Carrier, IBM to Launch Web-Enabled A/C
Myappliance will provide Web-enabled air conditioners that wirelessly communicate in real time with devices such as mobile phones and PCs. With the new remote control service, Web-enabled air conditioner owners will be able to set temperatures or switch the units on or off wirelessly, from anywhere at any time, using the secure Myappliance.com website.
Dealers will have individual unit control and will be able to access key customer data. Myappliance will also send fault codes and other diagnostic alerts instantaneously to mobile phones, e-mail, or fax.
According to the companies, the service will enable Carrier dealers to differentiate themselves from the competition with faster service response times, improved first-time fix ratios, and improved service scheduling. Unit performance and maintenance information over time can be gathered and recorded to anticipate and address potential problems.
Carrier said that it chose IBM as the primary provider of technology and services for this solution because IBM supports industry standards across a range of wireless technologies and devices. IBM will design the end-to-end architecture from the embedded Java in the air conditioning units to the backend Web servers to the Web browsers in mobile phones, and perform the systems integration.
IBM will also provide the hardware — eServers running AIX — and the software — WebSphere Everyplace Suite Enterprise Edition, WebSphere Application Server, and Visual Age Micro Edition J9 Virtual Machine.
“Carrier has been focused on providing more value-added benefits to our customers to increase their appreciation of the air conditioning units they buy,” said Alceste Murada, vice president, residential light commercial products, and general manager, Southern Europe, for Carrier.
“Working with a company such as IBM, which supports open standards across multiple wireless technologies and devices, allows us to eventually extend this new remote control and diagnostic service around the world, catering to the device preferences of customers in each region.”
“This engagement is a great example of how a complete IT infrastructure — including software, hardware, and services — can speed up time to market of innovative, wireless solutions,” said Michel Mayer, general manager of pervasive computing for IBM.
Carrier plans to launch the service from Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) phones this summer to several hundred commercial and residential customers in primary European countries, as part of its new line of Night and Day console split-system air conditioners. The program is then expected to be extended throughout Europe and to North America, and will eventually support other devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Publication date: 04/23/2001