We all look forward to pieces from giants like Gartner where they take an informed stab at what the year ahead looks like in tech. And, while it’s exciting to have it confirmed by such an authority in their Strategic Trends for 2019 piece, it’s no surprise that Smart Spaces are right there.
As a society, we’ve always been intrigued by the line between physical and tech – and we all enjoyed glimpsing into an AI future in Minority Report. Today, that’s becoming reality and intelligent computers are slowly but seamlessly being woven, almost imperceptibly into our physical environments; doors, tables, offices; even cities.
What are Smart Spaces?
Part of the internet of things (IoT), the possibilities of Smart Spaces are endless and life-changing. So what are they; Smart spaces are a physical or digital environment where humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. Basically; a world where everything from your bin to your car, is connected to computers and the internet which then captures the data and responds accordingly. The classic example is a fridge that knows when you’re out of milk.
Benefits of Smart Spaces
We’re only scraping the surface of what can, should and might be. And, we probably won’t discover many of the benefits until we dig deeper, but even today, the future is clear: Smart Spaces will, over time, drastically change our use, understanding and perception of buildings, and how we calculate real-estate costs, carbon footprints, energy efficiency levels and how we plan occupancy levels.
Imagine the environmental and financial savings of a building that can understand how many people are on a floor; when those people arrived or left; and when to adjust the temperature up or down based on the occupancy levels. Or, a space that guides people looking for a meeting space to an area it knows is free and quiet at that moment. And that’s before we talk about how comfortable, optimised environments can improve performance and prolong machine life.
But it will also allow some of the fun stuff we’ve all seen films – such as having a building that recognises someone walking into it using a mix of facial recognition and retina recognition, and greets them with an AI robot on a screen who knows their preferred greeting, music taste, view from the fake window and how they take their tea. And it’s coming. The only question is when.
Right now, it’s early days for phygital, but Gartner says it’s moving forward alongside other trends such as AI, edge computing, blockchain and digital twins, Specifically, we can see them evolving along 5 key strands: Openness, connectedness, coordination, intelligence and scope. And when it’s going to get really interesting is where they all cross over and transform our spaces.
We don’t know for certain what will be, but with the world embracing smart everything, those that look forward and get ahead of the curve will have the advantage. Besides, it’s simply fun to ask ‘what are the possibilities?’!
Here at SSE, our Remote Optimal offering is already helping create a paradigm shift in the way business think about their buildings. We’re helping them see that buildings can actually help build a whole company’s performance - by optimising energy costs, machine usage, environments for people to work, play and live, and helping them be -and be seen to be environmentally conscious.
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