Student Housing Business

MAY-JUN 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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Page 28 of 88

QUESTION OF THE MONTH May/June 2018 28 What evidence do you see that IoT and the "smart apartment" are becoming secure enough, and scaled accordingly, for student housing? Because students are early-adopters of technology, are they a good testing ground for smart home technologies? Students are an ideal group to test smart home tech- nologies due to their willingness to learn new technolo- gies that offer an instantaneous solution or enhance a convenience in their lives. The sounds of "Alexa, put in a work order to fix my garbage disposal" or "Alexa, remind me to tell my Mom to pay my rent" can be heard through the halls of our communities. With play- ers like Amazon, Google, and Apple all recognizing the opportunity in the student housing space, digital security is in their capable hands and app developers are consciously looking out for cyber security in their builds. We're excited about this future, as long as we don't have to say "Alexa, tell Siri to Google that for me." Ryan Hand, Peak Campus Student housing typically has the best of the best man- aged wired and wireless internet of that offered in the multifamily space. Many service providers and hard- ware vendors have spent the last five years perfecting their offerings, paving the way for secure networks that can handle IoT. What matters is who controls and manages the IoT and what they allow on these net- works. Many "resident class" IoT devices do not inher- ently support robust security. This leaves that layer of protection to the service providers, many of which now have that "secret sauce." Student populations are a great test bed for IoT but do not expect traditional feedback. Look on social media to hear what students think about IoT. Limit owner- supplied IoT to thermostats and door locks in the units and fitness and AV in the clubhouses. Make tenant voice-operated devices like Alexa a move-in amenity, as these devices will change frequently. Students typi- cally expect today's tech that is available on Amazon or Best Buy. Richard Holtz, Infinisys The upfront capital and monthly recurring support costs to install and maintain the multitude of available devices without a clear path to a tangible ROI model, coupled with big concerns over network security (there have been several well-publicized hacks that have originated through IOT devices), has virtually all of the owners we work with taking a bit of a "wait and see" approach to the implementation of IOT smart home devices. Once these issues get resolved we will begin to see greater adoption of these devices into the student housing sector. Glenn Meyer, Pavlov Media Security and scalability are manageable enough today by a quality network operator. IoT devices are, how- ever, only as secure as the device itself allows and the configuration that the end-user applies. At Elauwit, we register each device and detect abusive network- ing activity immediately in order to apply counter- measures that mitigate damages. The smart owner providing a smart apartment today knows that it is a mistake to force residents into one smart home technology over another. Owners shouldn't dictate consumer-level IoT smart home decisions, and don't need to restrict residents to one app or system. Wireless mesh advances are already leaving that limitation behind as "tired" technology. But facility-wide IoT management investments such as cameras, sensors, controls and digital displays, owned by the commu- nity, are critical to improve resident living experiences, reduce operating costs, and create new revenue opportunities. This is where community owners should focus their investment and mindshare. Robert Grosz, Percept (an Elauwit company) Certain IoT manufacturers have begun working direct- ly with internet service providers and network man- agement companies to better tune their products to prevent security vulnerabilities. IoT security directly correlates to the proficiency of the manufacturer but also to the operator in charge of managing the technol- ogy. For IoT to be secure in student housing, proper network installation, security update management and proactive monitoring must occur to protect the users and the data that is collected. Students are a great test demographic for smart home devices because they are generally the first group to experiment with new con- sumer technology. Brian Reid, The Preiss Company Most smart apartment devices are a single gateway that can be added to a secured network. Security depends more on the implementation (the network) than the technology itself. Following industry standard best practices increases the probability of stable smart apartments. Students natively understand how to use smart apart- ment devices and the value proposition that they offer. Good integrators will only deploy vetted solutions that meet enterprise and ongoing industry standard support expectations. Student housing is a great test bed for smart technology to be implemented as a building-wide solution. When securely and successfully implemented by a professional integrator, it offers hundreds of adept users who are willing to provide feedback. Jenean Kaiser, Synergy Fiber With IoT systems and networked appliances, it is important to balance ease of use/functionality and security. This applies to even non-networked systems. Residents report security as a top factor in choosing housing, yet there aren't bars on all student community windows. Why? Because aesthetics and functionality play important roles when making design decisions for both owners and residents. IoT devices (locks, thermostats, gates, etc.) will be demanded by students, the same way Wi-Fi is demand- ed. The key to delivering the best solution is working closely with a partner who understands your needs, system/product capabilities and proper deployment methods. John Baloga, Single Digits While student housing is a relatively new segment, it naturally followed suit of what was coming out of the traditional multifamily sector as far as technology, but that trend has quickly changed. We have seen the overall market demand for smart technology exponen- tially grow, and the student housing sector has been heavily schooled in this area with our demographic at the forefront of consumption of new technology. Students want to live simpler yet more connected lives, with electronic door locks and digitally accessed pack- age rooms, and with virtual doorman features and functions. Students are a great testing ground for this as it ties directly into demand for the "hassle-free" living that Pinnacle Campus Living provides. As we continue our technology trajectory, it's safe to say students will be at the forefront and leading edge of what we will then see exported to other aspects of connected, smart-home living. Andrew Stark, Pinnacle Campus Living

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