At home, in the office, and in other commercial buildings, connected devices are changing the way we interact with and manage our buildings, giving them an active role in domestic, commercial, and productive processes. Smart homes let their inhabitants monitor and manage their consumption (and production) of power and other resources, their home security, and their entertainment systems. Already, they are being deployed to increase the operational efficiency in commercial buildings, saving power, optimizing the allocation of space, simplifying maintenance, and increasing safety and well‑being. And in retail settings, they are enabling new business models through improved inventory management, personalized proximity marketing, and fine‑grained customer insights.
- Surveillance and security systems: Connected home security systems let home owners rest easy by allowing them to check in on their homes using their smart phones.
- Alarm and access control: Remotely control the locks to let in caregivers, friends, deliveries, and rescue services.
- Energy management: Monitor and manage the production, storage, and consumption of power, tying together home appliances, solar panels, electric vehicles, and power utilities.
- Intuitive control: Using voice activated personal assistants, smartphone apps, and tablets let users intuitively interact with connected devices, such as lights, window blinds, air conditioning units, and entertainment systems throughout the home.
- Assisted living solutions: Monitoring and automation of the home by the inhabitants, caregivers, and medical personnel, as well as audio and video communication solutions extend the autonomy of elderly residents.
- Resource sharing: In the spirit of the sharing economy, connected devices and app‑based platforms combine to extend the utility of parking lots, security cameras, rooftop solar power and other resources to the neighborhood and beyond.
Commercial buildings and real estate
- Surveillance and security systems: IoT‑based surveillance cameras and security systems provide relevant real‑time information are easy to deploy, operate, and maintain.
- Indoor lighting: In addition to saving energy by ensuring that lights are only on when needed, smart lighting can provide a versatile communication hub for smart building devices, enabling countless other use cases, including the following.
- Heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) management: Save energy and improve wellbeing by optimizing the indoor environment to meet the needs of your building’s occupants in real time.
- Occupancy monitoring: By optimizing the utilization of office space, companies can improve space allocation and employee wellbeing. When superfluous floor space is diagnosed, it can be eliminated, with a disproportionate impact on operational expenses.
- Alarm and access control: Access management solutions can securely identify and authenticate employees, giving only those authorized to restricted areas and resources.
- Predictive maintenance: Continuous real‑time monitoring of building infrastructure and appliances lets facility managers address issues before they break down.
- Sensor networks: Gather information on the indoor environment, occupancy, and other relevant parameters from across buildings using easy‑to‑deploy wireless sensor networks.
- Indoor location tracking: Wireless technologies offer indoor location tracking solutions based, for example on Bluetooth or Wi‑Fi that let hospitals monitor medical equipment and patient flow, and companies keep track of assets, employees, and customers.
- Proximity marketing: Using Bluetooth beacons, retailers can track customers that have a dedicated application installed on their smartphones, pushing targeted promotions and other relevant notifications to them. They can further leverage insights gained from tracking them to improve their offering and enhance their customer relationships.
- Added‑value service: By enhancing their buildings with connected devices, real estate owners can augment their offering with high added‑value services, at the same time increasing the value of their buildings.
- Smart meters: Accurately quantifying and even controlling the consumption of resources using smart meters lets utility providers increase their efficiency, detect leaks, and curtail fraud. Wireless cellular‑based communication technology makes the devices easy to configure and deploy.
- Energy management: As the proportion of decentralized and intermittent renewable energy that is fed into the power grid increases, grid operators are rolling out smart meters to implement demand response schemes that let them balance the supply and demand of power on smart grids by giving them some control over when customers consume electricity.