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HVAC industry offers new technologiescloud

Like many other sectors of service, the HVAC industry is adapting to new technologies and integrating cloud-based advancements into its framework. Hesitant though some may be to welcome these at first, touch-screen phobias are often dispelled by the many advantages of digital synchronization. Here are a few examples:

Releases of the first ideas for smart air conditioning. At least two companies have blueprints or have announced plans to use Ayla Networks’ IoT (Internet of Things) devices to streamline residential air conditioning systems. Chinese companies TCL and Fujitsu both unveiled related ideas at this week’s 2016 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), being held in Orlando from January 25 to 27. In both cases, the IoT platform is being used to give consumers – mainly homeowners – access to real-time data from their air conditioning systems. This includes new apps available on mobile devices capable of remote management. Many of these options will be available in commercial settings, as well, once on the market.

IEEE's depiction of the Internet of Things (IoT).

IEEE’s depiction of the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to a press release by the two companies on BusinessWire,“homeowners who are striving to achieve maximum efficiency in their homes will definitely want to check out the new cloud connected air conditioning units…this product can be implemented with minimal costs, time and effort,” including advanced analytics and unlimited range for thermostat control.

Energy-efficient solutions. TCL’s representatives were enthusiastic at the show as well: “IoT devices connect people to things as well as things to things,” said Frank Wang, deputy general manager of Overseas Marketing Center for TCL. “The greatest value of the IoT lies in its ability to empower manufacturers to better serve customers. For instance, we can repair our smart connected products in the field and perform preventive maintenance using Ayla’s OTA technology, which saves time and money for both us and our customers.” Ayla is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

In addition to OTA-based upgrades and after-sales services, the TCL products connected using the Ayla IoT platform are said to offer superior energy consumption. For example, compared to pre-IoT versions, the new TCL split air conditioner is said to save energy by up to 25% under normal operating conditions while ensuring the same level of comfort. TCL will be accepting advance orders for its new products at the AHR Expo, with general availability expected later this year.

FieldConnect is offering a new way to facilitate subcontractor payments.

FieldConnect is offering a new way to facilitate subcontractor payments.

Easier ways to connect with subcontractors. FieldConnect, an Irvine, Cal., company specializing in mobile solutions for service associations, will be offering a cloud-based subcontractor portal. It will offer real-time visibility to subcontractor jobs and a pay-as-you-go billing process for completed work. Fluke has also introduced its new wireless clamp meter which lets HVAC technicians report and collaborate directly from the field.

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