Smart technology and the Internet of Things are just getting started, and already their impact is being felt across multiple industries. Gartner predicts that by 2018, 45% of the fastest-growing companies will have more smart devices than employees. Smart devices work tirelessly to gather and share information that help all sorts of enterprises operate more efficiently and plan more effectively. Their value to CRE crosses all sectors, and the industry has just begun to take advantage of the benefits they offer.


The inclusion of smart devices in the workplace helps tenants to operate more efficiently and can be important drivers of growth and improvement.  An example is the use of sensor technology that helps to monitor the use of space. These devices can detect what rooms are in use and can track those data over time.  Managers can use this information to more efficiently use the available space.


Retailers are increasingly striving to create a seamless customer experience, connecting online and mobile activity with what we do in-store. Beacon technology, which communicates with customers via Bluetooth, can be used as a personalized guide for shoppers in the store, helping them to locate and price the desired item. The use of “smart shelves” is another interesting development. With these devices, , retailers and manufacturers can scan the content of a shelf using embedded sensors The devices can alert store employees when inventory is running low or when a theft has been detected. Prices can also be changed across the store’s system using smart shelves. This has great benefits when it comes to tracking inventory as well.


A  “smart warehouse” can serve as a hub the entire supply chain. Facilities are using wearable technology on workers as well as sensors and smart equipment to improve and speed up logistics management. Wearable devices can allow workers to move about and access information and instructions from anywhere in the warehouse without having to return to a workstation. The Wall Street Journal tells us that test programs under way at Boeing Co. , Daimler AG , United Parcel Service Inc. and other companies show how smart glasses can reduce the need for manuals and printed instructions, eliminate production errors and cut steps from processes, resulting in improved productivity.


Smart technology is having a huge impact on residential building management. Property managers can use sensors and the “internet of things” to track conditions and changes in the building automatically. They receive data on traffic at the property as well as how the building’s systems are operating. They can check on usage and make changes to improve efficiency based on current and accurate information. Maintenance and tenant services can be greatly improved with smart technology. Sensors can alert the team to issues like water leaks or overheating systems right away, so they can be taken care of before they become major disasters. Each of these applications of smart technology shares an important result: greater efficiency and consequential cost savings. As more and more companies adopt these devices, their use will become a critical element for success.

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