IoT and Covid-19: impacts and opportunities

With 68 million recorded visits to all of its sites last June, SeLoger, the French leader in real estate portals, confirms that the lockdown experience has inspired new needs and wants in where we live and work. Broadly speaking, the pandemic and working from home have led us to ask ourselves: How has the pandemic affected the separation between work and personal life? What does the future hold for office buildings? What adjustments are needed and what are the prospects for living together? Technology and connected objects provide answers to these many questions.

Rethinking spaces and uses

The lockdown experience has shown that technology is central to our daily lives, now more than ever. According to ABI Research, the global smart home market is currently worth $387 billion, up 5% compared to pre-Covid-19 forecasts. Meanwhile, companies have adapted to keep their businesses afloat and have demonstrated a diverse range of possible solutions.  Working from home has become a real way of operating. Just 7% of employees worked from home before the lockdown, compared to 10–60% today, depending on the sector*.

While 74% of companies and only 39% of investors** report feeling poorly prepared for this crisis, there is a consensus on the need for more efficient and agile spaces, as well as the emergence of customized solutions that have shown that what seemed impossible a few months is now a tangible reality.

Now, 76% of real estate investors expect the home office to become commonplace in companies**. The Covid-19 pandemic has thus accelerated the digital transformation, shortening company roadmaps—initially spread over several years—to a few days or weeks.

The issue is no longer about building more, but about building better, creating more agile spaces for living and working, smarter buildings, and better collaboration between property owners, businesses, and occupants. In this way, technology opens up an almost infinite range of possibilities. It offers a better customer experience while changing how we work. Everything can be agile, as long as we have technology that makes using and accessing information easy for everyone. With new business models, technology tends to blur the line between work and personal life. How can we ensure that both work time and personal time is as comfortable, efficient, and high quality as possible?

IoT for a successful transformation

Asked by our teams about these questions, Ouassim Driouchi, Senior Manager of IoT, Telecom, and Innovation at BearingPoint, and founder of the IoT Business Hub, an open ecosystem where 700+ IoT professionals in France share their experiences, including 100+ public and private organizations, representing a dozen sectors and 40% startups, responds: 

What seems key is to succeed in moving toward more efficient energy use, at the right time and the right place. A successful transition requires better, more regular, and local data management of the temperature, humidity, and air quality. Once this data has been collected, it is then possible to adjust the various systems within the home, like the heating and ventilation, to adjust the home’s comfort settings.

As for non-residential buildings, the IoT makes it possible to improve operations by modernizing work spaces with automated lighting and contact-free technologies.

Data provided by the sensors makes it possible to optimize the building’s operation by increasing occupant comfort and lowering energy bills. This way, using sensors to identify whether or not rooms are occupied can lead to substantial savings in heating expenses, for example. In the most advanced versions, it is possible to create control systems to automatically maintain optimal conditions for the occupied parts of the building.

Ouassim Driouchi, BearingPoint

The challenge is therefore to anticipate when people are in the building, rather than to react to them. With artificial intelligence (AI), control systems can become even more efficient by learning how changes to input data (ex. heating level at a time T) affect how it physically feels at a given location (temperature or humidity), along with the latency between the two.

Beyond purely practical uses, IoT devices create and preserve links between people and places. Workplaces need to be reinvented as hubs so that they can become places for discussions and meetings, where employees can have an improved experience. 28% of companies plan to reduce their footprint, and 23% plan to increase the flexibility of their fleet* to pivot as needed and offer smarter buildings capable of deciphering uses and better understanding behaviors.

The pandemic has made it clear that each and every company needs to rethink and redevelop its own way of operating and, by extension, the way its spaces function (at home, in the office, and elsewhere). Convinced that the IoT is the future of residential and non-residential real estate, now more than ever, Overkiz is here to help you with your transformation, with increasingly flexible solutions tailored to the specific needs of each company.

* CCI IdF, Insee/Acemo-Dares, Mobile Lives Forum
** Source: JLL -our post – Covid-19 Offices

Investors, businesses, and individuals: Impacts of the pandemic on residential and non-residential real estate

Individuals

  • 1 in 5 French people want to change their housing situation after the lockdown*
  • 53% of homebuyers report that their future home must have internet access or fiber optics**

Investors

  • 58% of real estate investors think that businesses will review the layout of their offices***
  • 77% of investors say that they are ready to improve the health and technical management of their buildings***
  • 79% of investors expect an increase in the demand for smart buildings

Businesses

  • 57% of business report that the pandemic has had an impact on their real estate investment projects (ex. delayed projects, increased construction delays, CapEx revised downward)***
  • 35% of executives believe that their location no longer suits their needs****
* Capelli Study – Poll&Roll – April 2020
** OMI Survey (Observatoire du Moral Immobilier) conducted by SeLoger – May 2020  

*** JLL – Our post Covid-19 Offices
**** Deskeo Survey conducted in April 2020 among 2,900 professionals

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