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Whatever happened to oBIX?

I was asked this week “Whatever happened to oBIX?” I paused. I knew I was using it. I know I get phone calls about it regularly. Still, aside from the recent Frost & Sullivan report on oBIX and the enterprise, matters related to oBIX have been quiet since the ratification of version 1.0. There are two types of reasons that you don’t hear about oBIX.

The first is that as in a long running add by a chemical company, you don’t buy oBIX, oBIX just makes the things you buy, better. oBIX is a small protocol among the many small protocols in the enterprise. oBIX enterprise-enables control systems. oBIX lets you build new kinds of applications. If you did buy oBIX, you bought it as part of an application.

The second is that those people who know oBIX best have been going out and doing things with oBIX. Many of these projects are large, and may take years to complete. We’ve been busy.

So today, I’m pulling together some of the projects that I have some, even if often just a very little, knowledge of.

  • The Enterprise Building Management System (EBMS) at UNC that operates more than 100 buildings of all brands and technologies. All external interactions with buildings are by web services. Sixty-six of these buildings are operated by oBIX. An iLON controller with full oBIX support would probably become are preferred platform for future integration. If you are interested in EBMS, simply search for it in the archives.
  • The Dubai Airport. Dubai has become known for leadership and innovation in construction and sustainability in capital projects. I do not have a contact for this, but would be very happy to know more. If hear the Dubai airport integration is based on product from Tridium. oBIX is a key component of the newest NIAGARA integration platform from Tridium. Tridium’s NIAGARA is used to integrate many complex systems. oBIX even provides the integration layer between their current product (R3) and their previous product (R2) ( )
  • Building systems in the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Village, and all outdoor lighting in the Olympic District in Beijing. This work was, if I am informed correctly, based upon a variant of the 0.7 draft of the specification. As stated above, these projects take years to complete, and decisions get locked in long before construction completion.
  • I hear some reports that the Olympic variant of oBIX is used for energy management of whole city districts of mixed use new buildings in Chinese cities.
  • Powernab’s YouTility service is integrating in-house services, weather conditions, and solar monitoring for end-user. If I am correct, Powernab uses oBIX interfaces developed by Controlco. ( , )
  • Hawkesbury provides oBIX-based energy monitoring in a lot of interesting scenarios. ( ).
  • NTT in Tokyo is developing oBIX drivers, but I know little more than that.

I would really like to hear from anyone who knows more about these projects, or about more projects I should know of. Please feel free to post them here or write to me at

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    The Dubai Marina is an entirely man development that will contain over 200 highrise buildings when finished. It will be home to some of the tallest residential structures in the world. The completed first phase of the project is shown. Most of the other high rise buildings will be finished by ...

Reader Comments (1)

Hi Toby
My associate Dr. Philip Ju. P.eng LEED AP and I went to China on a GREEN Energy Mission last year with our federal government. We met the Beijing University Department responsible for GREENING the Olympic buildings. We met his former classmates and professors he used to teach with and they are very open to collaboration with us on future Intelligent building efforts. Perhaps we could bring this under the CABA banner for our North American consituents.

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Katz

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