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BLE Eavesdrops on Machine Health With Augury System

The IoT startup has developed a Bluetooth Low Energy-based solution for sensors that detect the health of HVAC and other equipment, and transmit that data to a server for analysis of the machines' health status.
By Claire Swedberg

The gateways run some of the software algorithms prior to sending data to the server, thereby reducing the amount of bandwidth necessary to forward data via cellular or Wi-Fi connections. The gateways include encryption. Augury also provides an app so that users of iOS- or Android-based devices can manage and display data about a machine to users in the field.

To make easier the commissioning of new sensors as they are attached to machines, the company is also enabling the use of Near Field Communication (NFC). Each sensor unit comes with an NFC tag that can be scanned via NFC-enabled readers, such as Android phones. Utilizing the Augury app, users then follow directions to link that sensor to a specific unit at a particular location. Those without NFC readers, such as individuals using iOS-based devices, can alternatively scan a QR code on the sensor.

Most users are likely to employ the handheld solution for less critical equipment such as fans, Yoskovitz says, while the BLE version is being trialed for larger, critical items—generators, for instance.

Johnson Controls and Trane are currently trialing the technology with their customers, as is MacDonald-Miller, a facilities solutions company, among others. Several equipment manufacturers are also in discussions with Augury about installing the sensors directly into the equipment during manufacturing.

Augury is positioning itself to be the source for IoT-based mechanical diagnostics as more machines, such as HVAC units, become part of Internet of Things networks. "Our goal is to be the platform for mechanical maintenance," Yoskovitz says.

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