AV’s role in the conference room and classroom has long been to automate the sights and sounds of the venue, and overall, to enhance the user experience. In recent years, this role is expanding to include every aspect of a building or facility. What is now referred to as a smart building is the new landscape for AV integrators and their clients.
Smart buildings not only automate systems, but utilize data to make automation more natural and efficient. Sustaining temperatures, illumination, air quality, physical security, and more, at levels that keep employees productive while also decreasing costs and environmental impact are key factors that make smart buildings the way of the future. A fusion of AV and IT forge the way to connect building environments onto a common, network centric platform, allowing for responsive systems that work together and provide actionable information to building operators and occupants.
IoT, or Internet of Things, is at the core of the evolution of smart buildings. Gartner estimates that more than 65% of enterprises will adopt IoT products by 2020, as compared to 30% today. The ability to connect devices and systems to share data is the foundation of creating a smart building. Climate control is a good example of how these processes work. Sensors that indicate temperature in a room are delivered to a central hub. Temperatures are automatically assessed and the data is compared to pre-specified parameters. Temperatures are then adjusted to deliver an efficiently climate controlled building.
AV integrators must identify an organizations goals and needs before defining parameters. Careful planning will enable a scalable system that can accommodate new and emerging technology and provide the most efficient operation of a smart building.