Property manager Ringley is venturing into commercial proptech by launching a white label flexible office management platform called Busy Living at its new co-working space in Camden.
A pilot of the platform will appear at the firm’s Camden Gateway flexible office location which is due to open when government restrictions around the coronavirus are lifted.
The 10,000 sq ft space features 154 desks along with several offices, meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and formal boardroom. The location is being marketed as a research and development hub for build-to-rent (BTR) operators looking to commercialise social spaces or set up a co-working location in their buildings.
When it opens, space will be one of the first in London to adopt facial recognition technology as a way of allowing its tenants and their guests to gain access to the site.
“I think it’s a very good way to deal with a lot of problems with unmanned sites, rather than giving out a key code that can be passed on,” said Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director of Ringley, of the technology.
Bowring added that hygiene also played a role in selecting facial recognition technology as it is contactless. “It took us several months to track down and test some prototypes,” said Bowring, adding that she believes the technology will become standard in buildings.
Facial recognition technology is tied into the Busy Living platform, which is a plug-and-play cashless payment platform that can be adapted to any brand. The interface customers use will allow them to book and pay for spaces or services.
Ringley said in a release that the platform will “enhance tenant loyalty and drive cashflow by enabling building amenities to be better marketed, with the ability for last-minute promotions.”
Greystar has been experimenting with co-working space as part of a BTR development. Bowring said Ringley believe co-working locations will be integrated more and more into developments by large developers.
“What is the new use for the ground floor?” Bowring asks, pointing to co-working as the answer.
As the coronavirus health crisis passes, she adds, “all work will be changed forever” and employers will increasingly see “there are other ways of working that are better for the planet” by having people working more often from where they live.
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