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Smart Spaces: Trends for 2021

Like everything else connected to the digital world, the smart space market is rapidly growing. Smart spaces encompass many systems and technologies, but the key to smart spaces is that they can make everything from homes to commercial facilities more efficient and help optimize space. We’re going to cover precisely what falls under the umbrella of smart spaces, why they have such a massive appeal for many businesses, and what you need to know about them in 2021 and beyond.

What are Smart Spaces?

Smart spaces are essentially areas equipped with networked sensors to track activities, movement, environmental dynamics, and other insights into the space. It may also include technology that streamlines internal communications, visitor management, and automates other processes.

The technology and devices used in a smart space system operate through the Internet of Things, which is machine-to-machine communication that collects and shares data on a network. So a smart space uses devices connected via the IoT to collect and analyze data about the space.

One popular form of smart space tech is computer vision, which utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze video footage. A specific application might be an AI algorithm using poll-type software to mitigate employee disputes about how hot or cool to keep the office.

What’s the Appeal of Smart Spaces?

One report projects that the smart space market will have a compounded annual growth rate of 18.4% from 2021 to 2026. The industry is growing so rapidly because facility managers and the like see how drastically it can improve the business and that the technology/data boom we’re experiencing naturally lends itself to smart spaces.

In the residential setting, a smart space can help make a home more comfortable and convenient. There is, perhaps, more breadth to the applications in a business setting than a residential one. Business owners and managers can use the data captured by this technology in an office, manufacturing plant, or other facility to make decisions and establish strategies to improve in areas like operational efficiency, safety measures, and the general user experience. They can also help to track demand patterns and business trends. This leads to better overall business results and, of course, improved financials.

It’s certainly easy to see how smart spaces could lead to direct benefits for your business, but they’re also a valuable long-term investment. They can grow with your business. Because the data and long-term value of smart spaces do not rely so heavily on technology taking up physical space, but rather in the cloud, it is a scalable asset.

What You Should Know for 2021

Especially in businesses where the minute efficiencies of your facility are critical to success, you’ll want to start implementing smart spaces. This connected technology will help keep you competitive. And, if you’re an earlier adopter in your industry, it will likely put you ahead of the curve.

Other technological innovations, like the advent of 5G, will augment the viability and speed of smart spaces as well. Global urbanization also augments the viability of smart spaces—some are looking to the potential for smart cities smart cities. Truly, augmentation has been and will continue to be the name of the game in technology and data collection. Smart spaces streamline processes, data collection, and data analysis so that workers are freed up to perform those tasks and creative roles that are distinctly human.

Unfortunately, one barrier to implementing smart spaces is that the technology does take a high initial capital investment. There are also some privacy concerns with connecting devices in a smart space via the IoT, so implementers should be sure to include advanced security and privacy measures. All in all, those businesses that choose to take a risk upfront are likely to reap the long-term rewards of an investment in smart spaces.

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