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How data-driven Smart Spaces can boost technology investments

Year 2020 and the new decade is bringing the term social distancing to our vocabulary and a new way of living. Cities and businesses must incorporate social distancing protocols to keep citizens and customers safe and maintain a certain standard of living experience. In this article, I will discuss how data driven Smart Spaces can optimize technology investments.

Smart Spaces can be open areas such as cities, states, counties or businesses such as stadiums, buildings, factories, and hospitals incorporating IoT and artificial intelligence (AI). Essentially, Spaces can be generalized as an area where there are multiple people that have proximity for potential collaboration. Current establishments focus on cost savings and operational and energy efficiency as key drivers for creating efficient spaces.

In the past few years, data-driven IoT deployments in the retail segment have resulted in key insights around preference and decision-making behaviors of end consumers. Parking infrastructure have incorporated smart offerings on parking availability with usage of mobile phones and beacons to increase their non-traditional revenue. Multiple Dwelling Units (MDU) have improved space design and tenant experience by providing preemptive and automated maintenance request for renters to remotely customize and personalize their environment. Office buildings have increased staff convenience by designing more comfortable and customizable workspaces by automating tasks and providing a healthier work environment. Finally, industrial facilities have incorporated data-driven decision making solutions for faster and accurate shipments by utilizing robots tracked through sensors by a centralized remote monitoring unit.

However, incorporating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enhances the IoT applications benefits to incorporate contactless and proximity tracking for social distancing priorities. Indoor navigation and wayfinding applications will assist users around buildings. To enable these applications, especially equipped vehicles will develop indoor 3D imaging for precision digital navigation. In response to addressing pandemics, Smart Spaces will be equipped with sensors that track changes in the fabric of the building. The parameters would include temperature and moisture at certain areas and flow of data from end users to create a potential disruption aspect of digitalization for stronger engagement and enhanced experience.

We will notice an increased usage of data supported space management such as appointment calendars to reserve conference rooms and directions to the nearest open workspace on mobile devices. With increasing spatial separation, connectivity among employees and citizens will continue to rise by means of stable and innovative technical infrastructure. Applications such as smart checkout, contactless payments, indoor waufinding, and innovative user-friendly stores will enhance the citizen experience. However, new social distancing priorities will decline to the demand of Smart Spaces. Cities and businesses will need to capture emerging user requirements and utilize the data produced as potential source of new income to adapt to the existing spaces to future needs.

This data will include insights on operation, capacity utilization, and condition of the building and the systems installed. Users will expect preemptive detection of technical malfunctions and guarantees on the building reliability of performance as a minimum requirement

Smart Spaces for this new decade will be more connected. With employees and citizens using connected technologies, Smart Spaces will become more interactive and collaborative within communities and cities. Buildings will communicate with other buildings and municipal services. Smart Spaces of the future will transform into location, information, and analytics to deliver a different citizen and customer experience going forward.

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About KJ Chugh
Head of Smart Cities


KJ Chugh is the Head of Smart Cities for Atos North America. He and his team are relentlessly focused on efforts helping clients with smart city strategies, integrating technologies to benefit users and service providers, and making cities resilient and sustainable with a high livability experience. Prior to Atos, KJ led Nokia’s Smart Cities Business Development practice. Prior to Nokia, KJ managed smart cities strategy engagements for global clients at PwC Consulting where he assisted city governments create smart city strategy and blueprints. KJ has more than 12 years in telecommunications working at AT&T, Motorola and Broadcom Semiconductors. He has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and master’s and bachelor’s in electrical engineering from University of Arizona.
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