Imagine waking up to a perfectly brewed cup of coffee waiting by your bedside. As you take your first sip, you are greeted by the day’s news, and when you step into the shower your favourite playlist blares from the speakers. You never have to worry about losing time in traffic, because you know just the route to get you to work on time. This isn’t an idyllic dream sequence, but the everyday lived reality of those of us plugged into the rapidly expanding universe of the Internet of Things (IoT).
A trending term for the past two decades, IoT is quite simply the latest in a long evolution of machines poised to make human life easy. Many of you reading this article are already a part of it, even if you didn’t quite remember signing up for it. Remember that vending machine which always seems to have your favourite snack in stock? Or that warm croissant that you picked up on your way to work? What about the credit card you tapped to pay for it? Or even your step tracker or smart scale that seem to be whispering to your smart phone behind your back? From industrial scale crop sensors to the RFID reader on the credit card in your wallet, you are all already partaking in a world run by smart devices that function in tandem to make your everyday tasks effortless. But what about the office?
People have been predicting an IoT powered future in the workplace for over a decade, but the real-world application of these dreams are yet to take place. While sensors and other wireless technologies have been integrated in some sites, the truly transformative potential of smart technologies are yet to be realized. With the ongoing pandemic disrupting offices, and flexible solutions emerging for the short run, smart spaces are the call of the hour. It is pertinent that we freeze the opportunity that this moment presents, and restructure workspaces in truly radical ways.
Imagine a tech-solution which could create:
A work environment driven by zero contact principles, where doors open on their own, critical supplies are reordered automatically, and sanitization protocols are automated. Where employees can place cafeteria orders online, pay for it, and be alerted when their order is ready.
Where people can book work stations and special rooms from home, receive a full log of the health data of every occupant of the chosen seat, and get real-time updates of every person in the building while they are in office.
A workspace where users can roam the entire office, find specific people, locate departments, collaborate with colleagues, and even survey the crowd in the cafeteria– all without leaving their desk.
Where users can be intuitively alerted when the best time to come to work is, individual health data can be logged seamlessly, and a record of people entering and exiting the premises is generated automatically.
A scenario where each employee has unrestrained access to each initiative being undertaken by their company, including sanitization schedules, logs of critical supplies, and even the latest in business development.
Now just imagine, that all of this helps you cut cost. And that all of this is already available to you.