Smart building ecosystems are progressing with research collaboration between The University of New South Wales and an Australian company, WBS Technology, facilitated by funding through an ARC Linkage Projects grant.

The research team, led by Associate Professor Wen Hu, has developed a new wireless platform that relies on connecting LED exit signs to each other to create a network, which can then be networked with other devices, allowing them to share information or be controlled remotely using a smartphone app via the internet. Other devices that can be connected to this network include ventilation and pumping systems, security cameras and sensors, and access doors.

As they are installed, each exit sign or emergency light automatically acts as a node in the network, passing information back and forth. This technology will allow buildings to monitor themselves, react to their surroundings and follow instructions from afar.

This technology is an example of the Internet of Things network where all manner of devices including computers, lights, cars and home appliances can connect, interact and exchange data with each other and across the internet.

Image: Dr Wen Hu checking one of the hallway lights meshed into the smart building network.
Credit: Quentin Jones.