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The Future of FM: Developing Technology

11 June 2018 by Coleen Cloherty
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Because of new technologies and skills, the world of FM is evolving faster than almost any other sector within the Built Environment.

As we come closer to a new decade, tech like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are increasingly entering the mainstream; and not just for entertainment.

Here’s three tech trends that will shape how we work in the years to come:

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term describing the interconnected technology that is part of our everyday world. It’s estimated that by 2020, the IoT will consist of around 30 billion objects.

These objects can vary from a security gate to a soap dispenser and are connected through a shared IP address (the code given to items on an internet network).

The IoT is relevant to FM in that it will lead to high levels of automation, which will cause the role of a Facilities Manager to become more varied.

Cleaners won’t have to individually check facilities to see what’s running low, for example – sensors on toilet roll holders can send out a notification when depleted, so only essential replacements need carrying out.

Machine Learning / Automation

Machine learning sounds like something out of Terminator, sure. And while it’s not going to cause our downfall, that’s not an outlandish comparison.

AI systems will be able to learn what kind of environment employees want to work in, and adjust things like temperature and lighting to fit.

Also, machine learning means that the data a building stores on its occupants can be utilised more effectively. By removing manual analysis and pushing data-driven intelligence, Facility Managers will have more time to prioritise the occupants of a building, rather than the day-to-day labour of upkeep.

Wearable Tech

We already use smart watches and wearable health technology in our day-to-day, so why not incorporate it into facility management?

The need for keys to get into an office, for example, could become a thing of the past. Companies like Epicenter in Sweden are already microchipping their employees, who can then freely enter the building, use printers, and interact with tech on an incredibly streamlined basis.

Data can also be obtained from this tech to improve quality of life – a key aspect of future FM jobs.

There’s naturally a handful of quite scary aspects to all this. As recent notable data breaches such as Facebook have proven, very little is completely secure. With constant research and work being done in data security, though, the future is looking bright.

For more info and to hear from experienced FM experts, join us at the Facilities Show from the 19th - 21st June, at booth T820. Register here

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