The rise of Smart Spaces

According to Gartner’s Strategic Technology Trends for 2019, Smart Spaces are one of the key technology areas to consider over the next few years, but what exactly are Smart Spaces?

These are physical environments, that are augmented by a whole range of sensors, analytics and actuators in order to manage the interaction between the physical environment and it’s occupants. Smart Spaces range in size from a workplace, to a stadium, or even a city and they all have common requirements, with only the scale of deployment changing.

So what is driving the need for a Smart Space? In terms of a stadium it might be to improve traffic flow during major events, manage security, grow the user experience or increase merchandising revenues. This business alone is projected to be worth $12Bn by 2023.

Cities are also critical to our economic success, representing, in 2019 almost 80% of the global gross domestic product and being home to 68% of the world’s population by 2050. From the standpoint of a city, the requirement would be to reduce congestion/pollution, improve safety or the improve the quality of life for citizens. This market will grow to over $717Bn by 2023, so it’s a very big deal.

But once the systems/sensors are deployed and connected, the information needs to be gathered, analysed and used to improve decision making. This is where the challenges begin.

In a Smart Stadium or Smart City, no-one “owns” the overall architectural blueprint and most systems are bought on a piecemeal basis, driven by the needs of a particular group or project. Additionally, in many Smart Space solutions, some of the capabilities are provided by outsourcing partners or SaaS providers, adding further complexity. The end result is that essential data is “stuck” in pockets within heterogeneous systems and integration takes both time and money.

This results in either increased cost, project delays or increased risk as the security frameworks get ever more complex to manage.

So, what’s the way forward for Smart Spaces? A key requirement will be the ability to deploy systems with a known “state” across various organisation or company boundaries, otherwise known as a “federated” approach. Then to be able to provide time bounded access to specific data sets across these boundaries, whilst protecting the integrity of the source data and access rights. Finally to be able to analyse these cross-boundary datasets in order to improve the decision making process.

The solution would require a “Smart Space fabric”, an open, model-based, scalable and elastic solution that can prove the initial business case and grow as the deployments ramp up. A solution that Configured Things is specifically developing for this emerging market need.

In closing, whether due to the rapid adoption of Smart Spaces, Connected Health, IoT or Manufacturing 4.0 solutions, the world will increasingly depend on “Configured Things”.

If you would like to know more, please download the solution whitepaper below.

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