Over the last decade, the technology industry has succeeded in making nearly every object in the built environment “connected.” We are no longer mere occupants of space but rather participants in an interactive environment that spans both physical and digital worlds. And while we’ve spent decades honing our ability to create beautiful, comfortable and inspiring physical spaces, the same can’t be said of our ability to design coherent digital experiences.
Buildings for the Future
Technology discussions still tend to be relegated to conversations about infrastructure cabling and connectivity requirements for siloed systems. Little attention is paid to how all of those systems actually improve the experience for the end user. For the next generation of users, technology is the experience and simply connecting systems to the network isn’t good enough.
The socialbuilding® platform offers a blueprint for a cohesive and integrated digital experience that augments the physical space and is moving technology forward. Broadly: the socialbuilding® platform, through ubiquitous connectivity and mobile devices, delivers personally relevant information to its occupants based upon a variety of changing contexts.
The socialbuilding® platform requires ubiquitous and pervasive connectivity for end users and technology systems alike. A fast network connection has become as critical as oxygen in the air and connecting everyone and everything to the network is just a first step. It’s the integration of traditionally disparate systems—security systems talking to AV systems, occupancy sensors communicating with Wi-Fi controllers, light switches controlled by mobile apps—that sets the socialbuilding® platform apart.
Gather the Data
With all of these systems now communicating, vast amounts of information about the status of the building—past and present—can be aggregated. The data can be displayed on real-time dashboards or mined for actionable information to improve future performance. And for individual users, the data can be used to influence their energy choices, help them track down available conference rooms, or alert them when an elevator is out of service.
Location, Location, Location
Just as GPS has become critical infrastructure outdoors, IPS, or Indoor Positioning Systems are a key part of the socialbuilding® platform. Indoor location information allows users to quickly find resources in large facilities, improve energy management, and customize the spaces they visit through their mobile devices.
Where keys, badges, switches and remotes once dominated our interaction with buildings, today, the primary interface for the built environment is your mobile device. The smartphone is a digital window into a world of services offered by the socialbuilding® platform. It is the most personal of personal computers and as such is uniquely suited to be an occupant’s digital companion for exploring the great indoors.
From maximizing serendipitous social interaction, to providing familiar control interfaces for building systems, from just-in-time alerts for maintenance staff, to eliminating waste in every possible way, the socialbuilding® platform is a holistic approach to physical space and digital system design. It’s an approach that makes buildings more desirable places to be and more valuable to building owners while advancing the state of the art of buildings to meet the needs of the 21st century.