IoT has changed the way we measure our fitness. It has changed the way we enjoy our music or drive our cars. But have you ever wondered, how IoT can change your workspace? We spend pretty much most of our waking hours at our work spaces. A little bit of “Connected Convenience” would most certainly add to our productivity in a subtle and not so subtle way. Maybe, it would make us like our day jobs even more!
So how is IoT influencing our workspace convenience?
As with home automation and smart cities, IoT begins with integration. Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix takes the idea home with his company’s new spin on Internet of Things for workspaces, by calling it IoE rather than IoT, as it involves the ‘Integration of Everything’.
Rightly said, IoT at workspaces will hinge upon machine-to-machine (M2M) networking of all the technology involved, be it sensors, smart grids, smart meters, cloud based devices, or analytical platforms etc. These could in turn facilitate surveillance systems, energy management systems and other innovative IoT offerings.
Having said that, we come to our next question; what is the bigger picture? What can IoT bring to the workspace? Here is an infographic by Dell, which illustrates what IoT intends to do for your workspace:
Interestingly, the infographic also adds self-driven cars and travel to the long list of IoT services that workspaces can avail off-premises.
Apart from the above, Real time tracking of technology involved is also a crucial advantage to look out for. Real time detection/notifications of anomalies and interruptions in networks and business operations can save so much time, money and energy. Another use is of beacon technology, which can be leveraged to enable personalization, better accessibility and security.
Are there real life examples of IoT in the workspace?
There are a few noteworthy practices that have taken IoT and productive workspaces to another level.
iRobot’s Ava 500 is a one of a kind design that attracted the attention of many, including Cisco, which is now a business partner. The model includes a telepresence robot that can navigate around the office autonomously (inbuilt mapping technology) to attend meetings at any location, even on the move. The design eliminates distance and wastage of time in meetings/conferences. The robots are parked at a charging station, and are operated using Ipads/phones and are managed by iRobot’s cloud services.
Source : Extremetech
Boston based company Robin, took IoT a little more seriously. They interfaced their offices with iBeacons (Apple’s version of the beacon technology) which are paired with a suite of productivity dashboards and apps. This was done by tying physical objects like smart light bulbs and screens to sensors in smart devices, which is modified by the user’s preferences. When employees walk into a meeting room the software automatically books time on the room’s calendar and transforms the employee’s smart device into a control center for the space’s lights and screens.
Digital Workspaces Vs Mobile Workspaces:
Besides the mainstream, IoT also has the potential to facilitate digital workspaces (like Robin) or it’s relatively newer counterpart: mobile workspaces.
Citrix’s latest IoT venture ‘Project Octublu’, marks the marriage of their new prototype device WorkspaceHub and their newly acquired: Octublu, a platform which automates workflow based on the environment. This project enables workflows to seamlessly transfer across devices and work scenarios, facilitating a working model of a mobile workspace.
While a digital workspace fosters better employee engagement, a mobile workspace empowers them to work better from anywhere. Maybe IoT at your workspace wouldn’t be a bad idea after all.
The road ahead:
Gartner numbers quote that, by 2015, 4.9 billion connected things will be in use, and that the number will reach 25 billion by 2020.
While the possibilities are irresistible, a few significant gaps like security, data deluge, etc., still keeps this revolution grounded. But the promise that IoT brings to workspaces is a proposition worth listening to. It gives you both – a dynamic work environment and elated employees.