KPN & Unica partnership ‘Building Insight Air’ innovation makes a key contribution to a safer indoor

December 15, 2020

As a result of COVID-19, people are uncertain about the quality of ventilation in buildings such as schools, nursing homes, and offices. That’s why, at Unica, we have accelerated the expansion of our digital open platform ‘Building Insight’.

Targeted ventilation with continuous insight into the air quality

‘Building Insight Air’ provides insight into the air quality of the indoor climate, because an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor collects data about the CO2 level in the space every 5 minutes, instead of incidentally. This way, you know whether the ventilation is within the norm, you can take immediate action if the limit values are exceeded, and we reduce the risk of virus transmission due to poor ventilation.

Because you are acting on the basis of concrete information about the current indoor climate, you do not have to keep the windows and doors open all day in a school, for example. You only need to do this if there is a notification that the limit value has been exceeded.

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Plug & play installation, including a handy app for users

Building Insight Air is very easy to install as a  plug & play IoT solution: you just hang it on the wall, there is no cabling and construction work necessary. There is no need for a WiFi connection or the installation of a special app either. The solution works outside of the customer’s ICT network, without an energy supply.

Information about the indoor climate can be consulted via a mobile phone by scanning the QR code above the sensor. Users get direct insight into the conditions in the room as they are at that moment via a web app. There are 3 categories: good, moderate, and bad. Users also have insight into the history of the indoor climate, so you can see how the air quality has developed in recent hours, for example. You can receive a message if a limit value has been exceeded, so that you can take immediate action.

In addition, the app shows you what action you can take. For example, adjusting the occupancy of a room, in terms of number of people or how long it is in use for. Via the platform, facilities managers can also get a complete overview of all rooms or spaces where there is a sensor.

Accelerated innovation with KPN

The innovation came about within just a few weeks in collaboration with KPN. Unica came to KPN in their search for the right device for their solution. They found the device in KPN’s catalog. These are all tested devices that can be directly linked to the KPN Things platform. KPN also provides the connectivity, in this case LoRa. LoRa ensures good national coverage and has a long battery life due to its Low Power IoT connection. Ultimately, the standard link between the Azure Event Hub and the KPN Things platform ensures that the data is delivered easily to the data platform developed by Unica.

The sensors in the device used by the Building Insight Air module can also be used in the future for other applications of the Building Insight platform. For example, functionalities used to map comfort, safety, presence, and brightness.

“With KPN Things we have achieved a scalable IoT solution in 2 weeks”

Stefan te Veluwe, Unica Innovation Center Manager

Unica had an idea, KPN helped implement it, and together we are now entering the market. Once again, this confirms that partnering with stakeholders from different sectors accelerates innovation!

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