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Industry Insights

The “Digital Ceiling” – IoT’s Next Big Thing

Friday, May 6, 2016

Our regular conversations with the dynamic team at Cisco keeps us abreast of all the latest trends relating to the Internet of Things (IoT). Most recently, we’ve been hearing a lot about a term Cisco coined –  the “Digital Ceiling -- and  its impact on IoT. As this term gets used more and more, you might wonder: What exactly is the “Digital Ceiling,” and what do I need to know about it?


Several of the speakers at the upcoming Legrand Healthcare Technology Summit (on April 20 in Nashville, TN) are focusing on the Digital Ceiling in their discussions, which include insights into the latest trends in intelligent buildings and connected lighting. Indeed, one of our speakers – Todd Frederes – works at Cisco and is on the vanguard of thinking about the IoT environment and how it will take shape in a “digital ceiling.”


To Cisco, the digital ceiling represents the next major convergence taking place within the larger disruption spurred by IoT. In short, the IoT revolution is taking over the ceiling of your building!


Of course, technology continues to transform companies and industries in general. Digitization is connecting everything and providing new opportunities – and driving the radical growth of IoT by creating a hyperconnected network of devices and people to provide more, and often better, data and new insights into how a building is operated. Virtually all commercial indoor environments – offices, hospitals, stores, plants – present an opportunity to install a digital ceiling that connects all of our devices, in all types of spaces.


How does this work? According to Cisco, the Digital Ceiling uses Internet Protocol (IP) to connect disparate building networks and services. It links building services over a single, converged IP network. Through the convergence of lighting, climate control, security, and more onto the network, greater insights, experiences and services are enabled. These include the following:


    • Transformative new experiences – a broader array of building systems can now more easily and securely work together. They can adapt to users’ needs in real time to make spaces work better for individuals, groups, functions, and teams. Also, they can significantly improve the productivity, safety, and comfort of the building occupants.

       • New business insights – by integrating sensors in every aspect of commercial buildings, organizations can gain deeper insights into how employees, customers, and guests are using indoor spaces. You can adapt workspaces to improve productivity and efficiency, and make better use of valuable real estate. Also the collection of concrete data can exponentially improve decision making about building operations and planning.    

        • Expectations of lowering construction costs by leveraging network power (PoE) for many of the enhanced building systems and controls – the Digital Ceiling also alleviates many of any facility moves, adds and change (MACs) expenses through the unified network communication platform and makes it easier to automate the building and services.


      The Digital Ceiling has the ability to produce smarter buildings that are seamlessly and securely connected. We’re looking forward to learning more from Todd Frederes on how digitization and IoT can harness the vast potential to drive new experiences, cost savings, and revenues in enterprises.


      To learn more about Cisco’s vision for Digital Ceilings, click here.