Nura Space exploits IoT for workspace management

Melbourne based property developer and construction company, Schiavello Group, has launched an in-house developed system, Nura Space, to monitor and manage workspaces and provide communications for staff around the workspace.

Schiavello Group plans to deploy Nura Space across its seven offices with more than 400 staff around Australia, and has set up a new company, Nura Space, to market the product to medium and large enterprises in Australia followed by the US, UK and Asia later this year.

Nura Space general manager Anton Schiavello told IoTAustralia the new company would initially target Schiavello Group’s customer base.

“We’ve been working on this product for quite a number of years. We’ve been talking to the industry and we’ve been able to come up with something that we know is touching a lot of the important requirements for businesses.”

He said the Nura Space system would enable businesses to gain a much better understanding of how their workspaces were being used, and to optimise usage.

“They’ll be able to understand what’s happening in the workplace, and the engagement between the physical space an organisation is paying for and its people, and the effectiveness and engagement of their people.”

The Nura Space system comprises desk-mounted sensors, cloud based software, dashboard and mobile app.  The sensors monitor environmental conditions (temperature and sound levels) and detect occupancy with passive infrared sensor and accelerometer. They also include an LCD screen that identifies the desk number and booked user. The sensors communicate to the user’s app via bluetooth low energy and to the cloud software via LoRaWAN and a LoRaWAN base station backhauled over 4G.

Workspace optimisation

Nura Space says its software is able to deliver a suite of reports that provide a real-time window into the workplace experience. “Multiple data sets, combined with employee feedback inform strategies and recommendations to improve comfort, optimise workspace utilisation, encourage behavioural change and drive value from physical spaces.”

Workers can use their app to check on the availability of space and book desks. Management can use the system to monitor locations of staff and communicate with staff at specific locations.

Nura Space says the system will be particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling management to monitor and maintain social distancing, identify close contacts and track any cleaning required.

Employees returning to the office after enforced remote working would also benefit, Schiavello said. “Employees will to be able to have foresight over the space before they use it. And that helps to decrease any anxiety people might have coming back into the office.

“If I am coming into the office one, two, maybe three days a week I want to know, before I get into to the office, if my peers are in the office, if my team in the office, and I also want to make sure there’s a desk available for me, and maybe even in the specific spot that I really like to sit.”

The Nura Space software is hosted in Azure, and Schiavello said the company would be able to host all customer data in Australia, if required.

The first customer outside of Schiavello Group is a large Australian resources company that is looking to install Nura Space in offices across Australia and South East Asia. The system will be centrally managed and all data held in Australia.

Integration with Microsoft Teams

Schiavello said hosting on Azure would facilitate integration of the Nura Space system with Microsoft Teams, which it is scheduled to achieve by March. Nura Space is also looking at other channels to market. Schiavello said the company had held discussions with “leading workplace consultants.”

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