"Smart Furniture" Now a Part of the "Connected Building" Discussion
The ecosystem of smart buildings continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In this new and challenging landscape, a key to your success may be right in front of you – you might even be sitting on it. Furniture has great potential to be a smart solution that improves people’s experiences and provides useful data analytics to Facilities and Real Estate leaders.
Consider, as an example, the challenge that many organizations have obtaining real-time utilization data to inform their real estate strategy and workplace design. In the past, occupancy – the number of people assigned to a space – and actual utilization were essentially the same because people were bound to their desks through desktop technology. Work wasn’t mobile, so use patterns were predictable.
Today, work and the tools people use to do that work are mobile. People can work anywhere – from individual and social points across the office to cafes, airplanes, and kitchen tables. The way people go about their daily work activities has shifted too, with new patterns of behavior evolving every day. Work today is anything but typical and predictable. This means that the assumptions we’ve traditionally made and ratios we’ve always used will no longer lead to predictable or desirable outcomes.
To address the challenges of the continuously changing work environment, organizations are looking for ways to measure how hard their workplaces are working, both for people and the business. In this new era, desks and chairs – not people –consistently occupy space. It’s reasonable to expect furniture to provide real-time insight into how real estate is being used.
When it comes to being ‘smart’, furniture has some inherent advantages. It’s distributed throughout a floorplate, provides access to power, and is designed to support specific work activities. Furniture is the ideal mechanism for understanding how people are using a workplace; it allows us to go beyond simply gathering space utilization data and to begin shaping powerful workplace strategies. As an added benefit, smart furniture can catalyze new and improved experiences for people, helping them work more comfortably and effectively.
In June of this year, Herman Miller introduced Live OS. With this system of cloud-connected furnishings, app, and dashboard, organizations can respond to people’s changing needs, empower them to work better, and activate their workplace strategies.
Here’s how Live OS works. Sensors on connected work surfaces capture space utilization data and transfer it to the cloud through a secure cellular gateway that works independently from the corporate network. The data is then synthesized by a dashboard that provides insights for improving space optimization, controlling occupancy costs, and enhancing employee well-being.
Live OS helps people stay active at work with an app and connected sit-to-stand desk. Working together, the app and desks remind people when it’s time to change postures and helps individuals gradually achieve wellness goals. This heightened level of activity encourages people to be more productive and engaged.
As you can see, Live OS has the potential to do great things, both for people and business. In anticipation of burgeoning real estate needs, Herman Miller is already working to expand its capabilities. Virtually any individual work surface can be enhanced with long-term sensors to provide real-time utilization information, without connecting to an organization’s IT network. In January, meeting room sensors will be introduced into the platform. Soon after, a Live version of the Aeron Chair will be released to improve employee comfort and workplace experience in entirely new ways.
Smart furniture has the capability of improving the workplace and the bottom line, with the added benefit of employee satisfaction and a better tenant experience.
Smart furniture will be just one of the topics featured at the Innovation Showcase which will be presented at CoRE Tech 2017 on Nov. 14-15 in Silicon Valley. Join us to hear about the newest transformative technologies in CRE!
This Week’s Sponsor
Yardi® develops and supports industry-leading investment and property management software for all types and sizes of real estate companies. Established in 1984, Yardi is based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and serves clients worldwide. For more information on how Yardi is Energized for Tomorrow, visit www.yardi.com.
CoRE Tech 2017 | World's Top Corporate RE & Facilities Executives
Meet in Silicon Valley to Discuss Innovation!
Join the most innovative Corporate Real Estate and Facilities executives from companies such as Google, McKesson, Time Warner, Salesforce and many others, as they gather to discover, discuss and debate how technology, automation and innovation will impact the next generation of how we use and operate corporate facilities. Watch this 3-minute video and learn more!
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
Commercial Real Estate Digital Transformation - Managing the Change - 1/18/2018
The Commercial Real Estate and the Technology industries operate at very different speeds. Real estate is long-term, slow moving, and relies on practices that have been refined over the last 50 years. Tech, on the other hand, moves at lightning speed with constant updates and innovation. This webinar will focus on the extraordinary change management required to digitally transform a commercial real estate organization. Executive sponsorship, accelerated collaboration, dual strategies and other programs that will best enable this transformation will be addressed. In addition to operational changes impacted by tech, the webinar will also cover tech’s influences on other industries’ business models and how that affects the way we use space.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Bob Rybak Is the CIO at Morguard, a leading Real Estate Investment and Property Management firm based in Toronto, Canada. Bob has been an IT professional, entrepreneur and frequent consultant for almost three decades, working in both the public and private sectors. A graduate of the University of Toronto with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Bob's professional experience has spanned many different companies in a wide range of industries.
Sandy Jacolow joined Silverstein Properties in 2011 as Chief Information Officer, a role in which he oversees the technology initiatives that support the company's financial, operations and development, including the World Trade Center, and Silver Suites activities. Sandy has been active in the real estate industry for nearly 35 years with a focus on the institutional advisory, property management and brokerage markets.
Alex Stanton has over 20 years working with in the real estate application space. Currently as VP of Solution Consulting for Yardi Systems, he leads the solution presales team, who work with customers and prospects to explore how to address business needs. Alex’s recent areas of focus has been to work with clients on the real estate specific applications of cloud, mobile, 'big data' and energy.
Marc Petock is a pioneer in leading the Intelligent/Smart Buildings and M2M movements pushing the industry forward and has contributed to transforming and changing the Intelligent Buildings and M2M (now IoT) industries. As VP, Marketing for both Lynxspring and its sister company, Connexx Energy, heleads corporate and product marketing, strategy, brand management, PR and communications that support the company’s strategic and growth initiatives. Previously, Marc was VP, Global Marketing and Communications at Tridium. Marc is also a contributing author, noted speaker and recognized industry leader having earned several industry accolades. He serves on the board of directors of Connexx Energy and Project Haystack; is an advisor to the Realcomm and a contributing editor to automatedbuildings.com.
Dave Clute has been AEC/FM/IT Design Professional for over 35 years. He spent 10 years at Cisco Systems and 5 years at Zurich Insurance before he joined ESD in 2017. Dave is currently leading the Intelligent Building Practice for ESD Global.
Scott Sidman has 14 years of CRE technology experience leading sales and marketing efforts. He is responsible for supporting company growth goals and assuring company and product direction aligns with market needs as well as leads. Scott is CRE tech evangelist and host of a CRE Tech Talks podcast.