The Internet of Things: Living in a Smart World
Even if you’ve never heard of the internet of things (IoT), you probably interact with it in some way on a daily basis. Read on to learn what it is and how it’s changing the way we live our lives.
The Internet of Things Explained
Although some argue that the internet of things includes anything that is connected to the internet, others insist on a more exclusive definition: that the “things” must be devices that are connected to — and speak to — one another. Essentially, the IoT is turning everyday “dumb” devices into internet-connected “smart” devices, which often require no human-to-computer interaction to work. Imagine the smartwatches popular today. These devices can record your daily activity, calorie consumption, heart rate, and so on and then automatically sync with third-party apps, allowing you and your doctor to track your progress.
However you define the IoT, a concept that was once affecting only certain interactions is now revolutionizing the way that we live. Smart technology can improve your entire day, from morning to night.
Living in a Smart World
Smart homes, smart cars, and smart buildings allow people to stay connected 24/7.
Waking Up in a Smart Home
It’s 7 a.m. As your alarm starts to sound, several things happen: Because you have lighting control set up, your blinds open just as your alarm clock goes off, giving you the extra push you need to get out of bed. Your climate control is also triggered, causing warm air to fill your too-cold house. And because your alarm clock is connected to your coffee maker, you can smell the fresh coffee before you even make it out of your bedroom. Waking up isn’t so hard, after all.
As you move throughout the house while getting ready for work, the motion-sensing lights in each room you pass through automatically turn on, saving you energy and money.
You don’t worry about turning off the heating or closing the blinds as you head out — that has all been pre-scheduled.
Commuting — and Computing — in a Smart Car
You’re running late, so you unlock and start your car as your leave the house. As you fasten your seatbelt, you realize that you forgot to lock the front door, which you fix by tapping a button on your phone.
Before you hit the road, you use an app to find the cheapest gas nearby. The app syncs with your car via bluetooth and then directs you to the optimal gas station. As you fill your tank there, your car’s intelligent navigation is checking the traffic and finding the fastest route to work.
Finally arriving at your building, you’re about to park when someone backs out in front of you. Luckily, your car’s automatic emergency braking is on it, applying the brakes just in time to avoid a crash.
Working Smart in a Smart Building
To enter your building, you pull out your ID card, which is part of your company’s smart security system. You also use this card to check your mailbox, access your locker, and buy breakfast in the building’s cafe cash-free.
Sitting down in your office, you appreciate the energy-saving light sensors and climate control, which is set to begin heating the room at the start of your workday, just as you do at home. However, the feature that most improves your workday is all the work that happens behind the scenes, such as the cloud-based system you use to monitor your building’s electrical infrastructure.
Called SmartCSM, this system allows facility managers to instantly access all of their electrical information — including assets, documents, photos, as-builds, and line diagrams — from mobile devices, thus reducing costs and redundancy and improving accountability. Responsible for all the services and processes that support the building and its occupants, facility managers must be able to identify and resolve issues efficiently and effectively.
When lights start flickering in a certain room, SmartCSM enables the facility manager to check which circuit breaker is responsible without digging through files and notify an electrician immediately. Facility managers can use this system to monitor their entire facility, and get real-time reports on work that is being done. SmartCSM also makes record keeping easier, since all relevant information is in one place and no paper files are necessary. As a facility manager, you value the convenience that these features bring to your daily tasks.
(Smart) Homeward Bound
You stop at the store on your way home, only to realize that you forgot to check what groceries you already have. No worries — your smartphone is connected to your smart fridge, so you can get photos of your fridge’s contents from anywhere.
As you come within 0.25 miles of your house, the heating and lights automatically turn on — no more walking into a dark and cold home. You unlock the front door from your phone as you get out of your car and head on inside.
It has been a long day, so as you plop down on the couch, you’re glad that you have integrated control, allowing you to control your TV, sound system, blinds, lighting, and heating from one remote. You sit back, relax, and enjoy your smart home theater and your evening.
If you’d like to make the everyday convenience of the IoT a reality in your life, the team at Luminaire is here to help. We’re equipped to tackle home automation, residential electrical services, commercial electrical services, and commercial AV solutions, and are happy to answer any questions you may have.