CRE Buzz at the Sunrise Startup Festival

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Sunrise Startup Festival

Last week, several XY Sense team members went to the Blackbird VC Sunrise Startup Festival in Sydney. As we attended sessions and networked, our team was struck by how much interest there was in CRE issues among attendees. This post provides a summary of the key themes we heard. 

Real estate has always been an important area for companies. After all, it is usually the first or second largest expense a company has.  But its significance has grown even greater in light of changes to the way information workers do their jobs. New working practices often incorporate a mixture of in-person and from-home time and elevate the need for collaboration spaces when workers are in the office. 

The COVID-19 Pandemic played a significant role here. But COVID simply accelerated long-term trends that were changing how employees perform their functions. As we spoke with people at the event – CRE professionals, other solution providers, and industry researchers – it was clear that real estate has become an even more challenging role to perform well. Further, success requires the richest possible data-driven insights and ideas.

Sensors and Occupancy Analytics Ascendant

At Sunrise Startup Festival, we heard from many companies actively considering sensors and occupancy analytics. The breadth and depth of category interest were vivid expressions of a global trend.  Industry research corroborates this view. A recent JLL Future of Work Survey revealed that 21% of surveyed leaders had occupancy and/or environmental sensors installed today, and 33% MORE said they expected to in a year. 

Need for Most Accurate Data Possible

Back-to-the-office initiatives and hybrid work arrangements elevate the need for accurate occupancy data to rationalize and optimize commercial real estate. Many people spoke to us about how the “rules” for real estate planning have fundamentally changed. Businesses must find ways to better manage real estate costs and create inviting and productive environments for employees and teams.

For XY Sense, accuracy has been a hallmark since our founding. Our technology leverages the most accurate technology available to precisely count and pinpoint the location of each worker within one foot (~30 cm.)  Further, our sensors provide updated insights every two seconds – some competing solutions scan as rarely as every 10-15 minutes. With more accurate positioning and frequent scanning, XY Sense delivers the pinpoint accuracy real estate decision-makers need to understand their space needs and gain insights into how workers utilize spaces. 

Affordability Matters

Every company cares about ensuring it gets the best value from its tech investments. Recent economic headwinds are further elevating the importance of value. People we spoke with at Sunrise Startup Festival underscored the importance of good value. To help ensure we deliver outstanding return on investment, we developed a system that costs less to install, manage, and update. 

Security and Privacy

Every company wants to be sure that the systems they buy are secure and protect privacy. XY Sense systems were developed with Privacy and Security by Design and pioneer technology called edge processing, ensuring only x-y coordinates of individuals in the observed space are recorded or transmitted. Before launching our products, we ensured that the most accurate sensor technology would also deliver unsurpassed security. 

Sustainability Imperative

An earlier blog post by XY Sense CEO Alex Birch highlighted a Sunrise panel entitled Uncommon Impact, in which CRE sustainability was the primary conversation topic. It’s clear from this discussion and our many meetings with clients, prospects, and partners over the past year that sustainability is a critical consideration for most businesses. For XY Sense, sustainability is both a benefit to our core service and a principle we kept front and center when we developed our hardware and software solutions. Occupancy analytics helps companies define their real estate needs and make data-driven decisions on many dimensions that impact sustainability. Further, we developed our area sensors and entry sensors to minimize e-waste: 

XY Sense’s wide-area sensors cover a greater office footprint than competitor sensors – 1,000 sq ft, or the area for about 20 desks. That’s more than twice the area for competitor sensors. With XY Sense, less hardware is needed per installation.

Our proprietary XY Senselink installation methodology dramatically reduces wiring and equipment costs for every installation – including up to 90% less cabling. 

Our battery-free sensors mean reduced toxic e-waste. For a 20,000-headcount organization, a battery-powered system could mean as much as 1-2,000 pounds of disposable battery waste every two years.

From Talk to Action

If workplace optimization is on your mind, as it was for many people we spoke with at Sunrise Startup Festival, why not speak to us? We have a team of experts that can work with you to discuss your goals and workspaces and formulate a measurement and insights solution that provides the answers you need. Contact us for more information or request a demo now. 

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