"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
Driving Tenant Engagement – Platforms, Digital Amenities…and Beyond - 8/23/2018
We can hail a car, order food, listen to music, tweet to the world, reserve tickets and buy almost anything from a smartphone – there seems to be an app for everything! The same applies to landlord provided services in an office or multifamily building. Today, building guests & occupants are opting for a digital interface for services, and tenant engagement and experience platforms are rapidly gaining traction. From easy, efficient building access to scheduling a yoga class to scheduling a meeting room to connection socially with others in the building – the possibilities seem endless. This begs the question: What digital amenities do occupants and guests really want? This webinar will examine all aspects of creating digital tenant amenities and explore different engagement platforms. Prioritizing platform features, system integration and cyber requirements are just some of the issues that will be addressed.
Jim Whalen serves as SVP and CIO responsible for the direction and implementation of technology and applications at Boston Properties, a fully integrated real estate investment trust and one of the largest owners and developers of Class-A office properties in the United States. Over a 27-year IT career, Jim has supported real estate operations ranging from residential, construction, public housing, commercial office and retail.
Ian Feagin is currently the Director of Information Technology at Jamestown, a national, vertically integrated real estate operator with approximately $11.2 billion of assets under management. Previously, Ian was Director of Technical Support at Leapfrog for 14 years where he was responsible for providing technical services to over 10,000 users worldwide with a staff of 65 technicians.
Ilan Zachar is currently Chief Technology Officer at Carr Properties, a privately held REIT known for its portfolio of trophy-quality properties in the Washington D.C. In this role, Ilan leverages vision and foresight to cross-pollinate best practices, processes, systems and resources across corporate operations/affiliates. Under his leadership, this has resulted in improvements in bottom-line costs, top-line business growth/scalability, operational sustainability and high performance and overall, strengthening his company’s role as a market leader. For over 20 years, Ilan has been executive business leader and innovative technology strategist for multinational real-estate and property development companies worldwide.
Laura Acklandiene is the Head of Business Development - Global Expansion at Equiem. She travels between London and New York on a mission to introduce their tenant experience portals and customer engagement services to the landlords and developers in the UK and in the US. Prior to that, she worked with Australia's largest property funds and REITs, as well as retail partners boosting services available to commercial occupiers.