2N has added enhanced functionality to its flagship intercom, the 2N IP Style, in response to emerging trends in the use of residential and office buildings.
The relevant trends, which have been identified by experts including McKinsey, CBRE and PwC, are:
- Residential buildings: the acceleration of e-commerce
McKinsey argues that, in the US, ten years of e-commerce adoption was compressed into three months at the start of the pandemic. This was not, of course, just a US phenomenon and it has led to more and more apartment buildings setting aside package rooms where deliveries can be left when residents are not at home.
2. Office buildings: companies operating less centralised working models
CBRE’s EMEA Occupier Survey 2021, published in August 2021, concluded that: “most companies and nearly 80% of larger ones, are already leaning towards some form of mixed or hybrid working pattern”, with employees splitting their time between the office and home.
Furthermore, one hot topic in the office management world is the potential benefits of the ‘hub and spoke’ model for office portfolios, with a primary HQ (the hub), often in a city centre, combined with satellite offices closer to where employees live (spokes). For example, 21% of UK businesses surveyed as part of Knight Frank’s ‘Re-occupancy and Re-imagined Workplace Survey’ said that they were considering how their employees could work closer to home and a recent US Pulse Survey from PwC suggested that many American companies are also considering this approach.
To respond to these trends, the 2N IP Style, which recently won a prestigious Red Dot Design Award, has added a QR code reader, making it easier to share access data with couriers and other visitors.
In residential buildings, it allows a courier to be given one-off access to the main entrance and the package room – with, at the same time, a message being sent to the tenant letting them know that there is a parcel waiting.
In an office context, the move towards decentralisation and hybrid working is a shift away from the ‘traditional’ office model and will leave many companies unable to justify a member of staff permanently manning the reception area. The QR code reader in the 2N IP Style helps companies manage this. For example, it allows a cleaner who comes once a week to enter the building at an agreed time on that day and only access those areas of the building that they have been asked to clean, or an employee based in the company headquarters to be given access to a satellite office for a single day.
In all of these cases, access can be set up remotely, via 2N Access Commander, with the details sent straight to people’s mobile phones.
Further new enhancements to the 2N IP Style, which will respond to the same trends and which will be available shortly, include:
- A bidirectional video function: this will allow visitors to see the person they are talking to and vice versa.
- A camera adjustment function: this will further increase the angle range of the 2N IP Style’s existing 5MPx camera, which already incorporates Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technologies, thereby ensuring full image quality and identification of the visitor, even in darkness or uneven lighting conditions outside.
Michael Nicholson, Business Development Manager for the UK & Ireland at 2N, said: “These trends – particularly the rise of e-commerce – were visible before COVID-19, but they have been super-charged by the pandemic. Everywhere in the UK, the focus now is on convenience and flexibility, which this upgrade to the 2N IP Style helps us to deliver. The fact that this intercom already sets the benchmark for technological and design excellence and supports WaveKey, the latest and fastest Bluetooth-enabled mobile access technology, is a huge advantage as well.”