Case Study: Smart Office

Genesys demonstrates opportunities for IoT in the workplace with Genesys Smart Office.

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is opening up new opportunities everywhere we look. Opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce wastage, improve security and enhance the human experience.

Genesys Smart Office is a test bed to explore these opportunities in the workplace. The Genesys team is applying their IoT technologies to their own office, to showcase the benefits that can be gained by integrating IoT into everyday tools and processes.

Theorised State

Sam Battenally, Electronics Design Engineer at Genesys, heads up the Smart Office project.

"We started this project as a way to test and improve our IoT software and hardware modules," explained Sam. "We also wanted to create something that could be used to demonstrate the practical application of a variety of IoT technologies."

"Essentially you can connect almost any device found in the office to the Internet of Things, for monitoring, analytics, remote control or automation."

"Sensors can be deployed to track parking space usage, occupancy and traffic flow. This information can be used in real-time to determine light, temperature and energy requirements, and control these using actuators. Data can also be collectedand analysed for future capacity planning."

"Security is another area where IoT technologies offer many advantages. Cameras and PIR (passive infrared) sensors can be used to track and control space, with data streamed and stored in the cloud. Actuators can lock or open doors and control lights. All of these technologies can help manage security risks as well as get people to safety in an emergency."

"These are just a few of the potential applications for IoT in the office," added Sam, "the possibilities really are endless."

End-to-end IoT Deployment

The biggest challenges of the Internet of Things are the range of technologies required, and the complexity of ensuring interoperability of everything, from the device to the cloud.

Genesys' Smart Office starts at the device level with the Genesys Modular Stack (GMS) portfolio of modules and baseboards. Using proven and versatile GMS technology enabled the Smart Office sensors and actuators to be rapidly developed and deployed.

A gateway, a locally deployed network manager, was set-up to wirelessly collect data from these devices and enable them to communicate with the Genesys IoT server, hosted in Amazon Web Services.

Using an API, the IoT server is connected to a simple front-end application where the administrator can monitor data, control the devices and view device analytics.

In the back-end, the Genesys IoT Supervisor (ITS) collects heartbeat messages from the devices to monitor their up / down status and quickly alert the administrator to any potential failures.

All of this interoperability between systems is enabled by Genesys' Application Data and Application Communication Models, which bridge the gap between different application languages and communications channels, allowing data to flow seamlessly across devices and systems.

Technological Advancements

Despite all of the complexity, the biggest challenge with this project, according to Sam, was generalising the infrastructure.

"One of the things we are doing with Genesys Smart Office is further developing our IoT modules in such a way that they can be used for customer projects."

"Being able to apply these tried and tested modules to any project that comes in the door reduces development time, cost and risk for the project."

"Developing generic technology is much harder than developing something that is designed for a specific purpose," explained Sam, "you need to plan for almost limitless usage scenarios without compromising on performance, power or size."

"Through this project, we have also significantly developed our Communication and Data Models," added Sam. "This another critical component of developing an end-to-end IoT capability."

The Gensys Smart Office is continually evolving as the team explores new technologies and applications. If you're interested to learn more, contact Genesys Electronics Design to request a demonstration: enquiries@genesysdesign.com.au.