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NBBJ’s Goldilocks sensor technology can help employees find a workspace that is just right

The technology measures light levels, humidity and temperature, motion, and sound.

August 26, 2016 |

Photo courtesy NBBJ

Besides being one of the more famous cases of breaking and entering, what is the one thing Goldilocks is known for? No, not her love of porridge or under-the-covers naps. It is her persnickety nature that shines through most and, as much as we may not want to admit it, we all have a little bit of that Goldilocks mentality in us.

Especially when it comes to shared spaces like offices. For some it’s too hot, for others it’s too cold. It’s too bright, too dark, too loud, or too quiet; in a given office, how many people are actually comfortable with their surrounding environment? In a supposed place of productivity, such as an office, it isn’t just an inconvenience to be uncomfortable; it can quickly become a hindrance to getting work done.

But what’s the solution? We aren’t all as fortunate as our friend Goldilocks and have a few different options to pick from in order to find the one that best suits us. Or are we? Many offices have begun to implement an open office floor plan, meaning there are no assigned seats or workspaces. You can change where you sit and work on a day-to-day or hour by hour basis, meaning if it is too noisy or cold in one area, its possible to just pick up and move to another quieter or warmer area.

But therein lies the next issue, how do you find that quieter, warmer spot? That’s where Goldilocks comes in. No, not the Goldilocks, but the proprietary sensor technology developed by NBBJ to help employees find the perfect spot in the office, the one that is just right.

Inside its 140 Broadway offices in New York City, NBBJ installed over 50 sensors to collect data and track light levels, humidity and motion, and sound. According to NBBJ, they are the only company to incorporate sound into a sensor of this type. And considering the fact that noise is the number one complaint in the workplace, this addition of sound sensors seems like one of those why-hasn’t-anyone-done-this-before type additions.

So, where does all of this information the sensors are collecting go? Right to the accompanying app (compatible with Apple or Android smartphones) in real-time. If you get to the office and decide you require a workspace that is bright and warm, simply fire up the app, set the parameters to warm and bright, and you will be shown the best spots in the office that match exactly what you are looking for.

Not only are these sensors a solution for employees to use on a daily basis, but the information gathered, especially the information about sound, can also be used to better design spaces in the future.


Photo courtesy of NBBJ


Photo courtesy of NBBJ


Photo courtesy of NBBJ

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