day in Amsterdam will be how the industry should reshape itself with IP as the driving technology and IT as the mode we should be in. The second day will be focused on how building owners should look at procuring a converged building system in this new paradigm.

In Amsterdam, we are launching a new event called "Wi-tivity," as part of ConnectivityWeek Europe. Wi-tivity is focused on wireless connectivity, specifically related to controls and monitoring of devices systems.

GRID FRIENDLY™

Grid Friendly™ appliance controllers. AutomatedBuildings.com recently interviewed Don Hammerstrom, Ph.D., project manager and senior engineer for Battelle Memorial Institute, an energy technology development group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He presently leads the Grid Friendly™ Appliance technology research and development efforts at the laboratory and co-manages the Pacific Northwest GridWise™ initiative. We asked him, "What's so "grid friendly" about your Grid Friendly appliance controllers?"

Hammerstrom: The version of our Grid Friendly appliance controller installed at project sites is a small circuit board that communicates with the appliance to turn off parts of the appliance load when the grid frequency falls below a frequency threshold. If many such appliances were installed on the power grid, the power grid could avoid tripping under frequency protection at the substation level. In simple terms, the ability of loads to drop off temporarily in a controlled fashion in response to a drop in frequency (caused, for example, by an unexpected loss of generation) will soften the impact of an under frequency event and creates time for the grid operator to fix problems.

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