‘Cisco has added elements of smart buildings to everything it’s doing,’ the exec says
According to Bob Cicero, Cisco’s smart building lead for the Americas, technology and connectivity have become the fourth utility, after water, gas and electricity. As a result, Cisco has been focused on created a strong smart building portfolio to support its opinion that buildings — residential and commercial — must become smarter and more dynamic to keep up with tenant expectations and to support a greener future.
“We believe buildings should be programmable,” he said. “If you think about the built environment today, it’s a very rigid infrastructure. But we believe that buildings should adapt to users, versus them adapting to the building. This shift of mindset to where we’re thinking about a building as a programmable entity, that’s really enabled by all the technology that’s becoming connected.”
Cicero explained that the first “foray” into smart buildings was figuring out how to get everything connected into a single infrastructure so that everything was communicating. Now, he continued, the industry is at the point where it’s thinking about the collective elements of the entire building, including the people occupying them, as well as ancillary goals around sustainability and efficiency.
“Our focus over the past few years has been making buildings much more efficient by gathering data about occupants,” he said, adding that Cisco has also been prioritizing created a heightened level of control over things like lighting and window shade to reduce energy waste.
Basically, Cicero explained, Cisco has “added elements of smart buildings to everything [it’s] doing,” including using surveillance cameras to count and track building occupants and using Webex room kits to sense things like the temperature, humidity and noise levels of a room.
Cicero claimed that with this level of connectivity, Cisco can tell a user how much energy is being used and where, “down to a tenth of watt for every 90 watts of energy.”
“Sensing capabilities are fundamentally becoming part of the fabric of the building. We’re using and grabbing that data and […] we establish a common data and we’re exporting that data up into the cloud […] to be able to run models on it from an AI and ML standpoint,” he said. “It’s an aggregation of all that data from sources you may not have thought as traditional sources as gaining intelligent from.”