On Wednesday, Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) disclosed it is a partner with Cisco’s new “Digital Ceiling” suite of smart building applications. Cisco says it’s taking the Internet of Things to the management of “indoor spaces.”

Here’s insight from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) about what the Digital Ceiling is.

“Cisco Digital Ceiling: Creating Smart and Securely Connected Indoor Spaces”

That’s the headline on a blog written by Cisco’s Tony Shakib, the vice president of IoE [Internet of Everything] Verticals Solutions Engineering.

“Cisco is working with industry leaders in lighting [such as Durham-based Cree], building automation control, enablers and ISVs to ensure we have a rich set of solutions powered by the network to help our customers move to a Digital Ceiling,” he wrote.

“The potential is incredible. Imagine an office building where by checking into a room, that user’s preferred light intensity and color, room temperature, and phone and video profiles are automatically set. Consider a workplace scenario where daylight harvesting, automatic dimming controls, and presence-based lighting save energy and reduce costs.

“Picture a retail environment where Digital Ceiling analytics of traffic patterns are used to improve store layouts, merchandise placement, staff allocations, and security.”

Shakib sees a big market, too.

“Innovations in building systems such as lighting and HVAC make it possible for building owners and managers, as well as architects and lighting designers, to increase efficiency and transform user experiences. This applies to any building – offices, hospitals, schools, retail stores, hangars, and manufacturing plants.”

While noting that smart buildings with LED lighting could cut lighting expense “in half.,” he says a Digital Ceiling program offers customers opportunities to:

  • Transform processes and business models for faster time to market and leaner operations.
  • Personalize customer/citizen experiences for increased loyalty and greater insight to predict future purchases.
  • Empower workforce efficiency and innovation for better productivity and employee retention.

But Cisco also is stressing cost savings.

“The value is real,” Shakib wrote, citing a variety of sources for the data..

“Using the Cisco Digital Ceiling to adapt lighting to actual user needs means potential energy savings of $1.08 per square foot annually in commercial spaces.

“The Digital Ceiling can help building managers make better use of their space to reduce cost per square foot by as much as 50% based on improved building layouts verified by occupancy analysis.

“.In a retail environment, improvements in lighting and signage can result in an increase in potential sales revenue on the order of hundreds of dollars per square foot.”

He cited one business example:

“A great example of a customer that is capturing this value now is Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), Iowa’s largest energy provider. CIPCO wanted to be able to demonstrate energy efficiency as well as create a platform for future IoT innovation. CIPCO deployed a Cisco Digital Ceiling solution using Cisco Catalyst 3560-X Switches, they replaced existing fluorescent lights with LED troffers, and deployed Cisco switches and UPOE-powered lights with sensors. The result was 85% lower energy costs for lighting and optimized space utilization. This digital transformation also helps CIPCO set the stage for future innovations.”

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