WeWork has made a surprising move in February by buying Euclid a service that tracks smartphones in retail spaces. This comes after purchasing Teem’, a Salt Lake City based office management startup pushing to also become a software-as-a-service provider.
WeWork Testing Sensor Technology.
WeWork is also testing several types of sensors including motion and thermal detectors, as well as Bluetooth Check-Ins. The aim is to analyse what the intent of use vs the actual use of the workspace consists of. Shiva Rajarama (WeWork’s Chief Product Officer) calls it “Google analytics for space”.
Rajarama also says that the platforms and its teams will become integrated into what WeWork is calling “Workplace Insights” a software analytics package that WeWork plans to sell to companies that’s aren’t renting we WeWork but wants to Wework-ify their own offices. Using Teem Technology, Customers can know when a conference room is being booked and with Euclid’s technology, we can also let the customer know how many people showed up to the meeting. these technologies will make it possible to test run spaces with data to back it up.
What about Privacy?
The acquisition of Euclid may lead to many constructive changes, it is receiving heavy criticism from different sectors about people being concerned about their privacy.
When asked if individuals can be identified through the technology that WeWork is buying in Euclid, Rajaraman does not say no, stressing instead that the focus is on clustered information. “We’re committed to respecting the privacy of our members and these employees,”.
There is always a possibility that the software will identify specific individuals rather than the whole bunch. The question is whether this step will prove good for this big coworking firm or will they suffer losses? Only time can deduce the answer to this query.
Rajaraman also added “We’re looking at the aggregate level to understand how space is being used. We’re less interested in the individual. If I throw a large party, I’m interested in knowing why 40 people showed up versus 100; it’s not as interesting to see who individually showed up.”