Internet of Things(IoT) is helping industries grow significantly as consumers; businesses and governments recognize the benefit of connecting inert devices through technology. Simply put, development and availability of internet in which everyday objects are interconnected to each other via the internet, accessing them to send and receive data has opened infinite possibilities. Combined with analytics, it gives us a completely different approach to the way things can be done. Impossible things are now possible; self-driving cars, smart assistance, facial recognition to AI dustbins, to plants that track their own watering needs. Technology has revolutionized what and how we do things and real estate is no exception.
IoT has gained a significant foothold in the commercial real estate industry enabling investors to make wiser design choices, better-informed leasing decisions, effective space management choices and creating effective workplaces. Technology is driving buildings to become smarter. Consider the increasingly popular smart thermostats that intuitively adjust the temperature and light based on preferences and climate conditions. Also, imagine a building that regulates temperature depending on the weather forecast! Think of future workspaces devoid of id cards and function on facial recognition software. Technology today, has shortened process cycles and reduced administrative overheads in the long run.
Role of IoT in creating effective workspaces cannot be ignored. Essentially, all applications are using IoT to capture and correlate data in an analytical manner, such that the sum is greater than all parts, Take for example, automated building maintenance services, where devices and sensors notify the need for maintenance, automate and track the usage and maintenance of elevators, HVAC system and lighting system while collecting data of operation time, idle time and maintenance cycle, also capturing the system’s energy consumption pattern. Similarly, Robin, conference room scheduling software uses iBeacon and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices to detect nearby people and things. It can automate conference room bookings for users just by them walking into a room. The software not only indicates who is occupying the room, but also queues the presentation that the occupant intends to present. Other applications include the ability to manage offices in remote locations via wireless cameras that offer live feed tracking. IoT has implications on brokerage business as well, where ready availability of vast amounts of data, can give better understanding of the commercial property as well as promote transparency in the system.
IoT can impact sustainability efforts and add value to the ongoing green initiative of a company too. The ability to track energy consumption, regulate air conditioning systems and lighting based on usage, current room temperature and the number of occupants is one such example. Needless to say, early adopters of IoT will not only have a smart office, but also consolidate their positions in their respective industries as innovators and thought leaders, thus adding to their brand equity.
As per NASSCOM & Deloitte 2016 report on ‘IoT: A Revolution in the Making’, IoT market has been projected to grow to $15 billion with 2.7 billion units by the year 2020 while the global IoT market is expected to grow to over $3 trillion by the same period as both consumers and industrial applications drive overall IoT growth.
IoT may still be in its nascent stage, if the trend is anything to go by, this just the tip of the iceberg. One can expect a sea of change that will transform the business landscape as we know it today.