The Internet of Things, (most commonly referred to as IoT), has become something of a buzzword over the last year or so. The Internet itself for the majority of us is a highly embedded part of our daily lives, something that we would now very much struggle to live without. Add in the ‘of things’ however, and it all sounds that little bit more complicated.
So what does it actually mean?
IoT by definition, is the use of ‘Internet’ to power various ‘things’. These ‘things’ are often referred to as ‘Smart’, leading to the term Smart Technology.
The most obvious example of IoT in action would be the highly acclaimed Nest. The Nest device is the new ‘Smart’ central heating for the modern home. Once the Nest is integrated into your home and connected with your own personal device, it can monitor the patterns in which you heat your home and use hot water. More importantly, it can also work out the times in which you do not. Once a significant amount of data has been gathered, the Nest can tailor your heating system so that it comes on when you are most likely to need it to, and turn off when it’s likely that you don’t. This isn’t the best part. We’ve all had nights home on the train where the air is cooler than usual and we’re yearning for a warm home and hot bath. With the Nest app, you can make sure the heating system is fired up ready for your return. It isn’t just convenience that’s on the menu with the Nest, by gathering data and learning what the habits of your home are, the device can also save huge sums of money on wasted heating that could essentially be heating an empty home.
Another Smart device that is slightly newer but has also gained plenty of attention is the Philips Hue, a wireless lighting system. Install the Philips Hue LED light bulbs, light-strips or lamps into your home, and connect them to your own personal device. You can then control these lights without so much as a flick of a switch. Using your mobile, you can program the light so that it can wake you up, slowly dim before bedtime, sync with music and even movie – fully optimising your daily routine. Heading off to the airport and think you’ve left a light on? We’ve all been there! With the Philips Hue app, you can turn the lights within your home on and off, from anywhere. Not only this, the Philips Hue system can also help to keep your home safe while you’re away. You can create lighting schedules that turn lights on and off within your home to create the impression that someone is home – genius right?
It’s not just money saving and home security that benefits from Smart Technology. Smart Technology that helps to aid the wellbeing of users is also highly featured on the IoT agenda.
Smart watches have been a revelation to the fitness industry since their release. Brands such as Fitbit have managed to revolutionise the way customers monitor and track their daily activity. When wearing a Smart watch, data is continuously gathered, including the user’s heart rate, steps taken and calorie burn rate. This can then be used comparatively to monitor the factors in a customer’s day that impact the quality of their activity. Notifications can also be sent to the user upon request to ensure they’re aware of any anomalies or recommended actions.
AliveCore is a device that detects abnormal heart rhythms in those suffering from poor Cardiovascular health. A medical grade ECG can be taken in just 30 seconds, with the results going straight to the users smartphone. These can then be sent straight to a Doctor to gain a fast and expert opinion.
Sonamba is a Smart device designed for the elderly or people suffering from a debilitating illness. The device monitors the activity of the user and alerts assigned family or friends if anything untoward appears to be happening. As well as notifying family after something may have happened, the Sonamba device also sends reminders anytime medication should be taken. When the medication is taken, a green tick is pressed. If this is not pressed, family are alerted that medication may have been missed.
Salesforce has created a Cloud to fully optimise this data. Powered by Thunder, the IoT Cloud takes the data gathered from every device, sensor, website and interaction, then integrating it into your Salesforce org. This data is then continuously updated, allowing you to monitor and learn the habits and requirements of your customer base. It also allows you as a business to tailor your customer service offering. In truly knowing the habits and movements of your customer, you are able to be proactive and predictive throughout the entire sales process.