March 2016

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Human-Embedded IoT

Why The Human-Embedded IoT is the Future of Facility Management
Eric GrahamEric Graham
CEO, Co-Founder


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The Internet of Things (IoT) is drastically changing how people consume goods and services. One tap of a finger on their smartphone and people can get a ride, order a bite to eat, purchase tickets to a sporting event, schedule a meeting, and post on social media within minutes. Consumer-facing apps like Waze, Grubhub, and Uber have exploded into the lives of Americans because of the easy-to-use, intuitive features. They are the paragon of the ever-expanding self-service economy, where internet apps produce instantaneous fulfillment for the end-user.

As with all things however, the current IoT is lacking a highly critical piece of data to leverage on: people. The infinitely unique preferences of people offer powerful points of feedback that should be in the hands of decision makers, and has a variety of applications. One of these applications that could benefit highly from this human-embedded IoT is facility management.

A tech-based way to manage your buildings delivers several advantages to facility management operations:

The human-embedded IoT can enhance automated systems —

If you’ve ever been in an office you’ve probably heard of this scenario: It’s a humid day outside, and the temperature is particularly agitating. The sensors inside the building are set to maintain an internal temperature of 67.  Steve from Accounting comes into work and is happy with the internal temperature of the department, he goes right to work. Pam from Human Resources arrives to her department and is freezing. She fumbles around for a sweater in her car, and loses time as well as train of thought.

Now reimagine that scenario if there was a way for Pam, or anyone else for that matter, to report on her department’s temperature. A facility manager then knows that a specific person has identified a specific problem: the automated temperature system.

Just like how you need to have fire drills even with smoke detectors, the same principle applies to automated systems. Their limited “do-the-directive” programming lacks any sort of human intuition. Having a human-embedded IoT within buildings allows people to perfect automation.

So through what medium can one host a system for a human-embedded IoT? The answer: a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) system.

It can be done on a fluid SaaS system —

Management software doesn’t always “soften” your day-to-day tasks. It can come in the form of clunky, desktop only systems that offer limited mobility with awkward settings. Sometimes, you have to pay high customizations costs to even get it do to what you want. This is where a SaaS systems comes into play. They are easy to install, have fluid and free customization, and can be used on several smart devices at once through native apps.

SaaS systems provide ease of use and mobility to the contemporary workforce; people that are infatuated with ease of use and mobility. SaaS systems also are a great tool to analyze your current operations, boost productivity, and cut costs. This is where the human-embedded IoT comes in: provide a digital means for people to provide personalized data, and you can then leverage that data all in one place.

Now Pam can use her smartphone and directly report the wonky temperature of the HR department, to a building manager, through one channel.

Human-embedded IoT Addresses the needs of everyone, by everyone—

While Pam was cold in that metaphorical office, Steve felt it was just right. This is what makes human-embedded IoT so special. Each person is an individual with different needs and different experiences. One person may be fine and not see anything out of the ordinary, while another notices a safety hazard, a maintenance issue, or a structural problem. Human-embedded IoT uses crowdsourcing to gather any and all possible feedback usable by facility managers.

The potential to harness a powerful network to make buildings better—

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Capitalizing on the mobility of smartphones, tablets, and similar devices, human-embedded IoT makes it easy to leverage the experiences of people inside buildings. They simply walk around the spaces they occupy with a smart device, and then send a picture and/or text message directly to a decision-maker. Others can then follow your reports, provide feedback, and be informed about what’s going on around them. A facility manager is constantly up-to-date on what is being fixed, what needs to be fixed, and how to prevent these items in the future.

An average human eyeball records over 24 million images in a person’s lifetime, and is responsible for 85% of a person’s knowledge. A person’s smell receptors can record up to 10,000 odors; these are portals for information gathering that are largely untapped in today’s IoT market. Now is the time to tap into these raw data collectors with a human-embedded IoT system, and use to provide a safer, more comfortable -- all around better -- environment in your buildings.

Read more here on CrowdComfort’s thought leadership, and reach out to us through social media, or our website!

About the Author - Eric Graham

As CEO of CrowdComfort Eric is revolutionizing organizational communication with employees and customers by leveraging mobile technology and cloud analytics. Facility and HR managers access aggregated data to improve employee productivity & safety, optimize building performance and lower operational costs. CrowdComfort's technology leverages the Human Sensor Network (HSN) to bring new levels of reach and engagement to business operations and the built environment.


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