I recently created a thermostat that should keep people more comfortable while using less energy by more accurately reading people’s comfort. It measures not only air temperature but the mean radiant temperature of all surfaces within view.
My teammates and I could push the invention out into the world by licensing it or trying to start a company with it but we have other priorities. What about everyone in the building controls industry with good ideas to make their own buildings run greener? What if we could share what we make and build off each other’s work without reinventing the wheel any time we wanted to add a spoke?
Oh, wait, that exists. It’s called open source.
Valuable for building owners
Open source software is extremely successful for these very reasons. It’s good for businesses because it enables more innovation and customization at lower cost. It allows for higher robustness, security and auditability because more people can test it in their own ways. It provides greater interoperability because it doesn’t require a particular company to write code for a particular piece of hardware or situation. It lets companies try it before committing financially because the software itself is free. It usually allows companies to use cheaper hardware because open source systems typically are lighter and less code-bloated. It also saves everyone from replicating tedious and time-consuming infrastructure. … (Read more)