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A New Era of Space Utilization Monitoring Emerges In The Smart Office Market

Over the past six months, smart building technology vendors have launched a flurry of new space monitoring sensors that enable building managers to capture new dimensions of space data. Unlike previous generations of sensors that focused on tracking presence data, this latest generation of sensors also enables accurate people counting, social distance tracking and object detection. These vendors are looking to capture a share of the space and workplace technology market, that is growing at 9% in 2020.

Recent announcements include VergeSense releasing a new occupancy sensor that leverages object detection analysis to distinguish between empty desks and desks containing objects such as laptops or coats that can indicate occupancy. Schneider Electric and STMicroelectronics launched a people flow counting sensor powered by AI to track occupancy and movement. Irisys, an occupancy management sensor and software provider for the retail industry, has moved into the smart building space with its TrueOccupancy platform, to provide accurate people counting insights. Density has developed a new radar-enabled sensor for measuring occupancy and dwell time across a 40-foot diameter per sensor.

With 36% of buildings occupiers planning to invest in space utilization analytics at all relevant sites in 2021, which firms should take advantage of this new generation of sensors? These sensors will provide the most value to firms that require a high precision of data to track the success of agile working strategies and inform new iterations of workspace layout. For example, Schneider Electric’s people flow sensor provides insights into the direction people walk, helping facility managers further understand occupant journeys. VergeSense’s object detection sensor can provide new precision into exactly how many people are using office areas such as huddle spaces or collaboration zones. However, for the many firms just beginning their space management journey, the starting point should be analysing existing space data collected across badge swipe systems or visitor management software.

To learn more about the technology developments coming to the smart building market in 2021, attend our webinar on Predictions, Risks And Opportunities: What Should Smart Building Vendors Watch Out For In 2021?

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Ben Hext

Analyst, Verdantix
Verdantix

Ben is an Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His current agenda covers hardware and software solutions for energy management, on-site power generation, and COVID-19 mitigation management. He holds an M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Durham University.