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Practical IoT: Lowering building management costs with a smart sensor solution

February 06, 2017

Even the most cursory internet search will yield thousands of articles on the revolutionary nature of the Internet of Things (IoT). Consultancies and research groups observe IoT’s transformative impact on industry and economic growth, and predict new business models based around the value of data. Despite all the predictions and projections, we still hear a common question from prospective customers: “how can an IoT solution help my business–today?”

We know that IoT innovators come in all sizes and verticals. That’s why 30MHz is using lessons learned from our growing list of customer cases to demystify the internet of things. Many of our customers use sensory data to make better decisions when managing buildings and office spaces– here’s what we’ve learned from them.

Product as Methodology

The 30MHz Sensor Toolkit is an end to end IoT solution: any combination of wireless sensors capture data from physical environments on a secure and scalable cloud network. That data is then expressed and easily shared through deep analytics, visualizations and real-time alerts. Customers grow their network by adding more sensors, or new types of sensors. Because any sensor on the market can be connected, any physical metric can be captured. Some customers measure occupancy in office buildings, others track the temperature and humidity of industrial assets or parking spot availability in their cities.

Different use cases, same philosophy

What our customers have in common is not what they use the 30MHz Sensor Toolkit to achieve— it’s their approach to leveraging sensory data. While many IoT solutions require long implementations on large budgets, the 30MHz Sensor Toolkit is designed to lower the barrier to entry to sensory technology, eliminating the risk of experimentation.

GGZ Noord-Holland: using sensor data to reduce overhead
The Dutch Association for Addiction and Mental Health leverages sensory data to optimize space and asset utilization. PIR and vibration sensors measuring room occupancy and computer usage generate a live occupancy floor map and analyze peak times and average use in an office with a flexible desk and room policy. The resulting increase in efficiency and reduction in excess capacity for over 100 rooms and over 1500 desktop computers has led to significant reduction in costs. (With each desktop priced at €9,500 a year, 10% reduction in desktops leads to 650% Return on Investment.)

Trivago: using sensors to improve office space utilization
Known as one of Germany’s most successful startups, Trivago is a multinational technology company specialized in internet-related services and products in the fields of hotels, lodging and metasearch. The company uses sensors to monitor meeting room occupancy, improving efficiency in office space usage.

World Trade Center Schiphol: using sensors to monitor and optimize space usage
A hub of international commerce, the World Trade Center at Schiphol Airport is host to some of the world’s most recognizable companies. WTC Schiphol uses sensors to monitor the occupancy of meeting rooms and leisure facilities, ensuring greater efficiency in space utilization.

End to end IoT for data-driven space utilization

The 30MHz Sensor Toolkit was designed to be quick, flexible and scalable to enable innovation and experimentation with short response times. Real-time data on physical environments and assets empowers customers to test elements of their processes and operations, with instantaneous feedback on the effectivity of decisions. Constant feedback on the status of key operational assets enables customers to identify potential upcoming maintenance needs, cutting costs and reducing interruptions to productivity. Rather than looking in the rearview mirror, organizations can optimize processes on a rolling basis- crafting, testing and evaluating strategy with practical evidence.

With a unified overview of insights from any combination of sensors, organizations can monitor building performance and track the results of operational choices. Beyond simply capturing individual sensor metrics, a cohesive platform enables organizations to analyze relationships between variables, observe historical trends and make future predictions.

Historical reports on key assets and real-time documentation offer actionable insights to

  • identify inefficiencies and lower costs
  • benchmark asset performance
  • showcase compliance with sustainability standards
  • monitor project success against specific goals
  • project future costs

What sets the 30MHz Sensor Toolkit apart

No IT involvement– When dependence on IT is eliminated, deployment of a sensor solution becomes accessible across the value chain. Data on physical assets or environments is relevant to multiple stakeholders. A plug and play solution like the 30MHz Sensor Toolkit deploys in minutes and makes it easy for any department to harness analytics on the physical world.

Measure anything from anywhere– Whether it’s digital marketing or physical space, optimization based on analytics requires quick response times and easy adjustments. A solution must be responsive to the users’ changing needs. The 30MHz Sensor Toolkit makes it easy to link new (types of) sensors to the network, diversifying the metrics captured. Because sensors are wireless, their physical location can be easily adjusted, so customers have flexibility and full control over what they’re measuring.

Scale at any pace– As measurement needs evolve, it’s crucial that a sensor solution is scalable without growing pains. The 30MHz architecture is ready for enterprise projects, enabling customers to add as many sensors as they need (think going from 5 to 50,000), at their own pace, with no fear of destabilization.

Data how you need it– Sensory data is only as good as the insights it provides. With 30MHz, customers have full control over the rules they set for alerts and the kinds of visualizations and reports they generate. Because customers remain sole proprietors of their data, they’re free to export and manipulate that data however they choose.

The optimized workplace— all on one dashboard

Rather than simply measuring room occupancy or heating on a floor of an office building, organizations can generate real-time heat maps of desk, floor and meeting room occupancy, tracked alongside CO2 and temperature. This data can help determine the most optimal air and temperature conditions for productivity, and help project office costs. Custom alerts notify users when certain thresholds have been crossed (room temperature is below 60 degrees F, or CO2 is above a comfortable level) or when certain rules have been met (meeting room 5 on the second floor is free), so response can be immediate— creating the most efficient and comfortable occupant experience. Parking sensors monitor parking availability, and a custom app uses heat maps to guide drivers to available spots in real-time.

Sample ZENSIE dashboard reports on desk and room occupancy. Read more about ZENSIE.

Read more 30MHz customer cases, meet our sensors, or get in touch to hear how sensory data can make your organization more efficient and productive.

How can smart sensing transform your industry?
Sensory data from physical environments is helping businesses across industries make better decisions, improving productivity and cutting costs. Let's talk about how smart sensing can work for your organization. Get in touch below.

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