You might have heard of Internet of Things (IoT), a technological movement with the potential to shift how our entire society works. While industry and technology developers are clear on its benefits, educating other businesses on how they could make use of IoT is proving challenging. Here, Kristian Torode, Director and Co-Founder of business IoT solutions provider Crystaline, looks at how IoT could improve your business operations.
IoT is the network of physical objects, or ‘things’, which are fitted with sensors and connected over the internet. This allows them to gather and exchange real-time data, which can be analysed to improve processes. The technology has been particularly useful in large corporations and industrial settings, helping manufacturers to gain valuable data insight, but that’s not to say that it can’t benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs) too.
IoT can be used to monitor your business’ assets, whether they are vehicles, machinery or office equipment. For example, each asset can be fitted with an autonomous tracking device, which is able to gather data about factors such as motion, battery life and location status. This data can then be accessed through a tracking platform via the IoT. From this platform, business owners can analyse the data and manage their assets.
Obtaining more information about your assets is useful for several reasons. For instance, it enables location monitoring and geofencing limits, to notify you the moment that a theft occurs, giving you greater visibility and control.
Additionally, having a tracking platform allows you to review the asset’s performance and usage, which facilitates predictive maintenance. Tackling performance issues through maintenance or replacement before they become a problem keeps operations running smoothly and reduces the chances of any unexpected equipment downtime.
IoT can also play a role in keeping employees safe, which is an ever-growing concern for businesses. For those that are working from a facility, temperature checks are essential for detecting abnormal body temperatures and preventing COVID-19 transmission.
Vodafone’s Business Heat Detection Solution, available through Crystaline, can measure a person’s temperature and stream the footage in real-time, so it can be viewed from anywhere via IoT. Settings can be configurated to trigger an alert if a person enters with a body temperature that exceed the acceptable range.
With shops and offices beginning to reopen across the UK, stringent, accurate temperature checks, realised through IoT-supported technology like this will help to keep workplaces COVID-secure.
Making your office or facility smarter and securer is also possible using IoT. You might have come across some smart devices at home, such as thermostats that trigger the heating if the temperature drops too low. These devices are integrated with a smart chip and connected via IoT. Helping to make homes more efficient, these improve the workplace’s energy efficiency and cut down costs.
Another essential factor business owners must consider is security. Many businesses use CCTV, which can be upgraded to offer enhanced security by using IoT. Fitting existing cameras with an IoT device enables businesses to stream the images to a server that is accessible via a smartphone in real time.
Using IoT security systems also provides business owners with the option to send an alert if they detect specific movements. If something out of the ordinary is detected, the system can send a warning notification to the smartphone, giving business owners extra peace of mind that their premises is secure.