November 9, 2020
Today’s commercial spaces can be more than four walls and a foundation. By leveraging modern technologies, it’s possible to transform any installation into a smart building that optimizes space, minimizes energy use, and enhances day-to-day performance. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at smart buildings and the myriad ways technology like augmented reality and the internet of things benefits commercial enterprises.
Need a primer of Facilities Management Software? Check out our article, Facilities Management Software: The Essential Guide.
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Smart buildings are buildings, installations, or facilities with integrated technology systems that assist occupants with day-to-day functions such as building automation, telecommunications, facility management, and much more. By themselves, these individual systems do not “create” a smart building, however. True smart buildings unify and refine processes to enhance efficiency and offer actionable data insights.
For example, an office with an integrated air conditioning system is not a smart building. However, if that air conditioning system operates in tandem with:
Now you have a smart building where systems operate in tandem to produce the most optimal outcomes for all occupants.
Smart buildings are more than technological conveniences. By designing a building around optimized processes or by upgrading an existing facility, smart buildings generate impressive benefits that would not be possible in traditional structures.
Smart buildings were mainly within the realm of science fiction until the internet of things (IoT) — a network of online-connected, physical objects — was born. If you’ve ever tracked athletic activity with a Fitbit or played music through a smart speaker, you’re familiar with IoT technology. When individual devices on a network are interconnected with sensors, they can provide a complete picture of any physical space. From there, all you need is an interface that transmits commands back to each sensor device, and you have a smart building that one can operate from any smartphone.
In a commercial or enterprise setting, workplaces use smart building IoT configurations to control a variety of building functions remotely. Here are just a few examples:
Smart buildings have existed in various forms since the 1980s, but new technologies can enhance their capabilities even further — particularly augmented reality (AR). AR refers to any interface that superimposes computer-generated images over a view of the real-world. Smartphone games like Pokémon Go are a popular example, but enterprises can also leverage AR in smart buildings for commercial purposes:
The possibilities for AR in commercial buildings are only limited by imagination, but implementing them is relatively straightforward. Enterprises use digital twin technology to create virtual facility models, digitizing everything from layout to physical processes. If a digital twin mirrors a physical location with a high degree of accuracy, it becomes possible to run detailed simulations and analyze the results. These processes can help generate AR environments and be used to test changes to the physical environment.
Digital twins may consist of two-dimensional floor plans, but modern enterprises increasingly use 3D meshes for smart buildings. Doing so provides a higher level of detail that is useful for representing product placement, foot traffic, and much more.
If your facility contains smart building technology, Resonai and Vera can help. Vera is our AI platform for digitizing and managing physical spaces, enabling facilities managers to deploy a number of exciting and engaging AR applications for tenants and visitors. Meanwhile, the Vera admin console provides a single, intuitive interface to manage all of your smart building devices and systems in one place, with integrated analytics for disparate data silos. We digitize, automate, and connect all your smart devices so you can visualize the systems, manage them remotely, and launch new apps.
Vera is ideally suited for the retail and entertainment industries, along with any enterprise seeking a facilities management solution. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch with Resonai today for a free demonstration.
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