The lighting industry is still intent on establishing its “beyond lighting” future. In the latest example, Glamox AS revealed it is creating an executive-level "chief data and technology officer" position to drive Internet of Things (IoT) and human-centric lighting initiatives.
Oslo-based Glamox is conducting a job search for the person, who will join the leadership team and report directly to Glamox CEO Astrid Simonsen Joos, the Glamox boss told LEDs Magazine.
The word “data” in the job title emphasizes that Glamox, like the lighting industry in general, aims to leverage data collected from sensor-equipped lights and infrastructure.
In “beyond lighting” schemes, data and data analysis provide insights and actions to support a myriad of possible benefits and operations including asset and inventory tracking, wayfinding, sales promotions, traffic flow, and facility management.
Simonsen Joos noted that deployment of artificial intelligence will also be part of the job description for the pending role.
“It’s a new position to help us accelerate how we use data, building user cases with data both on the IoT and the sensor-ready luminaires, but also in terms of how we can use AI in terms of building light recipes, to accelerate our digitalization of light,” she said. Light recipes help facilitate human-centric lighting, in which spectral content changes during the day to foster human health. Human-centric lighting also goes by the name circadian lighting.
Although the lighting industry has been talking up IoT lighting for roughly a decade, it has yet to establish wide-scale uptake. While customers are going for smart controls — one part of IoT schemes — they are not rushing to go beyond the illumination aspects of intelligent lighting. Simonsen Joos acknowledged as much last November, as have other lighting industry bosses.
Yet vendors continue to keep “beyond lighting” in their long-term plans. For example, Signify recently introduced a product called “Interact Space analysis” that can work independently of the lighting infrastructure to help facility managers better apportion offices and common areas.
Glamox’s new post echoes the creation by Swedish rival Fagerhult Group of a chief technology officer role, which it filled with a year ago with IT specialist Johan Lembre.
The new executive jobs at both companies also reflect an IT orientation that runs through business processes and products from the top down. Both Simonsen Joos and Fagerhult CEO Bodil Sonesson have strong information technology backgrounds. And when Fagerhult recently named a new boss for its largest lighting division, it tapped a marketer from a networked camera company.
One reason lighting companies have not galloped into IoT success is that they compete against conventional IT companies. To that end, partnerships such as one Signify recently formed with Germany’s Siemens in the horticultural sector are important.
Glamox does not have a firm timeline for hiring the chief data and technology officer. Interviews are underway. Simonsen Joos said it could take 6 months or possibly longer.
With her IT background, Simonsen Joos has been conceptualizing novel use cases for the company’s IoT efforts, such as helping wind farm operators better position the angle of blades. Glamox has a strong lighting presence in the marine and wind sectors, which performed well in the company’s second quarter.
MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).