A comparison of occupancy management networks.

In the world of occupancy management, there are several approaches to how businesses power their sensors and aggregate data. The more traditional approaches are standard wired systems and a variety of wireless networks.

Standard Wired Systems

The standard wired systems implemented by many occupancy management solutions are costly and contain many points of failure. First, each level of the network requires its own power supply, leading to unnecessary hardware costs. The multi-level system also creates points of failure that could lead to entire floors – or worse, multiple floors – experiencing outages, resulting in costly troubleshooting efforts and loss of valuable data.GSM_InfoG_POE-fail

If the power supply at the sensor level fails, all of the rooms connected to this power supply (usually 8) will go dark from the system. The same problem occurs if the sensor switch malfunctions, leaving you to figure out which piece actually failed – the sensor power supply, the switch, the switch power supply, or any combination of the three (not to mention checking the cables).

There is also the potential for the controller to malfunction which, depending on your setup, could lead to multiple floors going dark. In the event of multi-floor failure, you would have to check all levels of the system to determine the source, costing your organization valuable time and money.

Wireless Systems

The standard wireless systems on the market carry over the same reliability issues as the standard wired systems, but they add further issues due to their inherent nature. The wireless sensors rely on a Gateway that is connected to the controller. Each individual gateway can operate up to 5 sensors, but only have max ranges of 20 feet. This means that while the technology may sound promising, it is unlikely that you’ll ever be able to dedicate 5 sensors to one gateway.

GSM_InfoG_WirelessIt also must be noted that the metal structures in the ceiling where these gateways are placed cause interference, greatly reducing the actual range from the estimated 20 feet. This means that the inefficiencies of this solution naturally drives up hardware costs due to lack of range requiring more gateways and sensors to be installed. Also, since the sensors are wireless, they run on batteries that could be used up at any given point and drop off the system. Keeping up with battery necessities would bring excessive costs that can be easily avoided.

Some solutions utilize Bluetooth connections for their wireless systems, but this is generally an ill-advised practice. Bluetooth is generally frustrating on the user end due to limited ranges, connection woes (ever try connecting your phone to a Bluetooth speaker? It’s a 50/50 shot most of the time), and draining phone batteries at a heightened rate by needing to keep it on. The greater issue is that with the current version, Bluetooth can’t be encrypted, and there’s no guarantee it ever will be. This places the security of sensitive information in a position of unnecessarily high risk by enabling anyone with even low-level hacking abilities and a smartphone to gain access to the entire system.

Finally, any wireless system has to meet specific compliances for wireless protocol set in place by a country’s government. In order for these wireless solutions to enable global availability, they must develop additional hardware that meets these requirements, resulting in increased development costs that will drive up prices on the purchaser’s end.

The PoE Solution

GSM_InfoG_POEGreenSpace utilizes a pure PoE system that greatly reduces the number of failure points while providing the most comprehensive service in the industry. Our system utilizes the standard CAT5 ethernet cable’s ability to send power directly to our devices while sending data to the server at the same time. This removes excess power supplies, controllers, switches, and cabling, saving your organization thousands on hardware costs, reducing points of failure to an absolute minimum, and providing a much simpler means of troubleshooting. Also with the lack of wireless components, there’s no need to worry about system compliance if you decide to take your organization global. It’s a simple matter of connecting the sensors to the switch, connecting to the cloud, and that’s it – your organization is now fully connected.

For more information on how you can simplify your scheduling automation and occupancy management processes – and increase productivity by up to 11% – visit www.greenspacemeetings.com or contact us directly info@greenspacemeetings.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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