The Non-Definitive Guide to Making Your Existing Spaces Smarter and More Sustainable

Published on
May 29, 2024
Rachel Melisa
Marketing & Brand Manager
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What is a Smart Space?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, smart spaces refers to the physical environments that have been enhanced with technology to enable them to respond intelligently to the needs of their users. It seeks to improve the quality of daily living, businesses and communities. 

Over the recent years, smart spaces have emerged as a viable solution for businesses to achieve their long term sustainability goals, but in a human-centric way that enhances the experience of a space while also helping future-proof business processes. 

Building smart places from scratch vs. smartening up spaces

There are two common routes when it comes to realising smart spaces; both with its own advantages and challenges. 

The route that gets the most love both from customers and the media is to build smart spaces from scratch. Think purpose-built labs to test out smart technologies. Examples of this in retail includes Amazon Go and Nike’s House of Innovation

There is definitely a certain allure to creating a space dedicated to innovation, tugging on people’s sense of curiosity and novelty. After all, this way enables businesses to truly immerse themselves in the experiment of being able to “do anything”.

The more understated, but certainly more relatable way for most businesses, is to smarten up existing spaces — retrofitting them with smart technologies without the costs and cons of going back to square one. 

This way, businesses are able to utilise their existing real estate footprint and maximise its value, which, one can argue, is the more sustainable practice. 

Sweet spots - use cases all businesses can deploy

One of the greatest benefits of integrating smart technologies into existing environments is the ability to capture data that were previously overlooked blind spots, which can then be used to inform and improve future business decisions.

Several examples:

  • Providing proactive services to employees and customers by predicting their needs
  • Boosting energy efficiency by monitoring spaces capacity
  • Increase forecasting accuracy of products and services, for less waste and improvements in bottom line
  • Improving security through proactive monitoring of spaces, without capturing any personal identifiable information (PII)
  • Better space planning by capturing how people move between your spaces

Ethical considerations

As we embrace the potential of smart spaces, it is important to address several ethical implications that all businesses must consider.

  • Data Privacy: Ensure that no personal identifiable information (PII) are captured and that the data collected are anonymised
  • Security: Incorporate strong cybersecurity measures to protect against data breaches, unauthorised access, and malicious attacks.
  • Avoiding algorithmic bias: Care must be taken to ensure that AI algorithms used are as unbiased as possible, and do not reinforce discriminatory practices or existing inequalities. Many companies do this by using synthetic datasets to teach their algorithms.
  • Inclusivity: Design smart spaces to be accessible and inclusive, addressing the needs of diverse individuals, including those with disabilities or limited digital literacy.

What you can do next

At meldCX, we are passionate about working in collaboration with organisations to come up with technology solutions that meet their business goals, while delivering exceptional experiences for their customers and employees.

One of our successful partners in implementing smart technologies is Cisilion.

If you’re in the UK, join us for an upcoming event with Cisilion and Cisco. You'll have the opportunity to meet with experts in the field for an interactive breakfast session, and then see smart technology use cases firsthand at the Cisilion office. 

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