Ibis Networks Partners with Alerton Building Automation Systems

alerton-both-sockets-thHawaii-based Ibis Networks, which develops enterprise-scale energy monitoring systems, has partnered with Alerton, a commercial building automation firm based in Washington State.

“Alerton has long been a leader in pioneering building management systems technology, so was at the top of our list when we looked for a building controls partner,” said Michael Pfeffer, CEO of Ibis Networks. “We look forward to helping their dealers bring a powerful plug load control solution to their customers.”

Commercial building owners and managers tasked with reducing energy consumption face the challenge of monitoring and controlling electricity consumed by growing numbers of plug-in devices. So-called “plug and process” loads account for about one-third of primary energy use in U.S. commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

To help building professionals save up to 40% of these electricity costs, Alerton and Ibis Networks​ have partnered to bring the Ibis InteliNetwork to Alerton dealers.

“For Alerton customers looking for ways to cut their energy costs, Ibis Networks offers a simple and easy-to-integrate tool with the Alerton Ascent building management system (BMS) to dramatically reduce electricity use and gain more insight into their overall energy consumption,” said Kevin Clinger, Alerton’s Senior Manager of Customer Marketing. “Whether it’s reducing the power drain from computer monitors left on overnight or ensuring crucial equipment stays on, Alerton and Ibis have you covered.”

The Ibis InteliNetwork provides real-time data on plug-load energy use, along with powerful automation tools, to enable effective control of plug loads. The system includes a simple-to-install retrofit for wall outlets, and a cloud-based management console. Because these Ibis InteliSockets are also BACnet devices, they can easily be brought into Alerton Compass software to be managed alongside HVAC, lighting and other building systems. Using these tools, building managers can schedule selective shutdowns to individual plugs, while leaving power on for critical equipment in the same room.

The system also can be used to monitor and manage the power supply to a wide range of equipment in hospitals, universities, office buildings, laboratories, schools, and other facilities, to make sure power to essential equipment is not lost, as well as to predict potential equipment failures if power usage changes — thereby helping to save money and avoid disruptions.

Ibis Networks is an Energy Excelerator startup developed by the Honolulu engineering firm Oceanit. The startup enables commercial and government enterprises to cut their Plug Load energy consumption by up to 40 percent. Originally developed for the U.S. Military, Ibis’ enterprise-defined technology creates a secure, reliable, mobile, scalable and centrally managed means to dramatically reduce energy consumption and extend electronics life with minimal up-front investment.

Alerton was became part of the Automation and Controls group of Honeywell International in 2005 when its parent company was acquired by the multinational engineering conglomerate.

NASA brings Space Apps hackathon to Hawaii


One of the world’s largest hackathons is coming to Hawaii next month. The NASA Space Apps Challenge, sponsored by a consortium of local technology companies, will be held from April 22-24.

Local sponsor include DevLeague, Sudokrew Solutions, Ikayzo, Goma Games, and the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC). While most hackathons focus on coding, the NASA Space Apps Challenge is designed to bring together all passionate problem solvers to create solutions with a global impact. This 48-hour event will be open to designers, artists, makers, coders, engineers, and storytellers of any age or discipline.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring a world class event like this to Honolulu,” said DevLeague co-founder Jason Sewell. “The NASA Space Apps Challenge was of particular interest to us because the event focuses on a more comprehensive STEM audience, bringing together the innovation sector as a whole and looking at solutions of truly global proportions.

“We hope the event will continue to grow in coming years as this is will be the first of an annual series and we are excited to partner with other organizations in the community, across many different sectors,” Sewell added.

Honolulu will be one of 128 host cities spanning the globe for this 48-hour event, kicking off on Friday, April 22 at the Manoa Innovation Center at 4 p.m. This free event is open to the public, although space is limited to the first 70 registrants.

Starts April 22 at 4:00 PM
Ends April 24 at 5:00 PM

Manoa Innovation Center, 2800 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822


About DevLeague

DevLeague is an immersive accelerated learning program where we teach in-class modern software development skills to adults and real coding to middle and high school students. As Hawaii’s first and only software development boot camp, we design curriculum and conduct 12-week courses for motivated individuals. Our target outcome is that our graduates gain the necessary skills, confidence and project work to earn their career start as a web software developer–an industry that is high-growth, high-salary and in-demand.

About Sudokrew Solutions

Sudokrew Solutions is a Hawaii-based development shop, creating web and mobile apps for startups, non-profit organizations, and enterprise businesses. Sudokrew has worked with local and international businesses as a leading consultant in Node.js, React.js, and has been a consistent supporter of the local development community by supporting hackathons, game jams, and other community initiatives to further careers in technology and innovation.

About Goma Games

Goma Games is a Hawaii-based game development studio, dedicated to inspiring children to be leaders. Games can be enjoyed in destructive and constructive ways, and the goal of Goma Games is to create more games that will inspire, education, and enrich lives.

UH students shine at latest AT&T hackathon

University of Hawaii students shined in the third annual AT&T UH Mobile Tech Hackathon, held this year at Sacred Hearts Academy. This event attracted an impressive 125 participants.

Governor David Ige, a graduate of the UH School of Engineering, made a repeat appearance as a judge. Todd Nacapuy, Chief Information Officer for the state, and Mark Wong, City and County of Honolulu Chief Information Officer, rounded out the judges panel.

The 24-hour event is designed for those interested in coding mobile apps or hacking hardware solutions. Members of Hawaii’s tech community were on hand to network with students and others interested in technology.

“I’m very impressed once again by the talent and drive exhibited by these students who are solving our community’s problems through the development of these apps. Through their technology skills, the students are working to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii, their communities, our state and the nation,” said Governor Ige.
The teams had a mixture of creative talent and development skills. They created their Android or iOS apps from conception to implementation. Each team had three minutes to present their finished mobile app to the panel of judges.

Team Micro Manager won the grand prize of $5,000 in gift cards. Team Push Box won $1,000. Team Data Dudes won $1,000 for Best Smart City Application. Two other teams won $500 and a final team won Harman Audio Packages. 

AT&T sponsors the Hackathon in partnership with UH. The goal is to create a sustainable environment for aspiring and seasoned developers to deploy a mobile app with a website backend that is fully hosted in the cloud. The event also aims to help entrepreneurs and startups build mobile apps.

“One of these participants could well be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg,” said David Chin, professor and chair of Information and Computer Sciences at UH. “With the high cost of doing business locally, we’re not going to be able to persuade existing tech companies to relocate to our islands. Our best bet is to grow our own entrepreneurs, people who grew up here and love the ʻaina, who will build the next Microsoft or Apple or Facebook right here in Hawaii.”

“We are so pleased that Governor Ige joined us again as a judge along with the chief information officers for the state and the county,” said Carol Tagayun, AT&T Director of External Affairs. “This is a reflection of the growing importance of technology in Hawaiʻi and the seemingly unlimited potential of this industry.”

Report: Hawaii tech industry ranked 45th in U.S.

employmentgraphEmployment in Hawaii’s tech industry was ranked 45th in the country, with 15,199 workers in 2015, according to the Cyberstates 2016 report from non-profit tech association CompTIA. The report provides a state-by-state analysis of the U.S. technology job market.

Those employees had an annual average salary of $79,318, which was 85 percent more than the average private sector wage in Hawaii. That means a tech payroll of $1.2 billion in 2015, accounting for 2.9 percent of all private sector payroll in the state, and ranking Hawaii 33rd nationwide on the salary front.

Altogether, Hawaii’s tech industry accounts for 2.7 percent of the state economy, CompTIA concludes.

Nationally, the technology industry continues to be a major driving force in the economy, making up approximately 7.1 percent of the overall GDP and 11.6 percent of the total private sector payroll. In 2015, the technology industry added nearly 200,000 net jobs and now employs more than 6.7 million people.

“As with any sector-level report, there are varying interpretations of what constitutes the tech sector and the tech workforce,” CompTIA notes. “For the purposes of this report, CompTIA focuses on [a] more narrowly defined technology subset.”

CompTIA’s senior vice president of research and market insights Tim Herbert provided an in-depth overview of this year’s Cyberstates report:

UH research advances Jellyfish sting treatments

Dr. Angel Yanagihara collects Hawaiian box jellyfish (Alatina alata) at 3 am along Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Photo courtesy University of Hawaii.
Dr. Angel Yanagihara collects Hawaiian box jellyfish (Alatina alata) at 3 am along Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Photo courtesy University of Hawaii.

Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa have developed an array of highly innovative experiments to allow scientists to safely test first-aid measures used for box jellyfish stings – from folk tales, like urine, to state-of-the-art technologies developed for the military. The power of this new array approach, published this week in the journal Toxins, is in its ability to rigorously assess the effectiveness of various treatments on inhibiting tentacle firing and venom toxicity – two aspects of a sting that affect the severity of a person’s reaction.

Box jellyfish are among the deadliest creatures on Earth, and are responsible for more deaths than shark attacks annually. Despite the danger posed by these gelatinous invertebrates, scientists and medical professionals still do not agree on the best way to treat and manage jellyfish stings.

“Authoritative web articles are constantly bombarding the public with unvalidated and frankly bad advice for how to treat a jelly sting,” said Dr. Angel Yanagihara, lead author of the paper and assistant research professor at the UHM Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) and John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). “I really worry that emergency responders and public-health decision makers might rely on these unscientific articles. It’s not too strong to point out that in some cases, ignorance can cost lives.”

The results from Yanagihara and team’s rigorous testing demonstrate that tried-and-true methods, including vinegar and hot water immersion, really do work on Hawaiian box jellyfish (Alatina alata) stings. Further, the study shows that a new therapeutic, Sting No MoreTM, developed by Yanagihara with Department of Defense funding, inhibits the venom directly.

Yanagihara, aided by Dr. Christie Wilcox, a postdoctoral fellow at JABSOM, set out to test which first-aid measures actually help reduce the venom delivered when a tentacle stings or lessen the harm caused by venom that has been injected. But because box jelly stings can be life threatening, experimentation on people was out of the question.

“What we needed were innovative models that would allow us to test how different options might affect the severity of a sting without putting anyone at risk,” Yanagihara said. “So we designed a set of experiments using live, stinging tentacles and live human red blood cells which allowed us to pit first-aid measures against one another.”

The ultimate test compared the effects of treatments in a living sting model comprised of human red blood cells suspended in an agarose gel and covered with lanolin-rubbed sterile porcine intestine, which was used as a mock skin. The researchers found that the most effective treatments were Sting No More™ products and hot water, with Sting No More™ shown to work faster and better than hot water, according to the data.

“People think ice will help because jelly stings burn and ice is cold,” said Wilcox. “But research to date has shown that all marine venoms are highly heat sensitive. Dozens of studies, including our recent work, have shown that hot water immersion leads to better outcomes than ice.”

Wilcox hopes that the new experimental models will allow for more rigorous testing of first-aid measures for venomous stings from other species of Cnidaria. “The science to date has been scattered and disorganized,” she said. “We strived to design methods that were straightforward and inexpensive, so that others can use them easily. The field has suffered from a lack of standardized, rigorous and reproducible models. Our paper outlines a way to change that.”

While the current study only tested first-aid measures using the Hawaiian box jelly, the researchers said they are working on seeing how treatments work for stings from other common Hawaiian species, including the Portuguese Man O’ War that wash ashore on leeward shores during strong winds. And, they hope that they won’t be the only ones testing treatments with their experimental array.

About Sting No More

Sting No More™ (Alatalab Solutions, LLC) was developed under a Department of Defense grant that aimed to rapidly and effectively treat stings in US Special Operations Command combat divers. With the intention of supporting the development of technologies and therapies of benefit to people, the funding required a commercialization plan for resulting products. All testing of the new commercial product, in the current study was performed under an approved University of Hawai‘i Conflict of Interest plan. This product demonstrates the strongly pro-innovation culture at UH dedicated to bringing to the public sector technologies that have been developed with federal and state research dollars.

Photos courtesy University of Hawaii.

Pan Am Building Gets 10Mbps Internet Service

HDTBusinesses in the historic Pan Am Building in Honolulu now have 10-megabit-per-second high-speed Internet service delivered via fiber-optic technology.

HDT, a Hawaii-based ISP, partnered with with The Shidler Group to launch its “HiPERFIBER” affordable gigabit Internet service at the iconic building, which now provides 10 mbps of complimentary “HiPERFIBER” Internet service to each of its individual tenants.

“HiPERFIBER” is a fiber-optic network that yields Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than most broadband services, according to HDT. This is achieved with thin, optic fiber and modulated light technology, which produces its exponentially faster speeds.

For Pan Am tenants, this complimentary service is the next step in boosting Hawaii’s Internet above the national standard for speed, with no additional cost or installation fee. For HDT, this partnership is an opportunity to showcase HiPERFIBER and its benefits.

“We first brought HiPERFIBER to all of the tenants at The Shidler Group’s Davies Pacific Center in February this year and saw tremendous feedback. With that momentum, we’re excited to offer HiPERFIBER to the Pan Am Building tenant community,” said HDT president Jared Grugett in a press release.

Steven Sullivan, vice president of operations for the Shidler Group, agreed. “With Davies Pacific Center, tenants were exceptionally pleased with HDT’s HiPERFIBER Internet. Now, with our Pan Am Building, we believe offering complimentary 10 mbps is an innovative service, adding significant value to the tenant experience.”

About The Shidler Group

The Shidler Group invests in the formation and capitalization of real estate-related companies and new investment initiatives, including the acquisition and ownership of individual properties and portfolio. Since its founding in 1972, The Shidler Group has become one of the nation’s most successful commercial real estate investment organizations. Through its affiliates, The Group has acquired and managed over 2,000 properties located across the country and comprising over 150 million leasable square feet.

About HDT, LLC

HDT, LLC is a privately held Internet Service Provider and license facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. Services are provided on HDT-owned network infrastructure, which includes dedicated Internet access, private networking and data transport services, local and long distance voice, as well as residential voice and Internet bundles.

Photo courtesy Karendesuyo/Flickr.

High School Students Sweep 7th Startup Weekend Honolulu

Photo by SWHNL

From the start of Startup Weekend Honolulu, 15-year-old Liam Clive’s maturity and self-awareness gave his competitors two to three times his age a run for their seed money. The annual entrepreneurship competition, sponsored by Hawaii National Bank, took place over Father’s Day weekend in Kakaako with more than 100 participants and guests.

Clive took home first with his winning idea and newly formed startup team Mentorship.link, while Anna Kimata, another 15 year old was part of the 2nd place team Grumble. A total of 12 teams were formed out of rapid-fire pitches, chosen through MeetingSift’s mobileactivated voting system. On pitch night, eight teams presented their pitch decks at ProtoHub Honolulu with the help of Empowered Presentations after 54 hours of nonstop work at BoxJelly.

The winners were handpicked by four local judges: Peter Rowan, most recently the corporate vice president, New Ventures of Coinstar, Omar Sultan, managing partner of Sultan Ventures; Steve Haumschild, serial entrepreneur; and Ben Trevino, president of Bikeshare Hawaii. The winning startups are:

  • 1st Place: Mentorship.link – A subscription-based online platform that acts as a marketplace of internships and apprenticeships for high school students. It enables students to create a portfolio of professional experiences and skills for the real world as a supplement to their education.
  • 2nd Place: Grumble – A social platform where users can “grumble” or make complaints about anything with a backend for analyzing patterns in complaints to generate potential product ideas addressing common user pain points.
  • 3rd Place: All About – The “Tinder” of babysitting, this online marketplace for parents and babysitters handles background, transactions and reviews. It even includes a real-time update feature for parents to know what their kids are up to while they are away from home.

Once the competition is over, teams are encouraged to continue growing their startups and ready them for the next phase, whether its raising funds, seeking investors or applying for an accelerator program. Often times, teams may break up and form new companies with each other or other SWHNL participants. SWHNL organizers will provide a free workshop to participating teams to find out more information about launching a startup. SWHNL will host a second event this year, November 20-22, as part of the Up Global Startup Battle, which was recently acquired by Techstars, one of the largest for-profit accelerators and investment fund. Both SWHNL competitions are being sponsored by Hawaii National Bank as the local title sponsor, Sultan Ventures, mBloom, Blue Startups, HI Growth, High Technology Development Corporation, and Startup Capital Ventures. For photos and social media snapshots of the event, be sure to like the SWHNL Facebook page at www.facebook.com/swhnl and follow along with #SWHNL.

About Startup Weekend

A global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures, Startup Weekend is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs, with over 1,000 past events in 100 countries around the world, starting over 8,000 companies. While headquartered in Seattle, Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 400 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend-long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies.

Microsoft Enrolls in Hawaii Education Events

This month, Microsoft is participating in two education-focused events in Honolulu and Maui.

The first event is on Tuesday, April 14, at the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Innovative Learning & the State of Education Address. During the event, Cameron Evans, CTO of Microsoft Education, will discuss the importance of education, transformational learning and technology’s impact on educational outcomes in today’s world.

he second event is a Microsoft YouthSpark in Schools session at the 6th annual Hawaii STEM conference in Maui on Friday, April 17. In the YouthSpark in Schools session, educators will discover free programs, resources, and tools they can use to connect their students to STEM skills and opportunities in the classroom tomorrow. The session will explore:

  • Learning Beyond Language: Leveraging Skype in the Classroom – many educators have heard of Skype – but did you know that Skype in the Classroom is a free program that connects a global community of educators to expert guest speakers and to one another? Through Skype in the Classroom, you can bring PhD scientists, published authors, elected officials, and others right into your classroom. Your students can practice their language skills with native speakers halfway around the world, and so much more. Learn how to fully realize the richness of this program with your students!
  • Maximizing Your Device with Office 365: An expert Microsoft Innovative Educator will show you how to get the most out of any laptop, tablet, or smartphone through the power of the Cloud. Explore the benefits and uses of Office 365, and dive deeply into OneNote, a powerful productivity and collaboration tool that can transform your classroom tomorrow
  • Explore the YouthSpark Initiative: Learn how these and other YouthSpark tools can drive a major impact in your classroom tomorrow.

Photo courtesy Hawaii Stem Conference. Information courtesy Amanda Gibbs, Waggener Edstrom Communications.

High School Students Begin Moon Mission Testing

‘Iolani School and Kealakehe High School students began a week of field testing through a simulated mission on the surface of the “Moon” to test dust shields on their student-built lunar landers. As part of the recently-announced collaborative experiment organized by Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) in partnership with NASA and a Google XPRIZE team, the schools were invited to participate in a project to build and fly a dust shield experiment to the moon. This STEM project, called Moon RIDERS (Research Investigating Dust Expulsion Removal Systems), allows students to build and deliver an experiment to the surface of the moon – a feat that, to our knowledge, has never been accomplished before.
Click here for more photos.

Testing will take place on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea at the PISCES Planetary Analogue Test Site, allowing students a unique opportunity to experience being a NASA scientist first-hand. Mock lunar landers constructed by ‘Iolani and Kealakehe students will be lifted, then touch down, at which time a gas cylinder will blast high-velocity air to simulate the dust plume kicked up by a lunar lander on the moon. Upon touching down, students will power up their electrodynamic dust shield prototype to determine how well it removes dust from a camera lens and the foot pad of their lunar lander. Students will repeat the process, changing variables each time, to help determine what works best under different dust conditions.

“We are excited to have the students at ‘Iolani and Kealakehe join us on Mauna Kea for the first round of tests of the prototype dust shields,” said Rob Kelso, executive director of PISCES. “NASA is working with the students to solve the dust problem in space, and with NASA as their mentors, our Moon RIDERS are gaining real-world aerospace engineering experience through this collaborative STEM education project.”

The dust shield experiment is the culmination of many years of NASA research and development. The technology repels and removes planetary dust, which collects on surfaces like solar panels and space hardware, by using a high voltage, low current device. This technology has been tested extensively on earth, and even in low gravity flights, but has not yet been tested in space or on the Moon.

PISCES is a Hilo-based Hawaii state government aerospace agency, placed under the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). The Center develops and tests planetary surface system technologies for use on the Moon and Mars, and tests these systems on Hawaii’s volcanic terrain under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

Established in 1997, Kealakehe High serves about 1,600 students living in diverse communities spanning 50 miles in West Hawaii. As the largest public high school on Hawaii Island, Kealakehe High places a strong emphasis on citizenship and has identified three main values: building relationships, showing respect, and being responsible to self and the community.

Founded in 1863 by King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, ‘Iolani School is situated on a 25-acre campus and serves more than 1,880 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. A culturally diverse, co-educational, college preparatory school with approximately 306 full-time faculty and staff, ‘Iolani is rated among the best independent schools in the country for its academic, arts and athletics programs.

XLR8UH Announces Finalists for Second Cohort

The University of Hawaii today announce the selection of 10 teams as finalists for the second cohort of its XLR8UH proof of concept center. The program says the companies’ innovative research represents solutions in the areas of biotech, robotics, clean tech and software–and could lead to commercial success as well.

The teams have the potential to receive up to $50,000 for completing the program and are eligible for $100,000 in follow up funding.

Selected from more than 70 team applications, the 10 finalists are represented by faculty and student researchers from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, Institute for Astronomy, College of Engineering and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

“We are thrilled to welcome the finalists for our second cohort at XLR8UH,” said Omar Sultan, managing director of XLR8UH. “The diversity and quality of our teams are a wonderful showcase of the talent, innovation and commercialization opportunities present at the University of Hawaii.”

The teams are currently in the first phase of the program, where they will be assessing and developing their business models based upon the Lean Startup methodology. Teams selected to advance on to the second phase will immerse themselves into further business development efforts and in the third phase they will develop and practice their pitch to investors. Throughout the entire program, the teams will have access to valuable mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and investors.

“The XLR8UH proof of concept center is a cornerstone to the successful commercialization of our research,” said Vassilis L. Syrmos, UH vice president for research and innovation. “By developing talented entrepreneurs from our ranks and fortifying the entrepreneurial ecosystem at UH, we are also contributing to the Hawaii Innovation Initiative in its efforts to diversify the state’s economy.”

XLR8UH Second Cohort Finalists

  • Adnoviv, a smart occupancy sensor that detects true human presence by heartbeat and respiration.
  • Akabotics, an autonomous robotic platform used to conduct continuous maintenance dredging on shallow waterways.
  • Arismus Creativity, a free design platform created for small business.
  • Bio-Logic, an oral pharmaceutical used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and associated colorectal cancers.
  • Comprendio, a proven education technology that can identify, align and close the knowledge gap through real-time learning metrics.
  • EmployAble, an online vocational training tool aimed at helping people with disabilities achieve success.
  • Epistates, provides personalized medical treatment via epigenetic assessment for high-performance athletes and patients with chronic disease.
  • Jun Innovations, a super cooling technology that maintains freshness and increases longevity of perishable products.
  • MorphOptics, high-quality lenses that can be inexpensively mass-produced for specialized applications in solar energy and meteorology.
  • News Navigator, provides users with more control over the news they receive.

About XLR8UH

XLR8UH is the University of Hawaii’s first proof of concept center. In a collaborative effort along with the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, XLR8UH seeks to identify, fund, mentor and empower University of Hawaii entrepreneurs with the skills, connections and expertise needed to drive startup success. For more information, see http://xlr8uh.com.

About the Hawaii Innovation Initiative

The University of Hawaii is working in partnership with the private sector and government to build a thriving innovation, research, education and training enterprise in Hawaii that will develop a third major economic sector for the state and addresses the challenges and opportunities faced by Hawaii and the world. For more information, see http://hawaii.edu/innovation.