Interact Office By Signify

This Q&A describes the components of the Interact Office connected lighting system, and the applications for facility management.

Signify offers Interact Office, a connected lighting system that harnesses the power of the Internet of Things and a building’s lighting infrastructure, so that facility managers can reduce their energy and operating costs, support employee performance and comfort, and improve space utilization of their spaces. Facility Executive (FE) spoke with Wes Sylvester, SVP of Enterprise, IoT, and Connected Lighting Systems at Signify to learn more about the company’s Interact Office platform.

FE: What are the components of Interact Office, and is there a specific facility profile best suited for this technology? Can data from this platform be integrated into an existing energy management system, or does it work better as a standalone data source?

Sylvester: Interact Office is a connected lighting system for medium -to- large size enterprises, that enables building managers to reduce energy use and costs, optimize operations, and create a more comfortable, productive environment for occupants. The system can be deployed either by using Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, or by using wireless ZigBee technology. Generally speaking, the PoE option is aimed at new build facilities and offices undergoing deep renovation while the wireless option is designed for retrofitting existing offices where extensive renovation may not be practical.

connected lighting
Signify Interact Office dashboard view

The wireless offering is based on four main building blocks:

  • LED luminaires with integrated sensors (operating in a wireless Zigbee mesh network): Combining LEDs and sensor technology gives facility managers the option to collect anonymized data on lighting performance and energy consumption, as well as provide insight into space utilization. Through this backend data, it’s easier for building managers to make better-informed decisions about how people use the space and areas for improvement that can increase productivity.
  • Wireless Gateway Pro (WG Pro): The WG Pro is a wireless communication hub that establishes a secure wireless ZigBee connection. The wireless connections allow for bidirectional control and sensor data exchange between the end points and the Interact Office network.
  • Building Connectivity Bridge (BCB): The BCB provides gateway services between the WG Pro and the cloud, enabling secure access to the online software applications for commissioning and management of the complete lighting system.
  • Interact IoT platform: This platform enables the ingestion, storage, governance and analysis of data while powering the real-time, historical and predictive analytics for generating valuable insights and reports. This platform also manages user and device security, authentication and authorization.

FE: Energy Management & Lighting Control: What capabilities does Interact Office provide facility management? For instance, can the office be divided into “zones” for quick lighting adjustments?

Interact Office enables building managers to dramatically reduce energy costs, improve the utilization and comfort of their office space, and add smart building capabilities. For instance, Interact Office can be integrated with other building management systems, and use the combined data collected to produce advanced reporting, generate new insights, and ultimately, improve building operations.

Facility managers can also create flexible lighting zones with Interact Office, as well as alter performance parameters like lighting trim levels, sensor timeouts and schedules in real-time and via cloud-based software applications. For facility managers overseeing multiple sites, cloud connectivity makes it easier for them to compare the performance of multiple buildings in real-time. Lastly, as the technology landscape evolves, facility managers can stay easily informed and access the latest software apps from the Interact IoT platform.

It’s also important to note that the dashboard performs remote diagnostic testing, which alerts facility managers to faults and outages for immediate responses to system issues. The bottom line is that you can perform predictive maintenance based on real-time performance data, and automatically deploy firmware and software updates to more efficiently manage any given space in a building.

FE: Occupancy Tracking: What types of data does the system provide facility management?

Sylvester: The system offers a cloud-based software application dashboard that provides analytics on space usage metrics, such as utilization rate, along with heat maps to visualize which spaces are more heavily utilized compared to others. These insights on space occupancy help facility managers drive operational efficiencies and reduce costs such as cleaning and maintenance or unnecessary heating and cooling of unoccupied areas. Facility managers can also compare data collected over time, revealing insights into how trends might change for example, seasonally or by time of day.

FE: Employee/Occupant Use: How are employee occupants able to utilize Interact Office? Indoor Navigation and Bio-adaptive Lighting are applications available for these stakeholders. How does facility management (as the administrator) bring these occupants into the system?

Sylvester: Interact Office can deliver new and exciting services to occupants directly through software applications. For example, employees can book meeting rooms and workstations, navigate through the office space (wayfinding), and personalize lighting and comfort controls that support individual preference and further improve productivity.