Lee Gatland, head of presales, Cisilion looks at future workspaces.

There is a lot of hype around AI and it certainly has a place in driving good. One area it can really add value is creating inclusive and energy-efficient workspaces. Combining smart conferencing technologies utilising embedded AI to create inclusive meeting experiences, intelligent networks acting as sensors, along with platforms to analyse this information, enable a workspace that is right for the people using the space, drives efficiencies and delivers tangible ESG results.

User experience is paramount

Using AI embedded in the solutions and delivered via the cloud, we can ensure that regardless of where a user is located, or how many people are in the meeting room, each person has a similar experience. Recognition of the people in the room and splitting the room into individual segments to enable each person to be at the same eye level, both in the room and remotely, ensures that each user feels involved. Intelligent speaker tracking and background noise removal for all participants ensures that each user is actively involved and included in the meeting.

The same smart capabilities that improve the meeting experience are also then used to drive better use of the space. Augmented by sensors within the network, intelligent cameras and traditional IOT sensors, capture and stream information into a single platform for analysis and visualisation, so organisations can make informed and increasingly automated decisions on their office spaces.

Insightful data

The level of insight these data sources can provide is phenomenal. For example, using footfall data generated from the wireless network, combined with visual people counting from CCTV cameras and meeting room solutions, we can build an accurate picture not just of how busy an office is but also patterns on the office usage. This can be based both on time/day and location data within an office, down to desk level.

This allows us to predict future office use, enabling us to automate how a building is used on individual days. We can instruct signage to send people to locations, target cleaning activities, and instruct building management systems to shut down areas of the building based on anticipated use. We can also react and bring back online areas of a building required quickly, ensuring it responds in real-time to how it is being used. The data can also help to make informed decisions on how we work and facilitate better collaboration in the long term.

It can be quick and simple

Entry into the world of smart and inclusive buildings can be deployed in building blocks using infrastructure already in place. If an organisation is already a user of either Cisco or Meraki wireless infrastructures or Cisco Webex room solutions, you can enable the smart sensors and start feeding this information into platforms like Cisco Spaces to immediately gain visibility and actionable insights into how the space is being used. This can quickly be augmented with the addition of other sensors from either Meraki or other IOT sensor providers to deliver an accurate picture of a space, with actions based on events easily triggered via API, etc.

Smart Technology and AI in workspaces and office buildings make work more effective, sustainable and inclusive. Businesses can manage their office space more effectively and create a better working environment that will encourage people to go into the office for the right reasons while also ensuring hybrid and remote workers have a more positive experience. It is a win for employee engagement and inclusivity as well as sustainability.