by Brianna Crandall — December 13, 2019 — Comfy, a provider of global workplace experience solutions, and Enlighted, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for commercial buildings, are partnering to deliver “smarter workplaces.” Their collaboration integrates Comfy’s powerful workplace experience platform with Enlighted’s award-winning building IoT technology, with benefits for both open-office workers and facilities managers (FMs).
The first collaborative project is an intelligent desk reservation system addressing the growing need for open, activity-based workplaces. The solution features a new Enlighted desk sensor configuration and is currently being deployed across the global real estate portfolio of one of the world’s largest enterprise software companies.
Increasingly, companies are turning to unassigned seating, agile working and activity-based work to help facilitate flexibility and collaborative environments. In these new office environments, workers can dynamically choose desks where they will be most productive and creative — whether it is near colleagues on a project or individually in a quiet space.
The smart desk reservation system, which combines a consumer-grade employee-facing app and smart, desk-level sensing capabilities, can comprise a critical component to this new way of working. It empowers teams to quickly identify desks anywhere in the building that meet their needs, are unoccupied and available in real time.
The Comfy workplace solution is designed for real estate teams looking to optimize the overall use of workplaces and amenities while boosting employee engagement and productivity. Comfy’s occupant-facing app empowers employees to find, book and use the workspace they need, when they need it.
The Enlighted Building IoT platform creates “sensory systems” throughout a building using cloud-connected smart sensors densely distributed through lighting fixtures and under desks. These sensors collect data about what is happening in the building multiple times per second, providing insight into how the building is being used in real time, driving usage analytics, providing location services for people and assets, and making this data available to other applications through APIs.
Comfy and Enlighted have integrated their technologies to create this new intelligent desk reservation system. Enlighted’s smart sensors are placed under each open-office workspace. These sensors detect when the desk is in use and provides this information to the Comfy platform, delivering real-time desk availability information to office workers through the Comfy mobile app or kiosks. The sensor data is also aggregated within Comfy, enabling business leaders and FMs to gain transparency into peak usage hours, most frequently used workspaces, and other desk utilization analytics.
Enlighted created a new variation of its award-winning Generation 5 SU-5 IoT smart sensor for this collaboration. This configuration is optimized for easy deployment and tuned for placement under desks. Proven in more than 210 million square feet of commercial real estate deployments, Enlighted’s IoT smart sensors combine multiple sensing technologies, local processing and wireless communications with Bluetooth capabilities to support location services and automated check-in functionality.
Daniel Schroeder, CEO of Comfy, remarked:
Meeting the needs of today’s flexible and agile workforce is challenging, which is why the ability to integrate best-in-class technology and combine data sources is critical. We are thrilled to welcome Enlighted to the rapidly growing Works with Comfy partner ecosystem.
CEO of Enlighted Stefan Schwab shared:
From its inception, Enlighted strategically has made the granular data our powerful sensors collect available to other applications in our partner network, because customers benefit with a rich ecosystem of high-value solutions. Enlighted’s vision of creating a comprehensive “building sensory system” now extends to each workspace, with our sensors capturing data and providing intelligence to improve the workplace experience. Working with Comfy on the intelligent desk reservation system is just the beginning of our partnership.
Comfy and Enlighted were each acquired by Siemens in 2018 and are now part of the Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI). SI provides customers with a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source — with products, systems, solutions and services from the point of power generation all the way to consumption. With an increasingly digitalized ecosystem, it helps customers thrive and communities progress while contributing to sustainability.