Qualcomm is upping the IQ at its smart campus in San Diego to make each of the eight buildings at the site more efficient while providing more smart building functions to employees.

In October and November, Current, a GE company, will be deploying sensors and an intelligent LED infrastructure to drive more energy efficiency and operational savings at the facility. State-of-the-art LED lights are being deployed with embedded Qualcomm Lumicast sensors to gather information through the light, said Maulin Patel, product general manager for Intelligent Infrastructure for Current.

The smart campus serves as a showroom for Qualcomm to show its customers what can be done in an intelligent environment. A smart building can improve employee productivity as well as save money on energy usage. Depending on the features available in any given smart building, it can help employees by using facial recognition to identify them as they walk up, eliminating the need to scan a badge as they enter the building, showing where other employees are in the office so that they can be located when needed, and even automatically logging them onto their computers using biometric identification.

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As part of the new installation, Current’s sensors will detect and analyze each building’s occupancy levels to control lighting and HVAC in real time. Air-quality sensors for temperature, humidity, and CO2 will work with the ventilation systems to reach the optimal temperature and environmental conditions based on the number of employees and visitors in the building.

To support Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions’ gathering of data and to further increase efficiencies on the smart campus, edge intelligence gateways powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors will collect critical data, while normalizing and filtering for various sensors in real time. These edge intelligence gateways will also promote seamless communications between functions such as lighting, water, energy, and HVAC.

Kiva Allgood, vice president of business development for Qualcomm, said that Qualcomm is learning “how to leverage the latest and greatest technology to improve productivity.”

Qualcomm has focused on improving sustainability on its smart campus as part of an overall corporate goal. The smart campus implementation began two years ago with real-time sensors to help the company understand how and when people are using the buildings in regards to gas, water, and electric.

The Qualcomm Lumicast sensors in the lights will even be able to detect if someone is in a meeting room, based on whether the lights come on or not, so that if no one shows up for a scheduled meeting it can immediately be made available for anyone else who wants to use the space, she said.

Once it’s perfected on the San Diego campus, Qualcomm plans to roll it out to additional Qualcomm office buildings, including those in China and India, she said. Qualcomm is headquartered in San Diego, with nearly 40 buildings spread out throughout the area at various sites.

The functions available at the San Diego smart campus are also being slowly rolled out to some of Qualcomm’s customers, such as using smart gas, water, and electric metering at Petco Park, home of the Padres baseball team. They’re also being used to measure water usage at the San Diego International Airport. Gathering this data benefits Qualcomm’s customers because they understand how much each type of event costs them in terms of utility usage, Allgood said.

“Before, the only indication of how much gas, water, and electric they were using is when they get the bill at the end of the month.” By having data analysis available for usage, customers can understand if they’re making money on a monster truck show versus a Billy Joel concert, and how much to charge each client, Allgood said.

“You get real-time information off of the current infrastructure,” she explained.

The top three takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Qualcomm has partnered with Current, a GE company, to deploy new smart building components in an eight-building campus in San Diego.
  2. The deployment includes Qualcomm Lumicast sensors in the LED lights to monitor energy usage and determine building occupancy.
  3. Smart buildings can improve employee productivity as well as improve sustainability and cut costs for energy usage.