John Selldorff, president and CEO, Legrand North and Central America announces the company’s ELIOT program at the Lightbox event space in New York.
As she sleeps, a woman receives an email that her morning meeting has been moved back an hour. Her alarm clock automatically adjusts to give her more time to rest. When it goes off, her blinds open, the room’s thermostat raises the temperature, and her house asks her if she’d like it to turn the shower on for her.
Later, in her living room, she’s notified that there’s heavier traffic than normal, and the GPS on her phone and in her car are automatically rerouted. She heads out the door, says goodbye to her house, and everything shuts down into energy-saving mode.
This scene was projected onto the wall at the Lightbox event space in New York, where, on November 10, Legrand announced its worldwide launch of ELIOT, an Internet of Things (IoT) initiative designed to enhance built environments, both residential and commercial, into autonomous, smart living spaces like the one portrayed above. By partnering with companies like Amazon Alexa, Samsung, and Cisco, ELIOT aims to bring together disparate systems—including Legrand’s millions of infrastructure devices already incorporated in buildings around the world—into native, intelligent interoperability.
“This is the opportunity to move from automated systems to autonomous systems,” said John Selldorff, president and CEO of Legrand North and Central America. “Autonomous systems are ones with components that are designed to self-connect, self-configure, and learn and adapt without human intervention. Autonomous products can monitor environmental change and behavioral patterns to dynamically change what happens.”
According to Legrand’s projections, the IoT market is poised to grow to 50 billion devices in the next 10 years, representing an $11 trillion opportunity. And Selldorff asserted that the majority of this potential lies in building infrastructures rather than the consumer device market.
“We believe the built environment is going to change as more applications, devices, and sensors get connected and combined with analytics to improve the performance of buildings, and the experience for the people inside,” Selldorff said. “The winning companies will be those who can simplify the complex, and can support the products over the life of the building and create exciting, positive user experiences. We don’t believe these changes can be addressed by gadget makers.”
ELIOT, a portmanteau of “electricity” and “IoT,” will work to transform built environments through a purpose-built cloud, with gateways for installed legacy offerings, an array of natively connected new products, and solutions comprising connected, intelligent technologies and services.
According to Steve Schoffstall, Legrand’s chief marketing officer for North and Central America, there are currently some 22 million Legrand connection points—like electrical outlets, lighting controls, occupancy sensors—currently in existence. Through its commitment to standards, interoperability, and its new partnerships, Legrand plans to harness these connected products as a sort of nervous system of an IoT smart environment.
“These partnerships enable us to ensure and promote a common language for devices to communicate reliably and securely, to connect to other innovative products and services through secure, cloud-to-cloud exchanges, to accelerate product and system innovation, and to create new services and service models that support our offerings, and to create new revenue opportunities for our professional customers,” Schoffstall said.
ELIOT will utilize Cisco’s Digital Ceiling Framework technology to bring together disparate lighting, HVAC, and other systems in offices to create a more unified, intelligent ecosystem, and Samsung’s ARTIK Cloud and Amazon’s Alexa will help to create new integration possibilities in residential spaces.
“Legrand is uniquely equipped to provide immediate and lasting value because of where we are installed and whom we work with,” Selldorff concluded. “Legrand and our partners exist at the intersection of power, light, and data, and the built environment… We already occupy the essential real estate necessary to the successful deployment and enjoyment of the Internet of Things, and we are grounded in this reality. The promise of this opportunity is actually possible now.”