Learn how wireless sensors are reshaping businesses and changing the game for workplace management.
In the past, sensors had to be installed through an arduous wiring process, which was time-consuming, disruptive, and often messy.
Maintaining sensors, as well as fixing any issues that emerged, was just as challenging. Companies operating in established buildings simply had to work the sensors that were built into the space, as replacing or upgrading them was often expensive and way too big a project. Or, many companies chose to forego sensors overall, instead using manual methods of spatial analysis like walk-throughs and routine inspections.
But with the advent of wireless sensors, everything has changed.
Companies are able to reap the benefits of modern wireless sensors which can be installed and maintained in minutes — not days. We’ll explain what wireless sensors are, what types of wireless sensors exist, how they integrate with workplace management systems, and how they can improve your company’s spatial intelligence.
What are wireless sensors?
Wireless sensors are a type of technology programmed to alert the user to the presence of various stimuli, like the presence of a person in a room, or a sharp drop in temperature, or the presence of water where it shouldn’t be. What makes wireless sensors unique and easier to use is that they’re built without the need for complex wiring systems that go through walls — instead, they’re connected to your workplace management platforms via Wifi.
Types of Wireless Sensors
Wifi motion sensors (also known as wireless motion sensors or Wifi motion detectors) are built to show whether or not there’s a person in a particular area. Modern wireless motion sensors are able to let you know how many people are in a particular space with great accuracy, which isn’t the case with lower-tech motion sensors which can just tell if someone’s in a space or not.
Wifi-powered water sensors are designed to prevent water damage and floods, and they’re able to alert the user when there’s water in an area that should be staying completely dry, like a control room.
Wifi temperature sensor
Wireless temperature sensors monitor how hot or cold a space is. For industries like meatpacking and pharmaceuticals, even a fraction of a degree of difference can lead to compromised products and significant losses. And for typical offices, wireless temperature monitoring can help keep an eye on the performance of your HVAC system and help you catch issues before they get bigger.
Smart HVAC systems also exist and make use of temperature sensors to know when to turn on and off, depending on the temperature of the room.
Wifi door sensors are wireless sensors that track motion in a specific door frame that happens when a door is opened and closed. These can be useful in security applications, but also help provide useful space utilization data about various rooms, floors, and even entire buildings.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT) have begun to change many traditional industries.
The key for offices, and buildings at large, is to reduce the number of sensors that need to be installed, reduce integration challenges that occur when legacy and modern systems are connected, and provide actionable intelligence rather than raw data in dashboard form.
How do wireless sensor networks work?
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are how multiple sensors can be connected to provide holistic data and monitoring of a large area, like an entire office building floor.
Multiple sensors are placed around the space to monitor space utilization, HVAC performance, and more, and they’re connected via Wifi and upload their data to the cloud. The data these sensors produce is often available in workplace management platforms, the best of which can provide AI-powered insights on space utilization and optimization.
Benefits of Wireless Sensors
You can add them to established offices with minimal disruption
It’s rare for a company to start out in a brand-new building that they design themselves. Typically, companies operate out of long-established office buildings or complexes. This means they save significant costs — since they don’t have to build the place themselves — but it used to mean that it was challenging and expensive to customize the space, especially when it comes to utilities.
But as wireless sensors have become more and more available, any company is able to easily upgrade their spatial intelligence. Wireless sensors easily work for buildings that are already created: there’s no need for rewiring, no construction to be done, and no disruptions to your workflow.
Without needing to break ground, wireless sensors are a more sustainable, simpler option that benefits the environment
Since they don’t require any rewiring or breaking ground, wireless sensors are a much more sustainable option compared to their legacy wired counterparts. There’s no need to create construction debris or disturb old architecture or surrounding plants and trees just to maintain or upgrade a sensor system. And the most environmentally sustainable buildings don’t need to be built.
Wireless sensor systems like VergeSense can be installed in minutes — just set it and forget it. They’re Wifi-connected, totally wireless, and battery powered, so it’s even easier than installing a home smoke detector.
They also operate on extremely low power, meaning they can last years at a time.
Connect with other workplace tech like HVAC and wifi modems
Interconnectivity is one of the key features workplace experience teams are looking for in their tech stack. It’s not just sensors that have upgraded their ease of use and installation in the past few years, and the best technology can work with your wireless motion sensor in order to trigger HVAC systems, lights, and even Wifi modems.
That means lights can turn on when an employee approaches a meeting room, but also that offices can avoid expending energy on heating, cooling, or extending Wifi to areas that are unoccupied.
Invest in the Future of your Workplace with Wireless Sensors
The next generation of building intelligence is adding modern systems to spaces you already have. In order to set themselves up for success in the future, workplaces are investing in technology that helps them truly measure the performance of their spaces. Are employees using that new cafe space? Or should it be repurposed into a meditation room? Are your employees all coming in on similar days of the week? How can you optimize your space for a new hybrid work reality? Is your space in need of workplace right-sizing?