As the pace of technological development continues to accelerate, the impact it has on all facets of society is likely to be as profound as it is unpredictable.
For company managers the promise is for more automation, intelligence and control, for the ultimate in efficiency and performance. But how much of that promise is likely to become reality?
That’s a fundamental question which only the test of time can answer, says Dona White, CEO of North Port Events.
“There’s no question that we are in a period of dramatic change, so far reaching that it has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But the impact of this wave of technology is likely to be uneven, with some parts of business and society being affected at different rates to others.”
Her company is preparing for the third annual Facilities Integrate exhibition at the ASB Showgrounds on September 27-28. At the show, the latest in building and facilities management technology will be on display, providing architects, facilities managers, construction industry players and other interested parties with unique opportunities to glimpse into the future.
Matt Garty, the event manager of Facilities Integrate, points to technologies that include drones, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), robotics, workflow automation and artificial intelligence.
“These developments can all influence how buildings are designed, constructed and managed. It’s not just in the future, either; all of these concepts are ‘production ready’ and in many cases are being put to work in New Zealand today,” he says.
Drones, which have already reached commodity pricing levels (models complete with 4k GoPro cameras are available for around $1,000) can revolutionise building maintenance and groundskeeping by ‘seeing’ in places that were once difficult to access.
The Internet of Things provides for the mass deployment of sensors to track temperature, humidity, assets and more, providing for accurate, automated
management of a variety of resources.
Architects and engineers are using AR/VR to guide the design of buildings and facilities; robotics can speed up construction while driving down costs and eliminating workplace accidents. And artificial intelligence can reduce engineering overheads by automating calculations and the preparation of documents for council and other approvals.
“Over the previous two Facilities Integrate shows, we’ve seen an accelerating progression of the technological revolution that is taking hold in this industry.
“Building management solutions are becoming more sophisticated. The opportunities for improvements in design, construction and management of the built environment are being explored by innovators in the spaces which range from the large, established players, through to entrepreneurs who have identified issues and come up with clever solutions to them,” Dona says.
At this year’s Facilities Integrate, delegates can expect to discover and try new products, services, and technologies, learn about the latest trends and benefit from special trade deals from top suppliers. The event includes world-class seminars, workshops and speakers.
Dona says the event is a ‘must attend’ for local architects, building operators, electrical engineers, electrical service contractors, facility managers, installers, integrators, property developers and system designers.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the latest technologies and providing insights into how technology is changing and improving this industry today.
“New Zealand is renowned for being ahead of the curve with technology; Facilities Integrate is an opportunity to make the latest technology a productive part of the operation.”