As the technology driving sensors improves, so does our ability to access information about how space is used. Carlo Ratti, 2017 HIVE dean, intends to take a deep dive into how the use of sensors can transform our understanding and future design at the HIVE conference in LA in December.

In the following article, BuiltWorlds explores some of the many benefits of using sensors to building owners and operators.

These days, sensor-driven solutions are very popular within buildings. But some indoor sensors, like the everyday thermostat, have been around for more than 100 years.

In the 1880s, Warren Johnson invented the first thermostat and went on to found one of the largest companies in the building space, Johnson Controls. Since then, temperature sensors have been vital to buildings, but today’s sensors reach far beyond the humble thermostat.

Specifically, there now are reliable and inexpensive sensors that provide indoor occupancy data and can detail how many people are in and/or how they move within a space. This data is quickly becoming foundational to many aspects of running a building.

A variety of technologies can be used to collect this information and some hardware costs are being rolled into an ongoing data service fee (to provide indoor occupancy sensing as an operational cost, rather than a capital one).

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