Australian tech company Buddy Platform launched the Buddy Ohm, a building management solution that leverages the Internet of Things to potentially deliver big savings in utilities.

The Ohm device uses the 915MHz frequency to connect to smart utility sensors and meters to measure their output, which it then collates and pushes to Buddy’s cloud-based platform via the mobile network.

The platform then ingests that data and sends the output back to building managers and occupants in the form of dashboards, providing a near real-time view of a building’s energy usage and environment.

Building managers also have access to an operations portal, both from a PC and from a mobile device, ensuring that they can keep track of the state of their premises.

Furthermore, push notifications can be sent to building managers when measured thresholds of their utilities is breached, ensuring timely response and resolution of any issues that arise.

The Ohm base unit is designed to be installed in proximity to existing metering or sub metering equipment, and utilises industry standard connectors to monitor electricity, solar, water, steam, gas and other natural and built environment elements.

Multiple base units can also be deployed, providing a mesh network for wireless sensors to connect to, minimising any lapses in connectivity.

These sensors, for things like temperature and humidity, and small transformers that can measure electricity output at the power cable level, can be sourced from Buddy, and are non-destructive in their installation, as is the base unit which can be mounted to a meter box magnetically.

The Ohm’s use of open APIs means that any sensor or device can be connected to the platform, allowing existing building sensors to be added to the new platform.

Buddy will be providing the Ohm platform as a service in the US initially, with plans to expand to Australian businesses in the near future.

The cost of the platform will be US$1500 per month, which covers installation, portal management and ongoing OTA updates of the base unit and supplied smart sensors.

At the product’s launch in Sydney this week, Buddy Platform CEO and founder David McLauchlan said that the company has created the “Fitbit for buildings”.

“We have a product that we think is going to be incredibly impactful in terms of providing real-time data, using IoT technologies to help solve some of the problems of energy usage that are prevalent in Australia today,” he added.

McLauchlan said that the product will be targeted towards small- and medium-sized enterprises. He added that while there have been requests to provide a consumer-level product, no such product will be created at this stage, with the company choosing to focus on the enterprise market initially.

Buddy Platform’s VP of product and engineering Habib Heydarian said that the financial and environmental benefits of smart resource monitoring of buildings is now within reach of companies that don’t have large budgets.

“With Buddy Ohm, we are truly democratising resource data by utilising IoT-class hardware, and leveraging the power of the Buddy platform.”

“Once operators and occupants have access to this data and the insights it can provide, they can be an active part of the effort to be more efficient.”