But don’t ask which one is the best.

Office automation systems are popular, but between saying and doing, a small factor of uncertainty always works its way in. “Will it work or will it be yet another attempt at smart operation that will end up letting me down?” Often the fear of running into systems that are too difficult to use or, even worse, unreliable, changes the mind of even the most die-hard technician. But let’s take a look at what the market has to offer and what the characteristics are.

We talk about this with Claudio Crespi, Eelectron’s Technical Manager.

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The world of automation is essentially based on two different types of technology. In simple terms, wireless technology and the technology to which we entrust data transmission to a dedicated cable. Each of these technologies was created to meet specific, yet different needs that are linked to different functional destinations: residential, tertiary, industry.

The most commonly used building automation systems are proprietary systems which account for about half of the market share. Each one different from the next with the disadvantage that they cannot interact with other systems. Then, there are open systems on which standard protocols are based, such as Konnex, which allows for easy integration, scalability and leaves the customer the freedom to choose from different manufacturers without being tied to a single supplier.

“Non esiste una tecnologia che è superiore alle altre, esiste la tecnologia più appropriata a una determinata funzione.

Le tecnologie devono coesistere e integrarsi tra di loro.”

We are talking about wireless systems; therefore, wi-fi and Bluetooth. More often than not, most users mix up these two types of technology. What are the differences?

Both are wireless, but a wi-fi network generally is more powerful and ability to transmit a large quantity of data while the Bluetooth network is less powerful and transmits a smaller quantity of data. The former adapts better to the transmission of information such as files and browsing the internet while the latter becomes important for transmitting simple commands and so, is ideal for managing building automation.

Then, there is Bluetooth Low Energy.

The only thing Bluetooth Low Energy shares with the Bluetooth that we have got used to over the last ten years, is the name. Bluetooth Low Energy is a new technology with low energy consumption, hence the name, and allows networks for devices to be built which communicate with one another without creating interferences. The devices can choose the nearest, free frequency to guaranteed the fast and secure transmission of data. The transmission power is low and the transmission occurs only when it is necessary to communicate the data and for a very short time. These elements contribute towards minimising the electromagnetic radiation in the environment. Consequently, Bluetooth Low Energy is a technology that doesn’t pollute, or better still, has a very low environmental impact in terms of electromagnetic waves. In a world overexposed to radio frequencies, this is no small thing.

If you had to recommend one technology over another, which one would you recommend?

What is the best method of transport to go from one place to another? It could be a car as opposed to a bike or on foot or by public transport. It depends on the situation and the needs we are asked to satisfy. Each technology has its own specific features and is ideal for obtaining a certain type of result. “There is no one technology that is superior to others; rather there is the most appropriate technology for a particular type of function. Technologies must coexist and integrate with one other.