Digital Themes

Connected Places

What are connected places?

Connected Places are human-made environments that are outfitted with a network of sensors to supply owners, occupants, and managers with invaluable information about the condition and usage of those locations. A connected, built environment could be a building with a network of motion sensors and temperature controls or a vehicle that tracks and communicates its location, performance, and maintenance requirements in real-time.

Connected places can reduce corporate energy costs through informed adjustments of heating, cooling, and lighting based on occupancy or changes in weather. Predictive maintenance of plumbing, heating and cooling systems, or other infrastructure systems can reduce expensive repairs and occupant displacement. Security and surveillance systems use sensors and facial recognition to alert occupants when spaces become available or unrecognized visitors enter the premises.  

New technologies facilitate physical, social, and digital connectivity. New materials and engineering techniques used to create bridges, skyscrapers, and railways improve physical connectivity. Social connectivity is enhanced through urban design and civic infrastructure. The importance of digital connectivity in the current world is constant, and innovations in internet-connected sensors, telecommunications technology, and powerful data processing are all ways in which connected places promote digital connectivity. Applying emerging technologies to the environments where people live and work not only drives connectivity, but also empowers innovative new services and increases productivity.

One example of a connected place is a connected factory. Connected factories are manufacturing facilities that utilize digital technology to power information sharing between people, sensors, and machines. The benefits of a connected factory are sustainable quality and productivity, which ultimately leads to increased profitability. Connected factories also entrust shop floor workers with the digital solutions required to develop more creative and impactful manufacturing processes.

What are the benefits of Connected Places?

  • Effective, data-driven decisions - Connected devices now enable access to previously inaccessible information. Well-designed data analytics systems can analyze extensive amounts of data and create actionable insights. Big Data, real-time metrics monitoring, connected devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) all offer countless possibilities to empower quicker and more confident decision-making.

  • Enhanced engagement – In this digital day and age, building occupants demand the, now standard, digital services such as mobile applications, intuitive websites, online accounts, and self-service portals. Accessible data, interactive maps, budget transparency, performance dashboards, live-streamed meetings, and a robust social media presence all create the digital connection people have come to expect.

  • Lowered environmental footprint - Energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy sources, and air quality sensors are all tools companies can use to shrink their ecological impact. Air quality sensors, for example, identify pollution causes, track peak times of low air quality, and deliver the necessary data analytics to develop action plans.

  • Improved infrastructure - Aging buildings often necessitate sizeable investments to maintain and repair. Smart technology like predictive analytics can identify areas that require repairs before there is an infrastructure failure. Smart sensors can send alerts of any structural changes, tilts, or cracks and notify the appropriate party of the need for inspection or maintenance.

  • Improved workforce engagement - Smart technologies reduce the time spent on the day-to-day, manual operations with the use of autonomous agents, sensors, and mobile devices, allowing humans more time to drive the more strategic initiatives.
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