SAN JOSE, Calif. — Echelon Corp. announced that its Interoperable Self-Installation (ISI) technology, a unique, simple way to install and configure communities of devices on a control network, has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,374,104. Echelon has implemented ISI in its products, and Echelon customers have created commercial offerings based on the now-patented technology.

Echelon said ISI is designed to significantly simplify the configuration tasks associated with creating communities of devices, including everyday digital devices that are interconnected over a network and that perform common tasks. A community of devices is one that shares information and decision-making locally on a peer-to-peer basis, and that may or may not connect to the Internet.

“Within the overall ‘Internet of Things’ category, millions of simple legacy devices are being overlooked, and it’s these communities of devices where Echelon is focused with our ISI technology,” said Varun Nagaraj, senior vice president and general manager, Echelon. “People don’t want to perform configuration and management duties for their light switches, HVAC, or security systems, nor do these systems require complex Internet-based applications to perform useful tasks automatically. Echelon’s ISI technology allows a community of devices such as an energy management system and solar power monitoring system to communicate directly, with little or no consumer involvement and without using the Internet. ISI manages the connections so the devices recognize each other, find their own ‘place’ on the network, and don’t interfere with each other.”

Echelon said the newly patented ISI technology is a result of its 20 years of experience with device networking. Echelon sees the Internet of Things as comprising both devices that connect directly to the Internet via the IP protocols, as well as communities of devices that communicate and make decisions among themselves. These communities of devices will operate quickly, securely, and reliably within a confined area, and they must be able to scale to thousands and tens of thousands of units. These communities of devices can then participate in the Internet of Things, but only if communities of devices are easy to configure and manage.

“Echelon has spent the last few years advancing our LonWorks protocols for energy grid applications, and now we’re adding IPv6 support to enable legacy control networks to share information via the Internet,” said Nagaraj. “By expanding beyond LonWorks to embrace multiple protocols, including BACnet in the building automation space and others in lighting controls — and by encouraging adoption of our ISI technology to simplify installation and configuration in communities of devices — we can help our customers migrate more flexibly and easily to the Internet of Things.”

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Publication date: 5/27/2013

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