Smart building technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are exciting trends in the CRE industry that aren’t slowing down or disappearing. In fact, smart building technology is emerging as a necessity in many CRE buildings today, including in building security.

The global smart building market was worth $8.5 billion in 2016. It is projected to increase to $53 billion by 2023, according to a report by BOMA in partnership with the ASIS Foundation and the Security Industry Association (SIA).

It’s common to hear CRE professionals talk about smart building technology like light sensors and temperature control. This is great. But what I find really interesting is how smart technology is impacting the building security of commercial real estate operations.

Over the past few years, innovative new security tools have emerged in commercial real estate that everyone should be paying attention to.

Robotic Assistance Devices

We already see technology creating greater efficiencies, providing elevated security, and reducing crime at commercial properties.

For example, the security and facility services company AlliedUniversal makes roving security robots for an extra layer of security at commercial properties. In fact, Building Engines saw them in action at the Prudential Center near our office in Boston after their launch.

These robots, called Knightscope Autonomous Data Machines, have 360 degree cameras, thermal imaging, people detection, license plate recognition, parking monitoring and utilization, audio recording, and a two-way intercom.

They use geofencing technology to operate and are self-driving. Security and building personnel can access all the data they collect through web and mobile platforms. These robots are now being used in other high profile buildings too.

Biometric Verification

The technology to identify people through unique biological traits is ubiquitous enough to be in smartphones. These tools include facial recognition, eye pattern recognition, fingerprinting, hand structure, and DNA tools. This identification technology is now spreading in building security.

Some companies already use facial recognition and fingerprinting to enable building access. Vendors, such as building cleaning crews, use it to punch in and out of work each day.

The arrival of COVID has accelerated the need for touchless technology such as facial recognition. This technology will likely replace the need for keycards and turnstiles altogether in commercial buildings, with instant recognition and access. Touchless technology makes it easier for tenants and their guests to reach their destinations, removes the security risks of keycards, and reduces potential disease spread.

Drones for Building Security

A drone can provide additional building security

Buildings are becoming more sophisticated and housing more valuable information. So it’s no surprise drone technology is becoming more popular to counter CRE industry security threats.

Like Robotic Assistance Devices, aerial drones rove the external areas of commercial property. They allow security personnel to monitor a larger area more efficiently than by foot or mounted security cameras.

Despite financial barriers to entry, smart buildings and IoT technology will inevitably become table stakes in the CRE industry. With respect to security, it’s natural to wonder where we will be in another 10 years.

Take Steps to Upgrade Building Security Now

One of the most important places you can improve building security is visitor check in. It’s literally your first line of defense against unwanted intruders, whether people or viruses—both digital and biological. Learn quick tips for securing your visitor access, read Building Engines’ 5 Minute Guide to Secure Visitor Access.