Advances in embedded systems, based on System-on-a-Chip (SoC) architectures, have enabled the development of many commercial devices that are powerful enough to run operating systems and complex algorithms. These devices integrate a set of different sensors with connectivity, computing capacities and cost reduction. In this context, the Internet of Things (IoT) potential increases and introduces other development possibilities: “Things” can now increase computation near the source of the data; consequently, different IoT services can be deployed on local systems. This paradigm is known as “edge computing” and it integrates IoT technologies and cloud computing systems. Edge computing reduces the communications’ bandwidth needed between sensors and the central data centre. Management of sensors, actuators, embedded devices and other resources that may not be continuously connected to a network (such as smartphones) are required for this method. This trend is very attractive for smart building designs, where different subsystems (energy, climate control, security, comfort, user services, maintenance, and operating costs) must be integrated to develop intelligent facilities. In this work, a method to design smart services based on the edge computing paradigm is analysed and proposed. This novel approach overcomes some drawbacks of existing designs related to interoperability and scalability of services. An experimental architecture based on embedded devices is described. Energy management, security system, climate control and information services are the subsystems on which new smart facilities are implemented.
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