What Are Smart Office Solutions?Indoor Collaboration Meets Smart Building Technology [Smart Office Technology]

What Are Smart Office Solutions?
Indoor Collaboration Meets Smart Building Technology
[Smart Office Technology]

In industry circles, the discussions around adopting smart office solutions predominantly focus on two aspects - technologies which can automate processes related to lighting management, energy usage & statistics, HVAC infrastructure management, and common spaces (conference/meeting rooms, pantry area, sick bays etc.) usage, which are collectively known as 'smart building technology' and two, on workforce collaboration tools designed to enhance productivity while keeping staff notified on latest developments at the office.  

smart building technology

While they seem most relevant, these smart office technologies are not dynamic. These are needed by today's offices, of course, especially by large ones. However, for tomorrow's offices, infrastructure & operations managers need to look at emerging technologies which are truly smart.

The need is to look at real-time technologies which combine flexible hardware with a user-friendly application interface. For that, we need to look beyond tech that guarantees isolated management of devices and bring into the picture a robust, dynamic tech which integrates varied processes into one comprehensive unit

Simply put, smart office technology is the combination of smart buildings and workforce communication tools.

Smart Office Technology

Popular notions about smart office technology look at solutions aimed at cutting through redundancies generated from lighting, security systems or the HVAC infrastructure. Market analysis & projection firm Market Insights Reports' latest release focusing on the global smart office market scenario from 2020-25 looks at these aspects as well.

smart office technology

However, emerging technologies for deft management of office spaces, especially large ones, includes management of both hot and cold, movable and immovable assets located within the facility. While lighting, HVAC, tables & chairs, paper printers, conference rooms, telecommunication devices can be considered 'cold' assets as they do not move frequently within the building. In contrast, the workforce, products, stationery & pantry ware can be considered 'hot' assets as their movements are more frequent.

Sensor Based Smart Office Solutions... And Beyond

Research in the area of smart office solutions indicates that smart device based applications can control various aspects of the office environment. Use of appropriate hardware in combination with a user-friendly interface is the solution - sensors can be used for hardware for this office control system.

Aspects of the office environment include:

  • Temperature & Lighting Control
  • Conference/Meeting Room Attendance & Usage Statistics
  • Top-Down Communication

In addition to sensors, beacons or RFID can also be used as hardware to tag assets and track them in real-time in an office space. While there are hardware options which aid 'smart' management of the office, the choices for a software or APK are limited.

You either get an application-based system for regulating few of the issues related to temperature, lighting & usage, or gather historical data through CCTV footage. What is needed is an interactive indoor collaboration app for office spaces which can give you data points from a 360-degree office management perspective, in real-time.

sensor based smart office solutions

A really 'smart' office solution should aid office management in:

  • Real-time Asset Tracking
  • Hoteling & Reservation
  • Decentralized, Instant Communication for Events
  • Location-based Services for Positioning & Navigation
  • Geofencing
Smart Office Solutions - Dynamic Apps

As has been suggested in this post earlier, there are quite a few apps from which one can select an app for gauging building performance in an office environment.

However, the need of the hour is a holistic, responsive application which can be used across smart devices (phones & tablets) and web browsers. What becomes the key benefit is the availability of building usage data in real-time.

As a facility manager or the head of operations, imagine the edge you will have when you are precisely aware of who's using the conference room and when, crowd concentration in specific areas compared to others, average usage of electrical equipment, etc. - all on the screen of a smart device!

These are dynamic apps - made using innovative & interactive technology, smart office solutions support data-driven decision making of an office space, especially large corporate campuses which are spread over an expansive area.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work? And Which Industries Can Deploy This System? [RFID Asset Tracking Solutions]

How Does RFID Asset Tracking Work? And Which Industries Can Deploy This System? [RFID Asset Tracking Solutions]

Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) is a process used by multiple industry segments for tagging and tracking assets in real-time. Assets could include both movable and immovable objects, or people. RFID asset tracking works with the help of hardware such as tags for storing information electronically, which can be then retrieved by users through readers.

Radio-frequency Identification

What is RFID? - A Brief Introduction

RFID tags use electromagnetic fields from radio waves for automatic identification and data capture, and are of two basic types - active and passive. A variation of the passive type is known as battery-assisted passive.

Every tag consists of an integrated circuit and an antenna which transmits data to the reader. Interrogator is another term for the RFID reader. While it is similar to a barcode, RFID, however, has several advantages over a barcode as it doubles up as an asset tracking software in real-time. One of the primary advantages RFID has is that it does not require line of sight reading like a barcode.

active passive

Key Features of RFID Asset Tracking System

  • An RFID tag can read and transmit data of multiple assets at the same time
  • Data read by these tags can also be updated by the tag itself in real-time
  • RFID tags and readers come in different shapes and sizes, making them available for use in varied industry verticals for varied assets
  • Assets for tracking could include apparel in a manufacturing unit, books in a library, products in a warehouse, people in an organization, or vehicles crossing a toll plaza
  • The cost of an RFID system varies with the quantity of assets to be tracked in relation to the space of the facility
  • The data generated from the reader can be seen on an application as well, through a smart device interface

Rfid

RFID Asset Tracking Solutions - Industry Applicability

As has been mentioned already, an RFID system can immensely alter asset tracking processes as it generates real-time data for strategic management and subsequent decision-making.

A few of the major industries which use an RFID asset tracking system on a large scale include:

  1. Warehouses
  2. Libraries
  3. Corporate Campuses
  4. Manufacturing Facilities
  5. Resorts & Amusement Parks
  6. Toll Management Firms/Organizations
  7. Shopping Malls & Retail Spaces
  8. Travel & Tourism
  9. Hotel & Hospitality
  10. Healthcare & Wellness

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Location-Based Analytics: Marketing Trends for Retailers

Location-Based Analytics: Marketing Trends for Retailers

A critical part of the larger business intelligence (BI) domain, location-based analytics or location analytics allows organizations from varied industry segments to put together a composite space management plan by combining users' geographic location with behavioral information obtained from various data generating channels such as smart devices, social media platforms or global positioning systems (GPS).

Location-Based Analytics: Market Trends

For the retail industry, location based analytics can develop marketing strategies further to generate a better RoI. However, for this to happen retailers need to look at evolving trends from the location based services market. Market research firms project that this industry is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to reach USD 66.61 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of approximately 20%.

The global retail analytics market, as projected by market research firm Fortune Business Insights, is currently valued at USD 3,494.6 million and is expected to reach USD 13,299.6 million by 2026, at a CAGR of approximately 19%. The report also mentions that retail analytics offer retailers the ability to create and collect data, analyze and arrive at robust decisions to increase their bottom line.

Experts from the field of data analytics and retail management also suggest that ethical use of  location data can help in building long-lasting relationships with customers, while increasing their brand value to prospects.

Consumer Concerns v/s Consumer Benefits

Location Data: Consumer Concerns v/s Consumer Benefits

While there are users' concerns regarding data protection & data 'pinching', retailers can benefit from this situation as the power of sharing location or spatial information remains with the users alone.

Only when users agree to turn on their location will they be able to send or receive communication to/from a particular source. For instance, when in a massive shopping mall, users can notify stores in the vicinity about their presence by turning on their location sharing option on their smart device.

Once this is done, store owners can relay flash deals to users through push notifications. As these messages are based on users' proximity to the store, retailers can look forward to increased sales while consumers themselves can get their hands on their favorite merchandise, at a discounted price!

General Data Protection Regulation

Through the 'willful' sharing of location data, a concern has turned into a benefit for both the retailers as well as the shoppers.

In another scenario, where occupants inside a facility need to transmit their location information on a regular basis as part of the company policy, it becomes imperative for the management of that particular organization to gather data without the users turning on their devices. This activity, however, varies from organization to organization and isn't considered a universal norm.

In most retail spaces, especially ones spread across large areas, customers tend to miss out on good deals & offers as visiting each store to check out what's on sale is physically strenuous... which impacts customer experience of the space negatively.

Which leads us to the next logical question - what is the appropriate technology for retailers to ensure enhanced customer experience leading to improved revenue?

Location-Based Analytics: How to Choose the Right Tech for Marketing

Proximity Marketing

As depicted in the image above, retailers can thrive by adopting a smart application supported by Geolocation technology.

This will help build better connections between them and their customers. In addition to proximity marketing, a 'shopping mall navigation app' can deliver additional benefits such as indoor wayfinding, location bookmarking, location based services, and real-time asset tracking. When combined, these individual benefits give rise to location based data of the user, which can in turn be used to make well informed marketing decisions.

When it comes to gathering data based on a user's location, the foremost technology that renders this service is the Global Positioning System (GPS). Applications used for maps & navigation, ride hailing, and dating among others use GPS as their primary tech platform.

GPS tech

However, GPS tech is not effective indoors as the building infrastructure and its attendant paraphernalia negate the strength of the GPS signal. This poses a huge problem for large facilities such as retail spaces, corporate campuses, and healthcare centers among others.

The solution lies in using Geolocation technology.

Geolocation tech, when integrated with an easy to use and responsive interface, can enable accurate indoor navigation, location based services, and asset tracking. To aid these functions hardware such as beacons, RFID tags or NFC labels can be used. WiFi can also come in handy when its reach is evenly spread across the length and breadth of the facility.

Location Based Services

Also read our post on location based services trends in 2020.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Location Based Services: Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

Location Based Services: Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

Location Based Services (LBS) have arrived at an intersectional point in the dynamics of both technological, social and cultural progresses. Technologically speaking, use of GPS enabled smart applications has become as common as air in most parts of the developed world. And these applications mediate our social and cultural interactions on a regular basis throughout our waking life.

Be it through use of navigation apps, social media platforms, or a simple web search, we have become one with our 'smart' device for improvising on the time taken for accomplishing tasks in relation to our lifestyle.

Location Based Services

And this is a crucial intersection, as suggested by Prof. Schöning during his keynote address at the annual edition of LBS18 in held in Zurich. He and his team investigate how people interact with digital spatial information and create new methods and novel interfaces to help people interact with spatial information.

It is in this context that we present to you LBS trends to watch for in 2020, comprising of market trends and its applicability in various industry segments.

Location Based Services

Location Based Services - Market Trends

Key regions from the Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America and the rest of the world were analyzed to gauge the potential of the Location Based Services (LBS) market and project its growth. This study by Kenneth Research, project the LBS and Real-Time Location System (RTLS) markets to grow at a rate of around 26% and reach USD 111 billion by 2025.

As represented in the image below, an earlier study by MarketsandMarkets Research presented a global forecast to the tune of USD 40 billion by 2024. It's going to be interesting to see the actual market numbers generated by this industry by the year 2025.

Location Based Services-Market Trends

Location Based Services: Applicable Industry Segments

Retail

With proximity marketing taking center stage among the various promotional strategies used by large shopping malls and expansive retail spaces, consumers can now look forward to tailored notifications and customized offers on their smart devices during a visit to their favorite mall.

Simply put, proximity marketing refers to the process of relaying relevant messages to prospective consumers based on their location within the facility. For instance, a prospective customer on the 5th floor of the venue can be sent offers & deals from stores located on that floor only. For this to occur, the mall management needs a positioning & location platform, which then works as an interface between the sellers and buyers

Location Based Services: Applicable Industry Segments-Retail

Once the customer receives a push notification based on his/her location, it become easier for them to avail a flash sale or a rolling offer. Store owners can also send special coupons or discount keys to customers' smart devices, thereby increasing their scope of revenue generation.

While its application and benefits are many, retail spaces need to ensure the tech platform they deploy for pushing notifications to customers is calibrated based on precision and high location accuracy.

Here are a few ways how retail spaces can engage customers better

  • Provides Relevant Ad Campaigns
  • Brand Awareness
  • Better Discounts
  • Personalized Communication

Accurate Market Information

Healthcare

Growing numbers indicate that large hospitals, niche healthcare and restorative centers in some parts of the globe have begun implementing a tech platform known as real-time location system (RTLS).

Location Based Services: Applicable Industry Segments-Healthcare

This move will gradually bring about the exit of legacy systems like queue management, communication tools for workforce collaboration, etc., paving the way for composite tech platforms working in synchrony with the ubiquitous smart devices. 

A few American healthcare centers have gone the extra mile by deploying a smart app which allows patients and/or their aides to interact with staff on their Smartphones, through an engaging user interface.

Corporate Campus

Expansive corporate campuses need the right technology to optimize attendant processes such as hoteling & reservation, workforce collaboration, and a virtual perimeter - a geofence.

Among the various types of location based services, Geofencing has become particularly sought after as it generates instant data about building security.

Location Based Services: Applicable Industry Segments-Corporate Campus

One significant application of geofencing technology is that once installed, it keeps track of all the devices entering or exiting a facility, thus proving facility managers & security departments with key inputs related to facility security.

University 

An integrated software application can aid in deft management of educational institutions which are spread over a large tract of land. Universities, especially, house students in big numbers and the data generated is immense.

Too ensure data processing is streamlined and information is relayed to the student community in real-time, it becomes imperative for educational campuses to deploy a high-tech platform which responds based on the location of the user.

Location Based Services: Applicable Industry Segments-University

The above image depicts the projected growth of student information system market across the globe, focusing primarily on developed and developing countries. However, the need of the hour is an integrated system which supports functions such as positioning & navigation and instant notifications among others.

This creates a win-win for both the university administrative body and its intended users - the students. While the management can relay important information related to the university calendar of events and vital dates to note, the students can register for conferences, check availability of conference rooms, and apply for interdisciplinary courses among others.

In addition to this, the tech platform can aid in real-time staff communication and synchronization. Visitors to the varsity too can wayfind and navigate effortlessly once this app is downloaded on their smart devices.

Find more information on campus navigation solutions here.

 

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

Geofencing: Applications, Benefits, and Challenges  [Geofencing Technology]

Geofencing: Applications, Benefits, and Challenges [Geofencing Technology]

Large facilities across the globe have been increasingly using geofencing technology to secure their perimeter and keep track of devices entering or exiting the facility. In addition to this, its advantages include real-time information on facility usage including asset tracking. This post explores the applications, benefits and challenges presented by Geofencing technology.

According to Google, "geofencing is a virtual geographic boundary, defined by GPS or RFID technology, that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area."

Geofencing
In simpler words, an area surrounded by a virtual fence (Geofence) allows the admin to map the number of devices which come in and go out of the facility. In a government space such as a military base or a scientific establishment it allows for heightened security as visitors and their behavior can be mapped in real-time.

In a retail facility such as a shopping mall, the mall admin can push notifications of offers and deals of visitors located within the confines of this virtual perimeter. All this can be accomplished using a mobile application with geofencing technology.

However, to trigger response from users, they need to relay their location, making their devices recognizable for instant and real-time notifications.

What Enables Geofencing Technology?

With the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and local radio-frequencies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Beacons, geofencing technology works as an instant responsive tool for people.

Geolocation technology is undoubtedly a global phenomenon, for instance: you get into your car after work and commute towards home and suddenly a notification pops up in your phone saying that the route you are about to take consists of heavy traffic. This allows you to pick an alternate route and reach your desired location on time, every time.
Geofencing Technology
Geofencing technology is the reason behind this magic and this technology is said to be the marketing marvel in the promotion industry as well, states a survey.

How Does Geofencing Work?

There are 4 important elements to understand how this technology works:

  • The barrier
  • The crossing
  • The messaging and
  • The permission

How Does Geofencing Work
Firstly, the barrier is a preset placed with the help of technology restricted to limited geography which could be small, big or unimaginably huge facility.

The crossing is when the user enter your predefined zone and you will know it because the mobile phones of the users are often integrated with geofencing and this primarily works with Bluetooth.

The messaging is when the user enters the geofencing territory, a communication will be sent to the users individually via text messages, push notifications, and digital ads.

The permission is the most important part of this transaction, though it is mentioned last. To make the geofencing campaign work, users need to allow you to have access to your GPS information (location turn-on). This will work as permission granted step from the user point of view in order to send notifications, messages, and promotions related to your product, service or what not.

Applications of Geofencing

With impeccable productivity and instantaneous to-do lists to routine household management, geofencing technology has found acceptability in a wide range of applications over the years.
Here are a few of them:

  1. Uber
  2. Walgreens
  3. BMW
  4. Taco Bell
  5. Jet Blue

Uses of Geofencing: Location Tracking & Asset Monitoring

Almost all the contemporary enterprises today are already part of the geofencing family. Today, location-based promotions have become a boom and every other mobile app has integrated it for the promoting their product or service.

Geofencing can not only work as a mobile marketing tool alone but can extract the following in various industries as well:

  • User Tracking and Analysis
  • Facility Control
  • Security
  • Productivity

Geofencing - Challenges

The benefits of using geofencing technology are many but, however, there are few challenges faced by the users and the management.

  • Privacy Concerns :

    As the users need to disclose some of their information in order to avail the benefits of this technology, there is a scope of their information being hacked.

  • Relevant Messages :

    Another major challenge is that if retailers do not have a complete record of specific users, then other users who are not relevant at that point in time will receive communications i.e., notifications from them. Thus making it a pointless and un-ambitious strategy, which is a loss for the senders.

Geofencing Marketing

Many surveys disclosed several facts about why geofencing is a hit from day the day it was launched.

  • More than 65% of users expect to have information on their mobile devices
  • At least 40% users want information on the go
  • When sure about getting something in return, 70% of users are willing to share their location information
  • Due to location-based marketing (geofencing), stores have seen double the engagements than ever before. Read more and in-detail here.

Geofencing enables growth of retail technology is a promising one, particularly for all mobile application services. Moreover, the effects of using this technology have lead to more engagement, cost-effectiveness, time savings and a truly transformative experience for large enterprises.

About Pigeon

Pigeon is a positioning and navigation solution built for the enterprise.

Based on Geolocation tech, Pigeon aids in indoor positioning, indoor navigation, asset tracking, indoor location tracking and event management among others.

Pigeon’s real-time location tracking technology enables location based services for shopping malls, healthcare facilities, corporate campuses, and museums to name a few.

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