I have just installed a smart smoke detector, and apart from the nightlight which I thought was pretty cool I was struggling to see the benefit of spending all that money on a smoke detector that, lets be honest, is quite irritating when toast gets burnt!
But today my eyes were opened, my mother in law is at home helping with the school break and whilst I was at work an alert from nest came through. Not only did I know that there was a possible issue but three minutes later I knew it was under control, a quick call confirmed that a bit of over eager cooking was to blame!
Ok so this wasn't an example of preventing an incident (thank goodness!) but it showed me how much trust I can place in this device and to what degree. With my children growing there will come a time soon that they will be home alone and I will now have more confidence in the defences I put in place to prevent an incident. Not only an increased confidence but I will also have increased control and be able to take action where I would previously not have known action was required.
But how are we embracing this new technology in our projects, what part can it play in reducing risk such as fire? I have seen so many articles and comments regarding the building regulation and standards reforms in that they do not do enough, but I think there is a huge question around what are WE doing to take us to the next level? Where might the solutions come from and how outside the box are we thinking? For example could this technology provide an intelligent fire strategy as opposed to the "stay put policy"?
It doesn't stop here either, I can see how these tools will assist with illnesses such as dementia. For a person who does not remember who or what, but can call on artificial intelligence to tell them what to do. Also this could all be tied into clinical monitoring systems for immediate assistance and action where required. This is all in addition to employee well being and carbon reductions through better building management systems.
It is clear to me now that the future holds many solutions and exciting developments, but that these will only bear fruit if we are willing to put them to the test. I for one am excited to be part of it and will embrace the projects that come to adapt infrastructure and install these systems.
The ‘smart hospital’ is on the horizon