Connected objects for business
How connected tech can make your work day better
According to our old friend Wikipedia, the Internet of Things (IOT) is defined as “the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.” We like to call these physical objects that are linked to the IOT ‘connected objects’.
The IOT is slowly infiltrating all areas of life – and the way we work is no different.
According to Wired, “The ‘Internet of Things’ won’t just empower things — it will also empower people to better manage aspects of their work lives.”
Let’s take a closer look at how connected objects are shaping the way we work, and making things better for our businesses.
With space at a premium for many businesses, many companies choose hot-desking. This is especially popular with the rise of remote working.
It may save money and space for the business, but struggling to find a seat isn’t a relaxing start to anyone’s day. Finnish company, Futurice, has tackled this problem by using beacons and motion sensors to show which desks are free. Users just have to look at their smartphone. They’ve also employed a similar system to maker it easier to find unoccupied bathrooms.
Whenever you use connected objects to record data, there’s always the question of how you use this information. The brains behind the project are keen to point out that it’s implemented by staff, not the company. Users are in complete control of how their data is used for their benefit.
In recent years, we’ve seen an influx of seemingly everyday objects becoming connected.
One object that may soon become an essential in every modern office is a connected printer. Modern printers are now often including the ability to NFC print. You can now print a document by tapping your smartphone or tablet on the printer.
We’re more excited about the emergence of IOT gadgets like kettles and coffee makers! Products like this iKettle allow you to boil hot water from anywhere in the building – perfect if you’re stuck in a meeting. They can even send a notification to your smartphone when you arrive at work to ask you if you’d like to pop the kettle on – all remotely, of course.
Connected objects provide lots of interesting data about the people that interact with them. This is great for marketing. The more you know about your customers, including their behaviours and buying habits, the better you can target them.
Connected tech could help you learn when and where your customers shop, how much they spend, how they pay, what they buy, and even whether they stop for a snack when they’re shopping. Customers love being treated like an individual. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing simply doesn’t work. By approaching them with content and offers that fit their lifestyle and shopping habits, you’re much more likely to keep your customers happy and coming back.
The way businesses deliver products or services will evolve as IOT and connected objects become more mainstream.
In the not-so-distant future, we expect to see menus where you place your order by tapping with your smartphones. We also expect mobile payment options to open up considerably. At the moment, the only consumer offering is ApplePay, and it’s not particularly widely used. When it becomes easier to use and more widely available, we think it could really help make payment options slicker and quicker for many businesses.
We also anticipate that store loyalty will become mobile and tappable. Customers often have a wallet full of store loyalty cards that they forget about. By making it easier to use, customers are more likely to want to seek the rewards for their loyalty – and keep coming back to your store.
The future’s tappable
As you can see, there are loads of ways we anticipate connected tech improving the way we work and manage our businesses.
This is an exciting time with lots of potential. We can’t wait to see what happens next!