The internet of things has the potential to have a greater impact on society than the first digital revolution. We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.

One of the most valuable contributions of smart technology is its nature to adapt well with both commercial as well as residential spaces. With the help of not-so-expensive, highly accessible, incredibly advanced IoT devices, large chunks of meaningful data are collected from every corner of a building.

Sensors can monitor conditions such as temperature and humidity to noise, movement, wind speed, heat and power. It will pull this data together in real-time to predict maintenance needs and health and safety risks, and can help in a variety of ways. Data collected, if analyzed and processed effectively, has the potential to help managers with valuable, operational insights for making informed decisions. And to turn the raw data into actionable intelligence, AI plays a significant role. Without this incredible technology, the data gathered is futile or pointless. With AI, building managers can ensure operational efficiency to a larger extent, utilize assets reliably, and improve the comfort level of occupants.

There are numerous real-world applications of the internet of things, ranging from consumer IoT and enterprise IoT to manufacturing and industrial IoT. IoT applications span numerous verticals, including automotive, telecom and energy. In the consumer segment, for example, smart homes that are equipped with smart thermostats, smart appliances and connected heating, lighting and electronic devices can be controlled remotely via computers and smartphones.

Wearable devices with sensors and software can collect and analyze user data, sending messages to other technologies about the users with the aim of making users' lives easier and more comfortable. Wearable devices are also used for public safety, for example, improving first responders' response times during emergencies by providing optimized routes to a location or by tracking construction workers' or firefighters' vital signs at life-threatening sites.

In healthcare, IoT offers many benefits, including the ability to monitor patients more closely using an analysis of the data that's generated. Hospitals often use IoT systems to complete tasks such as inventory management for both pharmaceuticals and medical instruments.

Smart buildings can, for instance, reduce energy costs using sensors that detect how many occupants are in a room. The temperature can adjust automatically -- for example, turning the air conditioner on if sensors detect a conference room is full or turning the heat down if everyone in the office has gone home. Let’s understand how AI is helping buildings become smarter:

  • Water management

We spend 90 percent of the time indoors. Imagine the amount of water that we consume on a daily basis for different purposes. There is a rough estimation that an average American family uses 300 gallons of water each day at home. Imagine the amount of water consumed on a global scale. Water resources are becoming scarce. Hence, it is important to consider our water consumption levels and take appropriate measures to reduce it. Building managers should, therefore, closely monitor the water usage levels of each family or office. However, manually keeping track of water usage is nearly impossible. Here’s where AI can be of great use.

Sensors embedded in water supply channels to toilets, bathrooms, and water tanks will give information on the standard water consumption of a single family or an office. The data from these sensors can be fed to an AI tool to check if any family or office is consuming more water than the expected levels. If yes, the tool will notify the manager and proper action can take place.

  • Building maintenance

Everybody wants their building spaces to be clean, well-maintained and safe. By working with specialized cleaning companies, building managers can ensure that the structures are reliably clean and safe. Sensors and cameras can capture the details of every corner of a building. This data, when fed to an AI tool, can notify building managers about areas to carry out on-the-spot cleaning processes, providing improved service to occupants.

  • Fault detection

Buildings must be constantly monitored for anomalies and faults to ensure safety. To do so, building managers need a dedicated team of professionals to handle building maintenance. However, this might become an ordeal depending on the complexity of buildings. AI can constantly process the data that comes from various sources. The AI tool will analyze inputs, study patterns, and reveal hidden insights on any technical glitch or fault. For example, sensors and cameras installed in the lift will capture information about the performance of the lift. The data will then be processed by an AI tool to detect whether the lift is functioning well or about to breakdown. Proactive remedial actions can then be taken before the lift stops functioning properly.

  • Parking assistance

Parking is a major concern for people in today’s fast-paced world. While visiting any new place, a significant amount of time can be wasted identifying a vacant parking space. People prefer not to have an interaction with humans unless absolutely necessary. AI can play a significant role in these cases.

The pressure sensors in the ground and cameras all around can gather information on parking lots. An AI parking tool, when fed with this data, will analyze the parking space utilization and give complete information on empty parking spaces. Just by simple taps on their smartphones, a visitor will get comprehensive information on available parking spaces. In fact, the app will help navigate visitors to the right location for parking. Assistance like this will not only improve visitors’ experience but also contribute to energy savings. That’s the power of AI and smart buildings.

Buildings which have traditionally been mere brick and mortar enclosures are now capable of responding to real-time needs. The fusion of sensors, cameras, actuators, and other IoT devices have made buildings smart. But, AI is what makes smart buildings ‘smart’ in the truest sense of the word. In addition to reduced operational costs, enhanced tenant experience, and improved asset utilization, smart buildings promote energy conservation as well, and that’s exactly what sustainable development is all about.

Smart has become more sustainable. The energy efficiency in these smart buildings can be gauged from the fact that some of them have their sources of power generation and at times generate more power than they consume. This not only helps them save costs but also gets rid of frequent power failures. Here are some of the most valuable reasons why people should look out for smarter options to stay or work rather than the conventional ones that tend to burn a hole in their pocket.

  • Smart buildings give smart data

Right from writing those numbers in the excel sheets; we know what importance these figures have in our lives. Imagine the same occurrence in the place where we stay. Yes, the smart buildings give us the necessary data pertaining to electricity, water consumption, hourly space utilization, etc. This data further helps the residents to take corrective action pertaining to their constructive utilization. The best part is all the data gets collected centrally and hence simplifies the entire process even further.

  • Efficient consumption of energy

One of the most important aspects of a smart building is that it offers greater efficiency. Energy gets optimized to the fullest. Come to think of it, energy consumption happens to be one of the biggest worries in buildings today. Smart buildings are designed in such a way that the energy gets utilized efficiently irrespective of the internal and external conditions.

  • Smart buildings result in increasing the asset value

When smart applications become a part of the building, the asset value is bound to increase. Smart energy efficiency measures ensure that the building is well maintained and hence doesn’t depreciate over a period of time. Instead, these smart applications add to the asset value of the structure making it a preferred option to go for.

  • Decreased consumption

Greater the efficiency, lower the consumption. That’s the principal these smart buildings tag themselves with. One can always conduct energy audits and based on the inference implement effective measures to lower the consumption and hence further decrease the cost.

  • Real-time action becomes easier with the use of smart technology

With data flowing-in, one has access to the energy numbers in real-time. This analysis of data helps in the control and monitoring systems that are placed in the building. The real-time action helps to plan and act well in advance. Preparing for any adversity well in advance makes the smart building concept a big hit these days.

  • Smart buildings anticipate well in advance

Malfunctioning is well taken care of with the help of sensors placed in these smart buildings. An alert gets triggered as and when there is an issue with any part of a system within the smart building. All this helps in predictive maintenance of the facility saving both costs as well as time.

  • Smart buildings give birth to smart equipment

Equipment used in a smart building is well taken care of. Not only one gets to know if they have to undergo an overhaul but one can also keep a tab on their expiry as well and make timely renovations and adjustments.

  • Smart buildings follow green norms

It does not require rocket science to know that smart infrastructure because of its ability to efficiently utilize energy does not cause any harm to the ecology. There is no wastage of energy in its premises which goes on to show that they act as per the ecological consumption guidelines.

  • Increase work efficiency

Smart buildings tend to provide a healthier, productive and comfortable space for the people staying in. Be it a workspace or residence, with advanced climatic and lighting controls, smart buildings improve the indoor air quality and lighting in a significant way. The aesthetics become much more soothing as compared to a regular infrastructure. In certain cases, it has been observed that these smart buildings improve work efficiency and also help in attaining employee satisfaction.

  • Smart technology leads to saving operational cost

Responsiveness goes to another level because of the adoption of smart technology. Switching off lights automatically at a space that does not have any occupants at that point in time is a perfect example of how automated systems are in a smart setup. This goes on to save the operational cost and also increase the life of the equipment. These are small but key measures that help in bringing the overall swollen cost come down quite significantly.

The artificial intelligence industry is facing a diversity crisis, and therefore there is a growing push to put cities on a digital path to a greener future risks excluding groups like the poorest, disabled and elderly, and will fail to benefit those people unless technology is used to help meet their needs, rights advocates have warned. Tech industry employees have taken a stand on some major AI issues, pressing their companies to drop or review the use of sensitive tools that could hurt vulnerable groups.

With that, Artificial intelligence technology is still evolving and the chances of it taking over our jobs in the near future is low. But still it’s hard to deny the fact that AI-aided machines and systems have helped to improve the efficiencies of several industries, including healthcare. We have witnessed hospitals and providers embracing this technology because it has allowed them, in many cases, to streamline their daily operations and focus more on providing the best patient care possible. Here’s how:

  • A Transition from Reactive to Predictive Care

Up until now, the healthcare industry has functioned in a notoriously reactive way, offering treatments or tempered solutions to their patients in order to treat or manage symptoms as they occur. In today’s world, however, AI-integrated systems are being used to help predict conditions before they become life-threatening. The UPMC, Sharp Case Study gives us a good example of this, explaining how they used an AI-aided system to predict at-risk health declines (those that are going to occur within a 60-minute time frame). This artificial intelligence-based system amazingly provides 80% accuracy which has helped UPMC to dispatch their emergency response teams quickly before problems become truly life-threatening.

  • Helps Providers Determine the Best Course of Treatment

Electronic health record systems are now widely used in practices to help providers maintain an organized record of patient health and care. This collection of information contains details about medical history, allergies, medicines, and more on all patients. By way of artificial intelligence solutions, providers can make connections and predictions in order to ultimately provide the best treatment and medication to their patients.

 

  • Chatbots To Revolutionize Telehealth

Intelligent chatbots simulate real human conversational language as a way to answer queries or assist with navigation. You can experience these for yourself by trying out Amazon’s Alexa or iPhone’s Siri. This concept is also used in Customer Support Centers that manage voice and data communication like email, web-based chat/instant messaging queries, and websites/landing pages. This implementation of artificial intelligence can and likely will revolutionize the telehealth sector of the healthcare industry by automating certain processes for individuals or families who don’t have access to public transportation, or for those who might live in rural areas.

 

  • Risk Prediction Using Wearable Devices

Wearable health monitoring devices are becoming more sophisticated by the day. These devices record important health information users and AI-integration helps to interpret the data in a meaningful way in order to predict health risks (such as a heart attack or stroke). The application of artificial intelligence in wearable health monitoring devices serves to warn the person about health risks long before those risks become critical.

 

  • Super Computers For Clinical Trials

AI has the potential to save billions of dollars that might otherwise be spent on clinical trials to check the effectiveness of a medicine against a specific disease. Recently, The University of Toronto programmed a supercomputer to analyze millions of medicines to predict their effectiveness against the Ebola virus which ended up saving them from spending money on costly tests. So, this integration of artificial intelligence in clinical trials can completely change the landscape of drug development as well.

With that, Artificial intelligence technology is still evolving and the chances of it taking over our jobs in the near future is low. But still it’s hard to deny the fact that AI-aided machines and systems have helped to improve the efficiencies of several industries, including healthcare. We have witnessed hospitals and providers embracing this technology because it has allowed them, in many cases, to streamline their daily operations and focus more on providing the best patient care possible. Here’s how:

  • A Transition from Reactive to Predictive Care

Up until now, the healthcare industry has functioned in a notoriously reactive way, offering treatments or tempered solutions to their patients in order to treat or manage symptoms as they occur. In today’s world, however, AI-integrated systems are being used to help predict conditions before they become life-threatening. The UPMC, Sharp Case Study gives us a good example of this, explaining how they used an AI-aided system to predict at-risk health declines (those that are going to occur within a 60-minute time frame). This artificial intelligence-based system amazingly provides 80% accuracy which has helped UPMC to dispatch their emergency response teams quickly before problems become truly life-threatening.

  • Helps Providers Determine the Best Course of Treatment

Electronic health record systems are now widely used in practices to help providers maintain an organized record of patient health and care. This collection of information contains details about medical history, allergies, medicines, and more on all patients. By way of artificial intelligence solutions, providers can make connections and predictions in order to ultimately provide the best treatment and medication to their patients.

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