Part 4: LBS and Smart Buildings

In the first part of this series I wrote: “Wherever possible, decision-makers will vote with their feet and go where their needs are met”. In the future many people will benefit from location-based services without even having made a conscious decision. Simply by going to work. To the office or to the plant hall.

First we look at the offices: When a german company like Phoenix Contact integrates a positioning and navigation function into its building control app MyEmalytics, this clearly shows where the journey is heading. The building management industry has always been slow to adapt to new technologies/software. However, as tenants increasingly expect a digital user experience for their workplace, start-ups and established players alike are in a hurry to determine how they can offer their technology based on real estate. Now, at the latest, is the time to jump on the train or be left behind on the platform.

The application of new software (especially the application of analysis to building data, etc.) has exploded in recent years. The building analytics company SkyFoundry, for example, has already installed its software on over 1 billion square meters of space. This is only logical, because property management for companies and the public sector are still concentrating primarily on reducing costs. The ROI in smart buildings must be measurable and tangible, such as energy consumption. The real estate world is a “low first cost” world, in which the satisfaction of the user, i.e. his user experience, played only a minor role. A digital environment is the only way to improve and personalize the way we work, use and visit buildings. This can range from intelligent temperature control to “reminding” someone of their preferred coffee strength, synchronizing someone’s devices or applications with the building’s Internet of Things (IoT) or tracking the exact location of people for optimal security or emergency management.

Many of these functions are based on at least in-room positioning and communication of the position to a backend. The ability to position indoors will therefore become a core function of buildings. And this is exactly why it should be included in the planning of new real estate projects from the very beginning.

You may also read Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 5 of this article series.