I’ve been closely watching the evolution of the modern office over the past several years as many organizations embrace alternative workplace strategies. This has been particularly driven by the ability for employees to work anytime and anywhere due to really incredible mobile technologies. While this has offered new and incredibly efficient ways to work, it’s also provided companies and institutions alike with new possibilities for better utilization of space but it also comes with challenges.

One of the biggest challenges FM:Systems has seen emerge is the difficulty in tracking actual utilization of space in this new mobile paradigm versus traditional butts in seats strategies where individual employees were assigned to a specific seating location (think cubes and offices). Now that workers are so highly mobile and the workplace is evolving to reflect that, employees in highly dynamic companies are being assigned more and more often to shared space, “neighborhoods” and have to have employee technology such as our room scheduling and hoteling capabilities to make sure they have a space to work on any given day. This has created some unique challenges when an organization asks itself, “how well are we using our space when our employees rarely sit in the same space day-to-day?

Real-time Space Utilization Analysis

The answer is newly emerging Internet of Things (IoT) based sensor technologies that include a range of techniques such as heat sensing, vibration sensing, triangulation and 3D stereoscopic people sensing cameras. FM:Systems has formed a partnership with CoWorkr for instance which enables our customers to utilize a turn-key real-time utilization sensing technology where they can essentially rent the hardware when they want to perform a utilization study of a specific facility all the way down to individual work-points. Our CoWorkr integration allows our customers to view a heat map of utilization over the period of the study and offers an unprecedented ability to see how well your space is actually being used.

3D Stereoscopic People Sensing

A second technology that I am very excited about which we just integrated and introduced at our annual User Conference is 3D stereoscopic cameras that perform people counting in and out of specific areas that have delineated on your floor plans! We’ve integrated the Hella APS-90 and 180 cameras which have incredible resolution and accurately count people in and out of spaces with the actual count of employee live and dynamically updated on the floor plan which is displaced on our FMx5 Floor Plan viewer which can be seen in the video below.

You will see us continually introducing these IoT sensor based technologies that are integrated fully with FM:Interact over the coming months so please check back often for updates. Also, we will be attending and displaying at the Realcomm IBCon conference in San Diego this week if you’d like to drop by and see a live demonstration of FM:Interact at booth 217.