Project Haystack Member Interview – J2 Innovations

Showcasing what the Project Haystack community is doing

Project Haystack Member Interview – J2 Innovations

Project Haystack Member Interview – J2 Innovations

Interview with Alex Rohweder, CEO, J2 Innovations

What is your involvement in Project Haystack?

As one of the Founding Members, J2 Innovations (J2) has been involved with Project Haystack from the beginning in 2011. As a start-up at the time, the J2 founders came together with others to create a not-for-profit association to develop an open and IoT friendly data standard for smart buildings, based on tagging.

How do you apply/use Haystack Tagging?

We utilize the Haystack tagging standard and data models in every aspect of our FIN Framework software platform and its Application Suites. The technology starts with normalising device data and creating relationships between devices in a Haystack-based database. The user experience and control logic are dynamically linked using tags as well. Applications such as commissioning, plug-n-play wizards, and apps around building management and analytics all are powered using tags.

What challenges has Haystack helped you meet?

The first challenge is that creating smart buildings and equipment is labor-intensive. Tagging makes the provisioning process faster and reduces implementation costs. Another challenge is that customers have too much data and it’s difficult to make sense of this data to make improvements and create efficiency. By ‘tagging’ the data using the Haystack standard, partners and their customers can easily analyze, visualize, and get value from their operational data. Project Haystack based tagging is therefore a key ingredient of our technology FIN Framework.

What savings has using Haystack provided to you/your customers?

Semantic tagging saves time, money, and resources through a variety of means as described in our White Paper, The Strategy and Pay-offs of Metadata Tagging. One of the major benefits is that equipment graphics can be automatically generated, and control logic can automatically bind to equipment, dramatically reducing engineering effort and lowering the cost of intelligent building projects.

What is your involvement in the wider Project Haystack community?

Our involvement with the community started with participating on the Board of Directors and we continuously support and contribute to the Haystack Connect events and the magazine. We are also active through the community Working Groups. In addition, we contribute with open-source tools that make it easier for community members to leverage Haystack in their own products. Recently, we provided two open-source Haystack libraries, one based on Typescript, and one based on Rust. 

What are your hopes for the future of Project Haystack?

With the 10-year anniversary of Project Haystack last year, the standard has flourished and J2 are proud to support and participate for the benefit of the industry, and ultimately for our planet. However, we believe that this is only the starting point of the Project Haystack journey; a key driver for future growth will be the increasing number of BMS, BAS and IoT products which are equipped off-the-shelf with Project Haystack based tagging to further proliferate cross product integration in buildings and related infrastructure.

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