As the number Internet of Things (IoT) applications and opportunities increase, commercial real estate owners and building operators have been paying closer attention to their internal systems and operations more than ever before.
This significant increase in IoT apps has led ThoughtWire Chief Commercial Officer Franco Castaldini to keep a close eye on the smart building industry. His observations have helped him develop three predictions on where smart buildings are headed in the upcoming New Year, including smart spaces, the connection between smart buildings and smart cities and how IoT platforms will influence results.
Prediction #1: 2019 will be a year of experimentation for smart spaces.
“Work has been evolving in recent years,” Castaldini said. “The focus of smart spaces will be to accommodate a new way of working, with more remote work, digitally enabled work and flexible work. Workers need spaces that can adapt to their ever-changing priorities and needs. 2019 will continue to be a phase of experimentation as the tech giants of Silicon Valley lead the charge and discover what “smart” applications work and what may fall flat.”
Castaldini also believes commercial real estate owners and operators will learn from tech companies and use that knowledge to adapt their spaces to what works for a variety of tenants.
Additionally, property owners will leverage use cases to prevent equipment failures that lead to costly system replacements, respond to emergency events and automate routine workflows to help offset some of the initial technology investment costs.
Prediction #2: IoT platforms that drive results will move beyond the trough of disillusionment.
“With IoT Platforms squarely in the trough of disillusionment, the next five years will need to show solid, easy to understand case studies that demonstrate the value of IoT,” Castaldini said. “Over the next five years organizations are going to focus on data and outcomes enabled by IoT platforms and that focus will drive real results. Commercial real estate will reach large scale implementation of IoT applications that automate some tasks first, ahead of healthcare due its highly regulated nature.”
Castaldini pointed to Harbor Research, which recently noted four critical needs for IoT platforms as they evolve in 2019 and beyond, including:
- Providing tools that will develop real-time applications
- Simultaneous and asynchronous action on any type of information from any device, storage or streaming source
- Configurable software platform architecture enabling both peer-to-peer and client-server distribution of services
- Enablement of real-time temporal, spatial and state-based contextual processing
Prediction #3: Smart buildings move beyond their walls to connect with smart cities.
“For smart cities to gain traction, we need to focus the agenda for smart cities toward smaller use case studies for improving areas like public safety and sustainability,” Castaldini said. “That needs to start with connecting the information inside the built environment to a smart city context. Recently significant advances have been made to connect these built environments with the cities that surround them, particularly with sensors that connect buildings to existing infrastructure.”
Castaldini also stressed the importance of smart buildings and smart cities sharing information throughout a common infrastructure, data standards and access models that prioritize residents’ and businesses’ interests and improve city life and safety.
“In the near future, smart building technology will integrate with smart city services to save lives by automatically updating first responders on security lockdowns, building fires and medical emergencies,” he said. “However, for smart cities to succeed, the deployments should focus on the intent of the technology and not on the technological capabilities to improve outcomes.”