IoT is enabling endless possibilities in the Smart Building and Home Automation space

  Apr 26, 2017 4:48:57 AM

Along with the digital transformation in the automotive and industrial segments, Internet of Things (IoT) has been creating a lot of buzz around smart buildings as well.  From ‘smart home’ to ‘connected enterprise’, IoT has been consistently making our surroundings increasingly intuitive through technology. Disruptive pressure to attain improved operational and energy efficiency is forcing construction managers to look up to smart building technologies for improved occupant experiences. Upcoming trends in the connected building solutions, whether it is about communication interfaces, video surveillance, environmental controls, or energy conservation, can deliver significant cost savings and efficiency gains. Recent disruptions in the Indian telecommunication service industry, such as 4G and competitive data packages by ISPs, will make these trends to evolve at a faster and affordable pace.

The smart home revolution happened quicker than anticipated. Many of us might have just realized that the products and expertise required to achieve these futuristic results already exist. The Amazon dash button, as a part of smart home kitchen, allows you to re-order things through the Amazon account, with just a tap! Tech giants like Apple and Google have already introduced their home automation software frameworks such as HomeKit, Brillo, etc. which are under constant evolution with the physical and digital merger. Going forward, products and solutions such as tunable white lighting, wireless control, workplace optimization tools, management solutions, and enhanced AV controls will play a pivotal role in creating more efficient meeting rooms and office spaces.

In the near future, you might just see an Air Purifier that can adjust the air flow and mode of operation dynamically based on the person’s location and identity. Digital locks/doors which can be operated remotely from smart phones will accelerate acceptance of services such as Airbnb.  You will be able to monitor and send your home’s digital key to your guest through a smart phone while you are away.

Similar to the ‘night shift’ feature in iPhones, the tunable white lighting feature will let users make their screens warmer/yellow or colder/blue depending on their preferences. While yellow lighting will help release melatonin in the body, cooler lighting will block its release. It is known that higher levels of melatonin help people sleep better at night. Thus, warmer lights will help patients relax in waiting rooms while cooler lights can help office employees stay sharp and alert at work.

Homeowners can leverage the benefits of IoT, leading to energy savings and eventually cost effectiveness. Smart home appliances are engineered to work with the least amount of energy. Turning off the AC from your smartphone, while you are at work, is possible today. Smart security systems provide improved accessibility and security through automated home apps or voice controlled frameworks. Even mundane objects such as sprinklers and faucets can be made ‘smart’ to help you save some extra bucks on that water bill. Smart water bottles, that keep track of hydration/water consumption of each family member, are becoming a fad now.

Reports suggest, ‘global investment in building energy management systems is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2016 to $10.8 billion in 2024.’[1] Clearly, with such huge investments being made on smart building technology, the focus has to be on something great and beneficial to both, the mankind and the environment. The agenda is to manage the global end-user energy demand by building an ecosystem that supports energy-efficiency cogeneration so as not to harm the planet.

Source [1]: http://www.acssmartbuildings.com/public-blog/smart-buildings/navigant-research-report-future-trends-in-smart-buildings/

Author: Arunlal Sreedharan, Solutions Architect-Industrials, Product Engineering Services

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