Commercial real estate operators and owners are increasingly looking for ways to develop IoT context-specific smart workplace solutions. Now Rigado, a global provider of edge IoT services and infrastructure, has partnered with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins to provide increased efficiency and occupant comfort to the Salesforce Tower in downtown San Francisco.
Microsoft Azure Digital Twins enables IoT service providers to build better solutions for smart building office and workspaces by providing spatial and context-specific intelligence. For the first time, owners and operators can model the physical environment to learn how space is being utilized through the smart building via deployment of existing or new IoT devices.
“This represents a subtle but significant shift from a ‘device up’ to a ‘data down’ view. Our partnership with Digital Twins gives us a foundation to build an infrastructure based on data and then determine what devices are required to achieve those objectives,” said Kevin Tate chief revenue officer at Rigado, in an interview with In-Building Tech.
The digital twin, a concept which has been deployed in industrial equipment and fleet management, is a virtual representation of a physical environment that brings in data from a variety of sources and has proved to be useful in modeling the way in which we live and work in our physical environment.
In the case of Salesforce Tower, one of Rigado’s focus areas was optimizing space utilization and occupancy of conference rooms. The company was able to use Digital Twin modeling to understand how conference rooms were being used from a data collected in the cloud to design an infrastructure that provides better access and efficient scheduling of conference rooms through IoT sensors.
Need for a broader commercial IoT infrastructure
While IoT has been very application driven, in the commercial sector a broader IoT infrastructure is required to achieve the goals of tenant comfort, workplace productivity and OPEX savings said Tate.
Many of the IoT solutions available today are siloed. The hundreds or even thousands of IoT device sensors and gateways tracking, sensing and monitoring different assets, environmental values, and workplace variables in overlapping infrastructures in smart buildings are making it difficult for building managers to maintain and integrate systems and to derive “real value” that can only be achieved if they are working together. These pressures are increasing the need for deploying a broader IoT infrastructure in commercial sectors.
“As we develop solutions for the commercial sectors we are finding they all require a common set of capabilities: wireless in-device connectivity, the ability to run edge computing applications and security and manageability to keep the infrastructure secure, which are core strengths of Rigado,” Tate said.
Future-proofing commercial IoT infrastructures
While the internet and innovation continue to bring new capabilities to the marketplace, both WIFI and Bluetooth are becoming more ubiquitous with interoperability requirements and owners should remain focused on developing an IoT infrastructure with gateways that enable these and other connectivity options.
“Maintaining a swiss army knife style infrastructure can be a means of future-proofing,” he added.
Rigado’s technology supports a range of use cases such as hospitals, sporting venues and retail and warehouses which are all excellent candidates for deploying broad commercial IoT infrastructures.
Rigado’s edge solutions power more than 300 customers and five million connected devices worldwide across commercial IoT solutions including asset tracking, smart lighting, and sensing and monitoring in retail and logistic workspaces.