The Future Is Closer Than You Think: What You Should Know About Smart Research Environments

The topic of smart buildings and cities is perhaps as old as science fiction. Buckminster Fuller discussed these ideas in the 1930s. Nicholas Negroponte and his cohorts explored architecture machines in the ’60s and ’70s when they founded what is today the MIT Media Lab. There were promises of smart buildings in the ’80s and ’90s with the introduction of computer-driven building automation systems, but in all cases, the reality fell far short of the vision.

Today, however, there are communication, computing, and automation technologies that are cost-effectively turning these promises into realities. The future of smart research labs is closer than we think. One promising strategy for improving ROI in smart research facilities is the effective integration of smart systems and devices through room-based intelligent agents.