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The Internet of Things (IoT) is redefining the way people do business. The versatility of new products and applications capable of interfacing with Cloud-based technology allows businesses to create new ways to develop IoT solutions and reduce operational costs.
What is the IoT?
The IoT is the Internet-connected ecosystem of tools, including wearable computing devices, televisions and personal and business products, that contain network connectivity. They are devices that are capable of sending and receiving data remotely.
IoT currently accounts for 1.9 billion device connections and is estimated to increase to nearly 10 billion by 2018. It contains a large combination of devices and sensors that are reshaping business interactions and industries across the world.
What does that mean for business?
Products like Nest and Twine allow you to reduce overhead costs by connecting them to the Internet and controlling your office space remotely.
Nest is an automated thermostat that allows you to control and adjust the temperature of your office. It can even be programmed from your smartphone. The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself, adjusts to outside temperatures and is capable of learning your schedule. The website claims that it can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent.
Twine takes things a step further by integrating with a building’s entire HVAC environment. A wireless sensor block is installed that integrates with Cloud-based services. It takes readings from moisture levels, on-board temperature and motion sensors and sends them to the Cloud. When it notices a problem, it will automatically send a message to your phone, e-mail or even Twitter to notify you of the problem.
You can also purchase additional sensors that will detect open doors, floods and leaks. Twine operates solely on AAA batteries and a Wi-Fi connection. All of this protects you from security risks and damage to your business, negating the need for expensive systems and protocols.
There are also IoT products in existence that do amazing things like allow you to remotely operate an elevator for your office, or maintain your electricity grids and water systems at a more cost-efficient rate. Businesses and cities have already seen drops in water leakage by 40 to 50 percent by attaching IoT sensors to their systems.
Some reports indicate that IoT technology could be used for advertising through connected billboards and telecommuting support systems. Google and Apple have made efforts to capitalize on the new wave of IoT technology. Both companies have plans to streamline the current sensor devices into home and business use.
In theory, by using a device or smartphone to monitor your office you could save on costs by allowing them to maintain the most efficient and appropriate levels of resources in your building. Many businesses may one day be able to use the technology to lower labor and manufacturing costs through the use of smart technologies, as well.
Image by OpenSpime via Flickr