The art of creating Quantified Communities

Technological innovation is an important aspect in imagining the future of space, work and life as we know it. As the telephone gave way to mobile handsets and subsequently, the smartphones of today; it is acknowledged that technology has facilitated an exponential growth in every aspect of life.

Technological innovation is an important aspect in imagining the future of space, work and life as we know it. As the telephone gave way to mobile handsets and subsequently, the smartphones of today; it is an  acknowledged that technology has facilitated exponential growth in every aspect of life. As Smart Cities and Smart Real Estate become a marker of efficient resource allocation, regulation and response mechanisms, it is important to recognize the very core of this system of automation : quantified communities. Although, tremendous amount of data is being generated in the current Real Estate landscape, not all are put into use with structured analytics and the integration of technology. It is important to understand changing preference of our clients and members that are shaping the modern workspaces today. There is a need to integrate technology and community led platform to smarten and enhance member experiences for our spaces. The need for cognitive spaces, connected communities and captive economy is important for building a smart community.

Quantified communities are the key to identifying behavioural patterns, maintaining balance and plugging loopholes that crop up in daily operations. What smart cities and smart real estate have in common is the use of technology to create the base for everyday operations. Within both the entities, cognitive spaces are created wherein members can access facilities that enable upskilling, upgradation of lifestyle, make financial investments and form communities with similar interests in addition to availing amenities that enhance the quality of everyday living.  

McKinsey identifies three crucial layers that go into the creation of smart ecosystems: (i) The Technological layer, (ii) Application, (iii) Public Usage layer. The Technological layer weaves a well-connected web of networks powered by smartphone-based facilities if not sensors. At this stage of the process, valuable data on the basis of collective trends is collected through each of the technological arms employed. The application layer plays the role of filtering data and translating newly gathered information into insights that can be utilized for planning and actioning. The Public Usage layer allows for end users to make informed decisions on basis of the trends gleaned through the Application layer. This layer evidences the seamless integration of self-quantification with the functioning of quantified communities. 

The adoption of smart technologies within the commercial real estate space is at a smaller yet significant level in comparison to cities or neighborhoods. In this scenario, there are a few ways in which smart technology can manifest: 

  • End to end app-based solutions that allow members to enjoy a holistic experience of workplace wellness in the domains of physical, nutritional, emotional and mental wellness at the workplace.
  • Monitoring devices that help entities recycle rainwater and energy in addition to having extensive water segregation and management technologies. 
  • Intuitive technologies like Artificial Intelligence can enhance the scope of member experience by making seamless every individual’s daily journey from the point of entry to that of return. In these scenarios, technology takes over the most redundant aspects of daily operations and helps individuals prioritize the tasks at hand.  

In all of the above, it is the alchemy of people and processes that inspires smart and sustainable technologies at the workplace. The workspace thus becomes a dynamic ecosystem caters to a tech-fueled lifestyle which cultivates social wellbeing to serve as a catalyst for future growth.

In a more recent context, the CoVid19 pandemic has allowed one to rethink the way in which work and interpersonal dynamics have been traditionally conducted. It is here that the role of smart technology in the workplace becomes significant. With social distancing being the norm, the workspace of today is characterized by thermal scanning technologies at entry points to detect symptoms in all visitors, digital payments wherever required so as to minimize contact-based infection, app based methodologies to control lifts and vending machines as they are common repositories of contagion. The PropTech revolution has become a key component in helping the space and its inhabitants adjust effortlessly into the new normal. 

The Commercial Real Estate space has a significantly larger share of responsibility in ensuring data security. The following are some steps that can be taken to protect the integrity of members: 

  • Outline the scope of data collection and use 
  • Notify members of the rationale behind data collection and the methods in which data will be used
  • Give users the option of being anonymous contributors. This should help organizations focus on insights as opposed to connecting data to individual members. 
  • In the case of centralized data repositories, it is important to have a designated team handle data with utmost confidentiality. It is also important to set clear guidelines pertaining to the safety of data in situations involving a change of hands, obsolescence or collaboration with third parties. 
  • Ensure strong firewalls and security systems are in place such that breaches are prevented to the maximum extent possible

With strong Data Protection Protocols driven by developers as well as complementary legislation in place, the commercial real estate space can pioneer an ethical, privacy forward approach towards data collection, the gleaning of insight and the improvement of member experience. While it is important to equip commercial assets with state-of-the art technological features, it is essential that entities do not lose sight of the stakeholders who matter the most: the individuals who inhabit the spaces. Technology, guided by humanized design is the solution to creating spaces people want to be and are empowered to create communities that thrive. Technology, in this case, is an ally in the ecosystem that priorities social wellbeing, convenience and hospitality designed to accommodate everyone from the daily community member to the occasional visitor.

As the millennial generation places paramount importance on working within a flexible workspace  governed by the principle of work-life balance, quantified communities are essential for seamless operation at the site of work. Given the widespread adoption of self-quantifying devices like smartwatches among millennials, it will not be a challenge to assist them in becoming part of a well-regulated and protected quantified community at the workspace. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house