Download PDF version Contact company

Johnson Controls, a global provider of smart and sustainable buildings, is launching OpenBlue - a complete suite of connected solutions and services that combine the Company’s 135 years of building expertise with cutting-edge technology. This open digital platform, when integrated with Johnson Controls core building systems and enhanced by Fortune 100 technology partners, will make shared spaces safer, more agile and more sustainable.

Johnson Controls OpenBlue is the culmination of years of research and development by the Company’s industry renowned engineers and data scientists around the globe, to create the “blueprint for the future” to guide smart, sustainable buildings. The new suite of connected solutions enables previously unimaginable occupant experiences, respectful safety and security, and impactful sustainability, driven by cutting-edge connected technology.

Artificial intelligence

Connectivity is critical to achieve this goal: building systems must work together and communicate to be effective. OpenBlue was designed with agility, flexibility and scalability in mind, to enable buildings to become dynamic spaces. In leveraging the OpenBlue platform, customers will be able to manage operations more systemically, delivering buildings that have memory, intelligence and unique identity.

The platform infuses the OpenBlue suite of solutions and services with award-winning artificial intelligence (AI), combining data from both inside and outside of buildings.

Safety and sustainability

The launch of OpenBlue reflects how we think buildings are evolving from inflexible assets to dynamic resources"

“How we interact with our environments and how buildings and shared spaces are managed for safety and sustainability is top of mind everywhere, and now more than ever we recognise how complex these systems are. Johnson Controls has been making buildings efficient and safe for 135 years, and this year, our obligation to deliver comprehensive, best in class solutions to our customers has never been more important,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls.

“The launch of OpenBlue reflects how we think buildings are evolving from inflexible assets to dynamic resources. As a result, this is a critical element of our business strategy, enabling us to lead customers around the world to the solutions and services required to transform their spaces for the future.”

Indoor air quality

By combining traditionally separate systems, OpenBlue will enable the connection of every part of a building to create new possibilities for smarter, more efficient and sustainable spaces.

OpenBlue customers will be able to:

  • Respond with dynamic flexibility: OpenBlue will enable buildings to switch into different modes to address various critical situations. Modes can include management of building access, air flow, elevator movement, door locks, lighting, and open collaboration, as well as other environmental and safety settings.
  • Deploy COVID-19 solutions: OpenBlue connects Johnson Controls products, technology and services to help customers get back to work as safely and efficiently as possible. These solutions and services include contact tracing, social distance monitoring, thermal cameras, clean air, touchless environments, compliance and reporting management, energy optimisation, advanced safety monitoring and more.
  • Select from tiered services for their needs: OpenBlue will contain a suite of tiered, AI-infused service solutions delivering advanced capabilities such as remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, advanced risk assessments, compliance monitoring and more.
  • Security at the center of the solutions: OpenBlue was designed with safety at its core and will enable customers to access secure by design solutions. Each of the OpenBlue offerings are developed with robust design protocols for security and privacy process.
  • Increase energy savings and improve indoor air quality (IAQ): By connecting HVAC equipment with new data and AI, users of the platform can expect 20-60 percent cost savings by optimising the performance of the full HVAC system across energy costs and IAQ parameters.

Traditional operational technology

Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform brings together traditional operational technology, existing IT systems and cloud applications infused with AI and cutting-edge technology such as digital twins, enabling insight, integration and collaboration. OpenBlue will enable operating technologies to seamlessly communicate and integrate across a broad range of systems.

“Connectivity is the key to making buildings work harder for us,” said Mike Ellis, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Digital Officer, Johnson Controls.

Unique software capabilities

Open refers to an optimistic future and the platform’s open architecture to enable products to work with various solutions"

“This new suite of solutions will enable previously unimaginable outcomes for our customers by connecting buildings to unique software capabilities, providing insight to deliver high customer value. We are partnering with a number of leading technology companies and thought leaders in various sectors to roll-out tailored solutions in the coming months.”

“The launch of OpenBlue is a radical approach to dynamic spaces,” said Phil Clement, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson Controls. “The brand identity was created with a number of factors in mind: Open refers to an optimistic future and the platform’s open architecture to enable products to work with various solutions. The colour blue is core to Johnson Controls branding for the past 135 years and gives a nod to our strong heritage in the buildings space.”

Open data platforms

OpenBlue technology experts will lead proprietary ‘OpenBlue - Blueprint of the Future’ customer workshops, thought leadership webinars and insight sessions to help customers reimagine the possibilities of built environments and map out capabilities for spaces and places to power a unique customer mission.

Johnson Controls partners with global Fortune 100 companies to bring together leading expertise with open data platforms, leading software applications and AI, core building systems and smart edge devices. The new technology ecosystem delivers new vision, while reimagining the future of workplaces, including hospitals, schools, stadiums, cities and more.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Panasonic AI-driven cameras empower an expanding vision of new uses
Panasonic AI-driven cameras empower an expanding vision of new uses

Imagine a world where video cameras are not just watching and reporting for security, but have an even wider positive impact on our lives. Imagine that cameras control street and building lights, as people come and go, that traffic jams are predicted and vehicles are automatically rerouted, and more tills are opened, just before a queue starts to form. Cameras with AI capabilities Cameras in stores can show us how we might look in the latest outfit as we browse. That’s the vision from Panasonic about current and future uses for their cameras that provide artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities at the edge. Panasonic feels that these types of intelligent camera applications are also the basis for automation and introduction of Industry 4.0, in which processes are automated, monitored and controlled by AI-driven systems. 4K network security cameras The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications Panasonic’s 4K network security cameras have built-in AI capabilities suitable for this next generation of intelligent applications in business and society. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable camera line can install and run up to three AI-driven video analytic applications. The AI engine is directly embedded into the camera, thus reducing costs and Panasonic’s image quality ensures the accuracy of the analytics outcome. FacePRO facial recognition technology Panasonic began advancing AI technology on the server side with FacePRO, the in-house facial recognition application, which uses AI deep learning capabilities. Moving ahead, they transitioned their knowledge of AI from the server side to the edge, introducing i-PRO security cameras with built-in AI capabilities last summer, alongside their own in-house analytics. Moreover, in line with the Panasonic approach to focus more on collaboration with specialist AI software developers, a partnership with Italian software company, A.I. Tech followed in September, with a range of intelligent applications, partially based on deep learning. Additional collaborations are already in place with more than 10 other developers, across the European Union, working on more future applications. i-PRO AI-capable security cameras Open systems are an important part of Panasonic’s current approach. The company’s i-PRO AI-capable cameras are an open platform and designed for third-party application development, therefore, applications can be built or tailored to the needs of an individual customer. Panasonic use to be a company that developed everything in-house, including all the analytics and applications. “However, now we have turned around our strategy by making our i-PRO security cameras open to integrate applications and analytics from third-party companies,” says Gerard Figols, Head of Security Solutions at Panasonic Business Europe. Flexible and adapting to specific customer needs This new approach allows the company to be more flexible and adaptable to customers’ needs. “At the same time, we can be quicker and much more tailored to the market trend,” said Gerard Figols. He adds, “For example, in the retail space, enabling retailers to enhance the customer experience, in smart cities for traffic monitoring and smart parking, and by event organisers and transport hubs to monitor and ensure safety.” Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems Edge-based analytics Edge-based analytics offer multiple benefits over server-based systems. On one hand, there are monetary benefits - a cost reduction results from the decreased amount of more powerful hardware required on the server side to process the data, on top of reduction in the infrastructure costs, as not all the full video stream needs to be sent for analysis, we can work solely with the metadata. On the other hand, there are also advantages of flexibility, as well as reliability. Each camera can have its own individual analytic setup and in case of any issue on the communication or server side, the camera can keep running the analysis at the edge, thereby making sure the CCTV system is still fully operational. Most importantly, systems can keep the same high level of accuracy. Explosion of AI camera applications We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications" “We can compare the explosion of AI camera applications to the way we experienced it for smartphone applications,” said Gerard Figols, adding “However, it doesn’t mean the hardware is not important anymore, as I believe it’s more important than ever. Working with poor picture quality or if the hardware is not reliable, and works 24/7, software cannot run or deliver the outcome it has been designed for.” As hardware specialists, Figols believes that Panasonic seeks to focus on what they do best - Building long-lasting, open network cameras, which are capable of capturing the highest quality images that are required for the latest AI applications, while software developers can concentrate on bringing specialist applications to the market. Same as for smartphones, AI applications will proliferate based on market demand and succeed or fail, based on the value that they deliver. Facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line technologies Panasonic has been in the forefront in developing essential AI applications for CCTV, such as facial recognition, privacy protection and cross line. However, with the market developing so rapidly and the potential applications of AI-driven camera systems being so varied and widespread, Panasonic quickly realised that the future of their network cameras was going to be in open systems, which allow specialist developers and their customers to use their sector expertise to develop their own applications for specific vertical market applications, while using i-PRO hardware. Metadata for detection and recognition Regarding privacy, consider that the use of AI in cameras is about generating metadata for the detection and recognition of patterns, rather than identifying individual identities. “However, there are legitimate privacy concerns, but I firmly believe that attitudes will change quickly when people see the incredible benefits that this technology can deliver,” said Gerard Figols, adding “I hope that we will be able to redefine our view of cameras and AI, not just as insurance, but as life advancing and enhancing.” i-PRO AI Privacy Guard One of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard Seeking to understand and appreciate privacy concerns, one of the AI applications that Panasonic developed was i-PRO AI Privacy Guard that generates data without capturing individual identities, following European privacy regulations that are among the strictest in the world. Gerard Fogils said, “The combination of artificial intelligence and the latest generation open camera technology will change the world’s perceptions from Big Brother to Big Benefits. New applications will emerge as the existing generation of cameras is updated to the new open and intelligent next generation devices, and the existing role of the security camera will also continue.” Future scope of AI and cameras He adds, “Not just relying on the security cameras for evidence when things have gone wrong, end users will increasingly be able to use AI and the cameras with much higher accuracy to prevent false alarms and in a proactive way to prevent incidents." Gerard Fogils concludes, “That could be monitoring and alerting when health and safety guidelines are being breached or spotting and flagging patterns of suspicious behaviour before incidents occur.”

What is the best lesson you ever learned from an end user?
What is the best lesson you ever learned from an end user?

Serving customer needs is the goal of most commerce in the physical security market. Understanding those needs requires communication and nuance, and there are sometimes surprises along the way. But in every surprising revelation – and in every customer interaction – there is opportunity to learn something valuable that can help to serve the next customer’s needs more effectively. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: what was the best lesson you ever learned from a security end user customer?

What is the impact of remote working on security?
What is the impact of remote working on security?

During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?