In the latest instalment of our FM industry executive interview series, we spoke to Jim Phelan, Director of Smart Buildings Business Development at Irisys, about his company, industry opportunities, the challenges posed by COVID-19, thermal temperature scanning and autonomous buildings…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
Irisys are people counting experts. We have been making people counting solutions for 24years and have deployed over 500,000 sensors. Our sensors are trusted by big companies around the world such as Morrisons, Kroger and Samsung.
Our latest product is called SafeCount. It is an occupancy monitoring solution that was developed in response to COVID-19 to help businesses measure and control occupancy within their buildings to enable social distancing to take place and to protect the safety of all occupants.
SafeCount can be deployed at a building or room entrance, such as a washroom or a canteen area; and multiple entry and exits points are handled with ease. When occupancy limits for an area are reached, visual alerts are sent to display screens to advise building occupants that it is not safe to enter.
What have been the biggest challenges the FM industry has faced over the past 12 months?
The obvious, COVID-19 was the unforeseen global challenge that has impacted the personal and professional lives of every human.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Innovation prevails during time of crisis, and necessity is the mother of all invention, and so on… This pandemic has forced building operators to take a calculated approach to re-populating their buildings by optimizing existing building systems and introducing new technology to manage building usage.
What is the biggest priority for the FM industry in 2020?
Determining how to safely re-populate buildings and responding to the highly likely remote working strategies many companies will introduce.
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?
Building health and wellness and its impact on its occupants.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
Thermal temperature scanning of building occupants and occupancy controls are already making a significant impact to the re-population of buildings, I see this continuing for a long while.
In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?
Boy, COVID-19 was a real gamechanger huh…
Which person in, or associated with, the FM industry would you most like to meet?
Whoever first successfully develops an autonomous building.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the FM sector?
Technology adoption moves at a much slower pace than the residential market.
You go to the bar at the Facilities Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?
Willett Rye Whiskey “double neat”.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
No two days are the same.
And what’s the most challenging?
No two days are the same.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?