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Building Emotion Connects the Physical, Virtual, and Emotional Worlds

Wifi icon and Man suit holding tablet with abstract smart building background.

By Ken Sinclair

"Emotion" is the noun used to describe the creation and depiction of a mindful interactive relationship that conveys the conversation between the inhabitants and their physical building. It is a virtual identity, a feeling, a learning. an interactive piece, a virtual brick and mortar that hosts the buildings' emotion. "Building" is the verb or noun that modifies it.

Emotion is a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with their environment, which is the combined purpose of the building and its inhabitancy. The building emotion would likely be hosted in the cloud with interaction from the edge devices and needs to be available to every building to create its own emotional personality. Emotion is often intertwined with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation. Yes, this is the new building emotional twin not restrained by physical parameters. It is a growing living, interactive thing. A new virtual medium to purportedly communicate between the dead inanimate building and living humans.

Ok, I have overstated it, but you get the idea of what it is I am trying to create — an improved relationship between the physical, the virtual, and the emotional world.

I just returned from Helsinki where we were discussing the best methods of humanistic inclusion of the buildings' inhabitants to create the ultimate user experience, or UX. You may wish to read my takeaways from Helsinki

For more of my thoughts on what might be included in a building emotion please read our review on the topic

Why would a building not have an emotional side? Why would it not reflect the inhabitants with in? Why would it not be visible? All good questions I struggle with in my review.

Helsinki Real Estate Tech Event was a head shake for sure. Be sure to read all the reviews to understand why a crusty technology zealot like me is exploring his softer side and writing about building emotion.

Here is a mash-up of a few examples from the reviews that start the "Helsinki head shake."

“The concept of ‘hedonistic sustainability,’ creating buildings that are not just green and efficient, but fun to live in and work in.”

“It is interesting that the sense of a complete, holistic integrated world, something that philosophers and visionaries have dreamt of for centuries, could now come closer to reality thanks to the IoT and bits and bytes.”

“We defined ‘deviceless’ mentality as the idea, that users, meaning humans, wouldn’t have to use devices, apps, or interfaces to access smart services. The method of access was suggested as anything from mobile phone to facial recognition. The underlying idea being that the creation of intelligence is hidden away in the engine room, always there and always on, but never visible to the user. This idea seems to arise from a widespread frustration at countless apps and interfaces we need to constantly be opening, learning, mastering, and updating."

"Instead of hooking people into unrewarding, attention-hijacking digital experiences we could use technology to help in the background and be there when needed.”

“Together with our partners we are developing a platform of trust to serve the market economy as well as the authorities. This service platform will function as the market place for innovative solutions and address performance improvements in a wide range of operational areas — like quality, workforce, regulatory and environmental compliance — regardless of industry sectors. Through shared processes our aim is to provide interoperability as well as trust and to build an internationally expanding ecosystem using this platform.”

You need to read all the linked takeaways and reviews to find the source of these gems.

This interview from the CEO of Siemens Building Technologies adds greatly to our theme: How can a building evoke emotions?  

It seems my subject is starting to evoke emotions. I love this comment on Twitter: A Building becoming a friend vs. a creep in the walls; very interesting tie-in with @Ken_Sinclair's thoughts on Building Emotion 

Check out ControlTalk NOW — Smart Buildings Videocast and PodCast, for my account of the European thought process when it comes to our common denominators: buildings, occupants, and trends. It’s based on my visit to Helsinki.

Lots of discussion on platforms of trust and the value of trusted advisors who will be our future.

I plan to take this “Helsinki head shake” to Atlanta AHR Expo January 14-16, 2019, making it part of our education sessions and explore some of the concepts and get feedback from our industry leaders. 

While we were away we missed IBcon and Realcomm. I am very pleased that several folks have written and shared their take on this important industry event, be sure to read about all their takeaways.

Platforms and Trusting in Las Vegas offers observations and lessons learned from Realcomm-IBcon 2018 from Therese Sullivan, BuildingContext Ltd.

“The accelerating pace of change in the real estate business and in building design and operations was the stated theme of this year’s Realcomm-IBcon. But, the subtext was all about trust. Reliability, competence, rapport — all the ingredients that go into ‘Trust’ take time and commitment to build and can be eroded so quickly when technological disruption is unleashed. It is a testament to the Realcomm conference itself as a ‘Platform of Trust’ that we were celebrating its 20th year.

“Realcomm started as an event to gather decision-makers in commercial, corporate, and institutional real estate. It added the Intelligent Building conference as a joint event seven years ago, to attract building operators and showcase technology solutions. Four years ago, the Smart Building Integrator Summit was added to bring in those with the most hands-on experience implementing technology in buildings.”

A Look at The Smart Building Integrator Summit comes from Scott Cochrane, President, CEO, Cochrane Supply & Engineering, and Cochrane Tech Services.

“I was fortunate to recently be part of The Smart Building Integrator Summit, an IBcon 2018 event focused on the issues impacting today’s smart building integrator. This workshop was open to system integrators and consultants with topics including: defining the next generation Master Systems Integrator; interfacing with IT departments; the impact of the IoT; providing integrated, interoperable solutions; the technical skills gap; aligning with business objectives; and more.

“The room was packed with a wide variety of systems integrators, controls manufacturers, design engineers, and owner reps in the audience. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow moderators, Brian Oswald and Leroy Walden, as they are both industry experts with outstanding knowledge to share. The sessions demonstrated not only how far we have come as an industry, but also how far we have to go. As I listened to our panelists and presenters, one thought continued to come up: smart buildings are real and integrators are the key to the enablement of them.”

Lots of changes occurring in the industry please join me on my emotional journey.

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.


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posted on 7/18/2018