Saturday, June 6, 2009

OpenRemote is one year old

I just came back from OpenRemote's one year old birthday party, a community meet-up arranged by Jean-Luc Vanhulst from Holland. We were staying outside of Amsterdam in a hotel called citizenM.

CitizenM seems to be a kind of research ground in hotel technology and business models. Affordable luxury is a good slogan. I got frustrated at its pronto remote in the rooms. It is not kosher for a device to wait 15 seconds while "connecting to room" before you can actually get anything done. The iPhone is so quick to reconnect. We were pitching a iPhone replacement. Within a day we had a meeting with Phillips corporate in Eindhoven.

It was good fun, the community has a great make-up. It reminded me of the early days of JBoss. Getting together as an open source community is a fairly rare event by definition of online. Probably because of the JBoss past, the community this time is very professional early on. This is an industry where programmers are making a big splash integrating disparate systems into a unified one. A lot of folks from IT, either as a living or as a passion. There is demand from the community, both professional and hobbyist, for an open player in the area of building operating systems. This is very encouraging.

Just like operating systems of PC enabled integration of disparate hardware, a building operating system allows you to create customer panels, and integrate the hardware to make it work. We call it the Boss, for Building Operating System Standard. Yeah! I like it! It arks back to my past. We also market a box, called the ORB. It is a hardware reference implementation that has been specified for an Alix-class board. The ORB's main role is to play physical host to a boss. Community contributions have started.

At the end of the day we allow a user to generate panels for his iphone and allow for integration of hardware. That's a product there is demand for. I am convinced that OR could get bigger than JBoss ever could have. We are talking housing. Software for buildings. Our target will be both the community and the citizenM of the world. Hospitality business. In times of crisis is when you want to launch something. This is a tough problem and there are tons of brains in the field. This was a quality group we saw.

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