Internet of Things or IoT is a technology that deals with bringing control of physical devices over the internet. We are already surrounded by smartphones, smartglasses, smartwatches, and smart homes, but IoT will create an explosion of new devices and applications, one of which is the smart office.
Simple Office – Smart Office:
An internet-quipped office with IoT sensors and electronic devices enables employees to manage their time and resources more efficiently, which reduces operational costs and increases return on investment. Such a smart office has the potential to improve collaboration, office productivity, resource and space management.
Consider some of these examples of what’s possible today:
1. Control your PC with your smartphone:
Think of your smartphone as a portable office that you can use to check email, access documents and track relevant data. Suppose you are stuck in traffic and there is a document you need to send urgently to your manager. You use your smartphone or smartwatch to access your PC virtually and send the document. Similarly, if you left the office in a hurry and forgot to lock your computer, it will send you a reminder and you can lock your system with your phone. If anyone tries to log into your system, you’ll receive an intruder alarm on your smartphone. Also, you can change your computer password using your phone.
2. Connected meetings with smart meeting rooms:
If you need to book a conference room for a meeting you can use your smartphone or smartwatch to check availability, book a room and locate coworkers. When the participants enter a room, the motion sensors detect them and the smart appliance-a central hub that does what-turns on the lights and manages the climate control system. Once all participants are present, the meeting leader uses their smartphone to instruct the smart appliance to begin to transcribe the meeting and begin the presentation. The smart appliance turns on the projector, dims the lights, closes the blinds and rolls down the projector screen to create the optimal environment for the presentation. After the presentation, it automatically restores the room settings. When participants leave the meeting room, motion sensors tell the smart appliance to turn off the lights and devices and the status of the meeting room goes back to ‘available’. Shortly after the meeting, participants receive an email with the meeting transcript.
3. Smart environment and energy management services:
Businesses are always looking to improve efficiency and cost savings, and are reaping the benefits as an increasing number of the tools, technologies and utilities become connected, and companies are reaping the benefits.
Motion detectors activate smart appliances at the beginning of the working day. They turn on the light when employees enter the office and smart appliances monitor temperature, humidity and air quality to manage the climate control system to maintain an optimal indoor office environment. When equipment is turned off-PCs, printers, lights-smart plugs are also turned off to save power. When the office closes, motion sensors gathers information to ensure that all employees have left the space and all equipment is powered down automatically. Hence smart environment system help us to save energy as you have noticed here that lights and AC continue to be functional even when no one is around.
Here are a few more examples of improvements made possible with the help of IoT devices:
4. Smart employee IDs:
Every modern workplace has badges that allow employees to enter parking garages, office building and other secure areas. But usually, the employee has to take some action, such as wave their ID card near a sensor. Now, with the advent of smart IoT sensors imbedded in ID cards, the work environment will already know who you are because your ID card will communicate your presence to the security system. There is no need to wave your badge at the sensor. Additionally, if you leave your ID card somewhere-either at home or in the office-it will send an alert to your smartphone with its location.
5. Smart office chairs:
One of the most frequently used products in the work environment, and the one with the greatest impact on long-term health, is the standard office chair. Most chairs adjust according to height but do nothing about bad posture, leading to back pain and other health issues. Smart office chairs can alert users when they slouch or sit with bad posture, and signal when the user is sitting correctly. They can also measure the length of time that the employee sits, and indicate when they should get up to walk or stretch. Also, they can offer customized settings for individual users. A smartphone app can provide the employee with data on how long they sat at one time, which habits need correcting and how to break bad habits through customized recommended programs.
A popular superhero was quoted as saying, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Likewise, for IoT. The greater the volume of sensitive data that travels from IoT devices over the internet, the greater the risk of data and identity theft, device manipulation, data falsification, IP theft, and even server and network manipulation. This may result in unintended consequences. Hewlett Packard Enterprise found that 70% of the IoT devices are not designed to be secure.
Altran has developed a solution called Converged IoT, which stitches together IoT security on a number of fronts that does the heavy lifting for enterprises to ensure IoT security. Altran builds a custom security profile for IoT devices by combining cloud-connected endpoints, device-level management, and an array of drivers, sensors, and reporting data embedded within the IoT hardware.
With help of Converged IoT Solutions model, Altran has developed a reference board design called the ADAPT Platform that allows customers to choose from a complete spectrum of connectivity mechanisms with options for connecting different sensors to the IoT device.
Imagine working in an office where everything can be controlled with ease; installing various cost-efficient smart devices that can transform any office into a smart office. This new workplace is designed to maximize employee efficiency, remove friction and save energy. Installing smart technology can help businesses create better work environments, which is reflected in their financial performance.