Think IoT? Think ANS: Discover our Spatial Intelligence solution


By now, we’ve all heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the incredible ways it can enhance our everyday lives. IoT has been around for decades but has only recently become a real game changer. Sensors and devices which are connected to a cloud platform can provide organisations with invaluable insights into almost anything imaginable.

ANS provide some of the most cutting-edge technology around such as big data, advanced analytics and IoT, so it’s only right we practice what we preach by bringing the power of the IoT and advanced analytics to our Manchester office!

First, we built our smart parking app to combat our parking challenges and now we are upping our game, unleashing our IoT capabilities to transform the way we use our offices. Recently, we have installed small sensors under hot desks and in our meeting rooms that will monitor occupancy, air quality, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and ambient noise.

The sensors will provide us with useful information about the ways we use our office space and how we can use the space more efficiently. And there’s plenty of benefits too…

At our desks:

The Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors under our desks will monitor when there is someone sat at that desk, so we can better see which areas of the office are used more frequently. It’s not tracking who that someone is, and it doesn’t have the capability to record, it’s simply whether that desk is occupied or not.

This information is then fed back to our managed cloud platform and displayed in a Power BI dashboard where we can see the most frequently used spaces in the office. Before now, it’s not been simple to track occupancy in the office due to hot desking, but now with the power of our smart spaces solution, we can identify the ‘quiet spaces’ and the busier areas around the office.

In our meeting rooms:

Did you know that occupants of a space who remain within their thermal comfort zone have lower heart rate, respiratory ventilation and higher oxygen saturation? This actually improves task performance. In fact, according to Vivian Loftness, university professor and expert in environmental design and sustainability, you could see a 3% gain in overall activity as a result of control of workspace temperature.

According to Bruntwood, “An SHRM report has shown that having a poorly ventilated, cold or hot office can not only have an impact on productivity but it can also affect mental health as well. In an old, badly designed office where people are constantly feeling freezing, there's more chance they'll be miserable and stressed out by work.”

There’s a running joke in our office that whenever you need a meeting room, you better grab your coat to keep warm! However, as we monitor the temperature, if it rises or falls beyond the pre-defined settings, notifications will be sent to the managed cloud platform so someone can alter the temperature to the correct setting before the meeting room is needed. Toasty!

As a company, we are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint by lowering the amount of energy we produce and using sensors will enable us to do exactly that by only heating, cooling and lighting meeting rooms and spaces when needed. We are saving the planet, 1 technology solution at a time!

Whilst monitoring the temperature and humidity in the rooms will improve air quality, the sensors will also monitor occupancy. By integrating this into Outlook, this will give us insights into when and how often they are used, giving us better knowledge of the busiest days in the office and what people are using the rooms for.

All of the information will be presented via a Power BI dashboard that can be embedded into an existing web interface or stand alone. The dashboard will be on display behind our reception, so visitors can see it as soon as they walk in so be on the look out when you arrive!

The solution will enable us to make the most of our office space which will improve our comfort and wellbeing. Not only that, it’s going to make our working day run so much more smoothly as booking meeting rooms and finding a quiet space will almost become seamless. It’s a win-win!

When it comes to IoT, we really know our stuff. Have a read of our recent blueprint to find out how we can help a Smart Buildings solution bring value to your business.

Posted by Kate Auchterlonie