The Internet of Things and Office Design

The Internet of Things and Office Design on compass-office.com

M2M communication will revolutionize the office

Imagine if you will, your future office. It knows you’re there based on location readings. The office then instructs the brewer to make a fresh cup of coffee, for the shades to regulate for sunlight, for the lights to turn up for optimal task work, for the temperature to be adjusted to your liking, and for your calendar to arrange the conference room and to invite select team members.

Imagine if you will, your future office. It knows you’re there based on location readings. The office then instructs the brewer to make a fresh cup of coffee, for the shades to regulate for sunlight, for the lights to turn up for optimal task work, for the temperature to be adjusted to your liking, and for your calendar to arrange the conference room and to invite select team members.

Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT).

If it sounds like science fiction, it should. Thanks to smartphones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and bracelets that count your steps, most of us are already living, working, and playing in an early version of the IoT. It’s what’s up ahead that’s blowing minds and inspiring new concepts in workspace design.

Connectivity in the IoT

Simply stated, the IoT is about connections, people to people, people to things, and things to things. In this case, things can mean anything that can be connected to the Internet or to each other – even if those things are components of machines.

It adds up to a lot of things

Allsteel sees this as the 3rd wave in Internet development. The first wave, in the ‘90s, connected one billion users. By the 2000s, the second wave rolled in, connecting another two billion. This 3rd wave has the potential to connect 28 billion things to the Internet, from bracelets to cars, by 2020.

This explosion is a direct result of affordability:

  • Broadband Internet is more widely available and the cost of connecting to the Internet is decreasing.
  • More and more devices have Wi-Fi capabilities. The built-in sensors are smaller, less costly, and more powerful.
  • Technology costs, which also include the cost of analyzing collected data, are decreasing

Working in the smart office

As devices get smaller and more powerful, the potential in the office of tomorrow is endless. The future goal, as it is now, is to create spaces that are more effective and efficient. In the IoT, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and application will work to achieve that goal through real-time data collection and analysis. Some notable predictions:

  • Collected data will be able to adjust the environment (light, temperature, noise) based on the personal preferences of users. In addition, collected data can determine how staff is using the space and assist in making design decisions aimed at improving efficiency.
  • Devices will be able to power on and off based on a user’s location, preferences, profile, and sociometrics.
  • Employee wellness is enhanced with alerts reminding them to stand or move.
  • Available workspaces and colleagues can be located using an in-house tracking system beyond the badges currently used for swiping in and out of a building.
  • Efficiency will be enhanced by linking calendars and locations with workspace availability and location.
  • Meeting leaders can be more effective when alerted that participants’ biometric data indicates they are not alert, connected, or paying attention.
  • Office equipment can know it’s running low on supplies and order accordingly.
  • Algorithms embodied as robots or avatars become assistants, providing solutions to problems, facilitating decision making, and taking care of routine tasks.
  • If you need to be in the home office but monitor something in another location, simply link your smartphone with the monitor on a remote robot and converse with partners in the other location – all while walking down the hallway with them.

Tomorrow is today

Compass Office Solutions believes that tomorrow’s world is already happening today. It’s why we design workspaces that are flexible and adaptable enough to meet the changing office and human needs of the future.

If you’re interested in preparing your office for the world of tomorrow, give us a call at 954.430.4590 our complete our online contact form to get started.