Innovative Building Technology App Concept Takes Top Award in Siemens JUMP Challenge

DOE crowdsourcing platform uncovers new idea for smarter building interaction

BuildingBot, a chat-based assistant, can help people interact with buildings and workspaces

Monday, October 24, 2016 1:57 pm EDT


Buffalo Grove, Ill.
"We are excited about Mr. Yeganeh’s project, and the potential personal device applications have in building connectivity and interaction"

Siemens today announced the winner of its open-technology challenge with JUMP, a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and five national laboratories that has established an online crowdsourcing community to focus on bridging the gap between cutting-edge building technology ideas and the marketplace.  Payam Yeganeh, an entrepreneur and digital strategist based in Los Angeles, will receive a $5,000 cash award for his technology submission, “BuildingBot[i].”  The “BuildingBot” concept leverages established chat applications like Facebook, WhatsAPP, Telegram, or SMS text messages to enable building occupants to interact with the building facility and systems for safety, comfort, and way-finding.

“We are excited about Mr. Yeganeh’s project, and the potential personal device applications have in building connectivity and interaction,” said Dave Hopping, President of Siemens’ North American-based Building Technologies Division. “We value the role that JUMP is playing in helping to identify new ideas and find innovators who will play a pivotal role in defining the next generation in building technologies.”

The Siemens JUMP challenge involved defining the concept, use cases, and business models that could support the use of personal smart devices to interact with public spaces.  Yeganeh leveraged his experience in digital strategy with his interest in energy and the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop the concept for BuildingBot, a chat-based assistant for interacting with buildings and workspaces.  BuildingBot is powered by Natural Language Processing and allows the use of chat messengers on smart phones to interact with systems in public and shared spaces.  The solution enhances the experience of building visitors and residents, improves the productivity of the occupants, and can reduce energy consumption of the buildings.

“The Siemens-ORNL JUMP challenge is an effective way for entrepreneurs to leverage crowdsourcing to share their ideas for technology innovation,” said Payam Yeganeh, winner of the JUMP challenge.  “The program has helped me to effectively test my concept and idea as well as connect with valuable business networks and partners.”

There were 13 submissions, including public posting and direct entries.  The winning entry was submitted directly, and voted on by a panel of five judges.  In addition to the $5,000 cash award, as the winner of the challenge, Yeganeh may be invited to discuss future collaboration with Siemens and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) technical experts about the potential to bring this new idea to market. Yeganeh’s innovative idea may also generate additional interest from ORNL, which may provide up to $20,000 of in-kind technical support to enable prototype development, testing, and/or third party validation. 

“BuildingBot enables interaction of people with buildings in a non-intrusive way for instantaneous safety and thermal comfort response,” said Mahabir S. Bhandari, a Research & Development team member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and one of the JUMP challenge judges. “It could potentially improve energy efficiency of buildings by providing instantaneous user feedback to energy management systems for more efficient control of HAVC and lighting systems.”

The Siemens Building Technologies Division, which has initiated the challenge, is a leading provider of intelligent infrastructure solutions for commercial, industrial, and public buildings and spaces.  The company helps its customers reach their energy efficiency and operational goals through implementation of smart technologies that leverage data and analytics for more efficient building operation, automation, comfort, fire safety, and security solutions.

JUMP is an online crowdsourcing community co-hosted by five DOE national laboratories and some of the top private companies in the buildings sector.  Participating labs include Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  JUMP stands for Join in the discussion, Unveil innovation, Motivate transformation and Promote technology-to-market.  The program’s goal is to broaden the pool of people from whom DOE seeks innovative ideas and to move these ideas to the marketplace faster. Over 900 community members are exploring advancements for appliances, building envelope, building analytics and information systems, lighting, heating and cooling systems, and sensors and controls. 

Visit the JUMP campaign page to learn more. 

About Siemens

The Siemens Building Technologies Division (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) is the North American market leader for safe and secure, energy-efficient and environment-friendly buildings and infrastructures. As a technology partner, service provider, system integrator and product vendor, Building Technologies has offerings for fire protection, life safety and security as well as building automation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and energy management.

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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Amanda Naiman

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Allison Britt

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[i] “BuildingBot” is Proprietary – All rights reserved: Payam Yeganeh