Samsung Electronics Co. and Microsoft Corporation this week announced a global collaboration intended to “digitally transform” the real estate and property management industries, by leveraging on Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform and cloud services along with the South Korean firm’s smart devices.
The two tech bigwigs are working on a number of pilot initiatives, including one at the National University of Singapore (NUS) that will look to help optimize building maintenance operations, as well as delivering “better experiences” for both residents and the technicians who have to service these buildings.
This joint foray into the smart home market – one that’s estimated to be worth US$298 million by 2022 – will bring together Microsoft’s digital platforms including its digital twins technology and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service to aggregate and analyze IoT data gathered from interconnected smart sensors located around the building, and from integrated Samsung’s smart home appliances, HVAC systems and smart TVs.
The Azure IoT platform is capable of processing information from potentially millions of data points located around the building, and it can also help to determine the priority of maintenance issues that need addressing, as well as assigning the correct technician with the best-suited skills set to carry out the fixes.
Azure IoT leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to make these determinations, enhancing the productivity of maintenance staff while reducing time on service calls by scheduling work orders in a queue sorted by priority.
Via Samsung’s SmartThings IoT platform, data from a host of Samsung smart appliances can be collected including smart refrigerators, washing machines, vacuums, air purifiers, and ovens, among others – even Samsung mobile devices can be utilized by building workers to view and assess building data on an integrated dashboard in real-time.
“This collaboration with Samsung opens up new opportunities for further innovation in the real estate development and property management industries,” Sam George, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Azure IoT, said in a statement. “Together, we’ll bring the best of Microsoft’s trusted, easy-to-use and secure Azure IoT platform, Azure Digital Twins and Dynamics 365 Field Service technology with Samsung’s expertise in connected devices and appliances to streamline building operations and maintenance.”
Azure Digital Twins can create detailed, digital scaled models of a building’s interior and surroundings, providing an exact digital ‘twin’ of an environment that can “help customers gain insights that drive better products, optimization of operations, cost reduction and breakthrough customer experiences”, according to George.
The pilot at the NUS will also benefit the university, helping to determine the best tools and use cases to craft a connected and sustainable campus, and to improve the university’s own building management capabilities with smart solution integrations.
Aside from the improvements this could bring to building managers and property developers, Samsung and Microsoft have also coordinated their global marketing and sales programs to cohesively deliver integrated solutions to prospective customers, such as building operators and facilities management companies.
“Providing building owners and operators with a robust and powerful set of tools to help them optimize their building costs and equipment, including the management of Samsung’s connected appliances and other devices, is paramount to our long-term alliance,” said Chanwoo Park, corporate VP of the IoT Biz Group at Samsung.
“Together with Microsoft, we are helping to solve real challenges faced by our customers by creating secure integrated insight and digital solutions that keep properties functioning sustainably and efficiently while providing better experiences for residents.”