Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
A New Year
A New Mindset for the Smart Building Sector
Internet of Things – human-centric lighting, environmental controls,
access control, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain.
All these systems and offerings, among others, have been evolving
side-by-side to help create smart buildings and smart cities. The
development of this smart sector has, so far, been stunted and
fragmented with vendors unsure what to offer and customers unsure what
AI, blockchain, AR, VR, and other hyped technologies will not reach
maturity in 2019, at least not for the smart technology industry.
However, as 2018 progressed signs emerged that 2019 may be the year
that all the industry stakeholders start to push in the same direction,
a fundamental step for any sector.
there have been a lot of tech advancements in 2018, the real change has
been in terms of the mindset,” said Hannah Prideaux, business
development director at District Technologies
in an interview with Forbes. This change of mindset that has gradually
developed across all stakeholder groups is pushing the sector to a
tipping point that we expect to see the results of in the year ahead.
So far, the smart technology industry has focused on developing every potential application that connectivity can offer then seeing how the market reacts, rather than just those demanded by the market.
After years of trial and error, the industry has gradually begun to understand what these technologies can offer, and what customers actually want. The overlapping space is still rife with applications but as the understanding in the industry about the customer has improved, those applications have better defined their purpose, and therefore better serve the market.
needs a connected toaster, but smart home products can succeed.
Customers purchased millions more Smart Devices from Amazon this
holiday season compared to last year, the company announced, and over 60% of Prime customers own at least one Echo smart speaker, according to a Business Insider survey.
As in the home, certain offerings are gaining more traction than others
in the commercial real estate (CRE) sector, those that serve the
market’s true needs.
focus of smart spaces will be to accommodate a new way of working, with
more remote work, digitally enabled work and flexible work. Workers
need spaces that can adapt to their ever-changing priorities and
needs,” says Franco Castaldini, CCO at ThoughtWire,
prominent CRE operations specialists. “2019 will continue to be a phase
of experimentation as the tech giants of Silicon Valley lead the charge
and discover what “smart” applications work and what may fall flat.”
suggests that “one of the interesting changes” that highlights this
shift in mindset within the sector are the new roles are being created
within traditional property firms. ‘Wellness leads’ or ‘customer
experience managers,’ are just two of the many new positions that
demonstrate the sector’s attempts to understand the needs of the
customer better. Those customers need the IoT to help them gain more
control over their increasingly flexible environments for the purposes
of health, wellbeing, efficiency, or productivity.
and error is all part of the process for emerging industries. IoT
start-ups have introduced their products knowing it may completely
fail. For those that survived it has been about slowly refining their
offering to gain market share, in 2019 we expect to see more of those
refined products than trials. “Vendors will begin to see their
perseverance in IoT pay off,” said Dermot O’Shea, joint chief executive
officer of Taoglas Group. “Vendors that have been around since the
early days of IoT are finally beginning to make hay.”
have also been carried away in the hype surrounding smart technology,
backing a wide range of risky applications. Signs over the last year
suggest that 2019 will see a change of mindset within an investment
community who is also starting to get its head around the smart
the smart technology space appears crowded, especially in hardware,
stronger industry growth and penetration is providing smart investors
with opportunities to invest in startups that are truly evolving with
the industry. Angel and institutional investors will still make bets on
startups with a vision and an ability to execute, but with a better
knowledge of the market, those start-ups aim to serve.
IoT industry is still growing exponentially, and there are a diverse
set of industry verticals where investors and entrepreneurs can find
success,” said Nate Williams, Kleiner Perkins Entrepreneur-in-Residence
(EIR) and seasoned angel investor, who believes that plenty of
opportunities still exists in IoT. “I see lots of room for
value-driven, industry-focused startups leveraging connectivity,
analytics, and autonomy to solve hard problems.”
final piece of the puzzle is the mindset of the customers themselves.
Many more people experienced smart technology, directly or indirectly,
during 2018 than previous years. Reviews, reactions, surveys, and
commentary on smart technology has filtered through the market, helping
potential customers understand what the technology can do, what it
can’t do, and the parts of their lives they actually want to introduce
with their spending power, the customers have shaped the direction of
the sector, and as their understanding improves, it begins to
streamline the industry. 2019 represents a turning point for the
sector, a transition from broad trial and error to more targeted
development, driven by analysis of the mushrooming streams of customer
data. Once more of the sector’s time, effort, and money are focused on
the “right” areas, those areas begin to achieve scale, and the industry
can step into that long-anticipated era of stable growth.
is when we’ll see the real growth in the market that has been
forecasted for years,” said O’Shea. “The reason? Many industries are
beginning to see the scale in their IoT applications finally, and new
applications are popping up with a scale that no one forecasted.” As
evidence, he points to a surge in demand in IoT antennas. “While 10,000
units of an IoT antenna used to be a big order, 100,000-unit orders are
may at first appear like just “more of the same” for the smart building
sector. However, shaped by a new level of understanding among all
stakeholders, and driven by the first wave of targets set by big
players for 2020 – unassertive 2019 may go down as a very important
year in the story of our burgeoning smart world.
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