IBM, Carrier Set Web-Enabled Air Conditioner Deal

Carrier has announced the industry’s first generation of web-connected air conditioners. This will enable it to continue to fulfil its customers’ service expectations, for state of the art response from Carrier equipment, and increasingly reliable and efficient systems, far into the future.

The ‘smart air conditioner’ is the latest Carrier air conditioning first. Designated Carrier MyAppliance it has been piloted in four European countries. MyAppliance is an intelligent product equipped with a GSM based Wireless Communication Device (WCD). This innovative monitoring device will be a valuable service tool for dealers and installers.

It enables real-time, wireless communication directly between the installed air conditioning system and a service technician anywhere in the field. It recognises system fault codes and communicates diagnostic messages instantaneously. Alarms can be received by cellular phone, e-mail or fax. Dealers can differentiate themselves from the competition with faster service response times and improved scheduling.

With Carrier’s launch of a service-oriented interactive website called MyAppliance.com and the web-enabled equipment customers will be able to access the controls of their air conditioning equipment through their mobile phones and see the changes they make to it as they make them.

A link is made by the installed WCD to the Internet and the information provided can be accessed by a mobile phone using WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) technology connecting to a private area of the Carrier Customer Services website – MyAppliance.com The WCD is connected directly to the unit controls. It can be retrofitted to existing equipment where compatible, as well as being easy to install on new units.

For the end-user instructions can be transferred remotely by this secure route, setting temperatures or timings for the system to switch on or off. The air conditioning system can also be accessed by suitable PC-based connections.

For customers of all types, from dealers and installers through facilities managers to commissioning engineers, this new technology is designed to enable them to have the appropriate level of control of the equipment concerned and, potentially, access to all information about it. Unit performance and maintenance information over time can be gathered and recorded.

Alarm functions of all types will be able to be set and communicated via the Internet. If a parameter is exceeded or a malfunction indicated the appropriate contact is made via the mobile phone by the unit itself.

In the opposite direction it is envisaged that Carrier dealers or engineers will be given ‘service access’ to check the system without the need for a PC connection. Fault diagnosis, remote repair, spare parts ordering, and messaging can all be undertaken using the system. The equipment will become more efficient through this ‘digitally-controlled’ management.

This type of technological advance will stimulate the marketplace itself. For the service engineer costs will also be lower and the scope for additional, more profitable business is expected to grow. Initially, Carrier is test-marketing the concept and the equipment in Europe with its new range of Night and Day Console Split Systems.


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