How smart environments will take shape post-COVID-19
Smart buildings and spaces have been a priority for some time, promoting energy efficiency, better user experience and security, smart environments have gotten even more important recently.
Traditionally, smart environments have focused on curbing energy use in buildings, creating automation of temperature monitoring, lighting, and other amenities.
Smart environments aim to satisfy the experience of individuals from every environment, by replacing manual repetitive tasks with automated agents. These environments can include virtual environments created by virtual reality, smart buildings, and smart cities and regions.
But today, given the advent of COVID-19, smart environments have taken on a new cast, given physical distancing requirements.
COVID-19 Brings New Hue to Building Automation
For building owners and managers, smart building features can ease sales cycles and boost customer satisfaction compared with conventional buildings, said Ron Exler, director and principal analyst at ISG Research.
COVID-19 has also changed the way buildings will operate given social distancing, occupancy tracking/monitoring, smart heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and stricter cleaning requirements, according to the “Impact of COVID-19 on Adoption of IoT in Different Sectors” report. And in some cases, building automation has provided the foundation for other important health-and-safety initiatives during the pandemic.
“This has significantly increased the importance and demand of IoT in buildings because smart buildings can enable more efficient facilities management and help support a safe and healthy environment,” the report noted.
The effects of COVID-19 involve multiple factors, Exler said. For instance, building managers need to address how people will access and use their buildings during and after the pandemic.
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