Portland based Internet of Things (IoT) enabler, 38 Zeros, has raised almost $800,000 from angel investors to help further develop its hardware-software-cloud service package.
The company believes its technology can aid the growth of IoT with specific applications in energy facilities management, health care, manufacturing and scientific research.
38 Zeros flagship product, CloudLogger, is a cellular-based, cloud data-logging solution that lowers deployment costs while improving data quality. It gathers data collected by sensors and sends the information into the cloud while ensuring the data is clean of gaps and spikes that can alter analytics.
“The Internet of Things is still in its infancy. We started 38 Zeros to help businesses simplify the management of critical information from cloud-connected devices”, CEO, Zac Wheeler said in a statement. “We believe fundamentally that measurement and verification equipment should become ubiquitous to any facility”.
As computing continues its slow transition away from centralized assets, such as servers and PCs with hard drives, less complex devices will flourish. Measurement and verification (M&V) tools, such as data-loggers, are in a position to directly benefit from this transition. The focused workflow of data-loggers lends itself to integration in standardised frameworks.
Smart Grid applications and analytics companies in the energy services space are increasingly focused on presenting this complex set of information to the end user through easy to understand dashboards and interfaces. However, the equipment to collect the information and send it to the cloud has remained expensive and unnecessarily complex.
38 Zeros’ CloudLogger has stripped the hardware down to just the necessary elements, reducing the cost, and incorporated a closed-loop data check to solve a common data integrity issue. The company claims their technology eliminates technical barriers and lowers the cost of connecting devices to the Internet by up to 80%.
Scott Niesen, VP of communications at 38 Zeros, suggested the high cost of M&V restricts energy service companies from entering new markets. Conventional, site-deployed hardware is often costly and temporary, involving multiple configuration and collections phases, as well as compatibility and data integrity issues.
Niesen explained how the “low-hanging fruit” of long-term energy-savings strategies has already been picked. “Demand-side management programs that utilize lighting upgrades or variable-frequency drive conversions offered immediate profitability. But these efforts lack fine scale for large, energy-intensive facilities, and simply haven’t been economical for smaller companies”. We covered in-depth the market opportunity for Big Data in Buildings in our new recent research – Big Data for Smart Buildings: Market Prospects 2015 to 2020
Research by 38 Zeros states that typical M&V hardware costs can reach $1,500 to $4,000 per data collection point. Skilled electricians require as much as five hours to connect hardware for a sub-meter installation, and hardware is often made up of components from a variety of different manufacturers.
CloudLogger has overcome many of these issues by simplifying and streamlining the process. The CloudLogger pairs data acquisition hardware with data-logging software and a cellular transmitter. It may sound fairly straightforward, but it’s the first fully integrated hardware and software solution on the market, often replacing multiple devices.
"It's really about closing the gap between buildings and the analytics service", Wheeler said. “Our customers fall into a few categories, but they are all companies that are connected to smart commercial/industrial buildings in some way, whether a building or energy services firm, a manufacturer, or a financing company”.
One of those customers, David Ross, principal partner at Amortized Energy said “for every dollar we save on M&V infrastructure we have one more dollar to spend on generating real energy efficiency. By using a 38 Zeros’ cloud-connected approach we simply have more viable projects that are cost effective”.