Singapore Economic Development Board and Johnson Controls set to shake up building tech

Slew of solutions will meet the expectant growth for contactless applications.

Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) will support Johnson Controls — building solutions provider — S$50 million initiative of an innovation lab to pioneer digital technology that blends building, spatial and behavioural data with analytics and machine learning.

Scheduled to open by the end of September 2020, the lab is expected to have about 100 employees within four years.

The investment is part of Johnson Controls’ interest in the “adoption of disruptive solutions” for the built environment industry as well as to accelerate digital transformation, said Alvin Ng vice president digital solutions, Asia Pacific at Johnson Controls.

“Urban living needs a reboot in the wake of a global pandemic. We see a renewed urgency to strengthen the resilience of our community and an opportunity to enhance sustainability,” he said.

The lab will take on a multi-pronged strategy that covers research, collaboration, commercialisation, and implementation.

“The resulting slew of customisable, autonomous, or voice-activated solutions will meet the expectant growth for contactless applications, following societal adoption of safety and social-distancing measures as the post-pandemic norm,” he said.

The four-pronged approach includes:

  • Forming partnerships with key local research organisations to leverage Johnson Controls’ deep domain expertise in building technologies (such as heating ventilation, air-condition, lights, and security) to accelerate innovation in software engineering and product development. Key areas include edge devices, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Working with property developers and building owners to create “cognitive buildings” or thinking buildings that can understand, or even predict, occupants’ preferred ambient settings and recognize space usage patterns. Such innovation will improve energy usage, increase the commercial attractiveness of the property, and enhance its environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. This is done through collaboratively developing solutions that apply advanced algorithms to a mash of data sets collected from Johnson Controls’ open platform of building solutions, consumer wearables, networked devices, location data and Johnson Controls Digital Twin.
  • Building an ecosystem comprising lifestyle, fitness and smart furniture datapoints. The data can be used for designing business and personal spaces. For example, a workplace with flexible furniture can be configured into “pods” for private videoconferencing or extended to become “conversation lounges” for small group collaboration. Building occupants can also benefit from timed artificial lighting that mimics the changing natural lights throughout the day.
  • Engaging with professional bodies to deliver the new applications that impact the sustainability and resilience of local properties, as well as setting the standards for delivery of professional services in this field.








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