The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to penetrate the world of work. Between 2014 and 2019, the proportion of businesses that use IoT tech grew from 13 percent to 24 percent. By 2023, the number of connected devices in use across the world will have almost tripled since 2018.
At the office, connected devices now often serve as components of systems within integrated platforms that control office environments to make them as inhabitant-friendly as possible. As they do so, these sensor-equipped devices collect data and beam it back to AI-powered analytical applications, which building managers can use to for insight in how to run things better.
One way to think of a smart building platform is as a collection of verticals: a ventilation system vertical, a window system vertical, a heating system vertical, a lighting system vertical. But in a well-designed smart building platform, these verticals don’t function in isolation: they share data, and can trigger one another based on sensed conditions or combinations of factors. Taken as a whole, a well-designed smart building functions like a responsive machine—a machine for which data serves as both lubricant and fuel, and which human managers can control from an integrated dashboard accessible on a tablet or other such device.
When it comes to what such a smart system can do, the sky’s the limit. To give just one example, embedded sensor technology can keep track of temperatures in various areas of an office building as the sun tracks across the sky. As it receives that temperature information, the window system can respond accordingly, closing or opening blinds as necessary. At the same time, the lighting system can respond to what it’s “hearing” from the data, dimming office light levels when the amount of available daylight crosses a certain threshold. Likewise, the heating system can lower its output, keeping a windowed space from getting too warm and saving on energy costs.