Whether you are traveling or visiting does not imply that you cannot control everything that happens within your business. The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) has made it very easy and accessible to have your own office connected.
You no longer need to perform a complex and expensive installation. You just have to get some connected objects and you can manage energy consumption, lighting, access, etc. directly from your mobile phone. These are some of the accessories you can buy to turn your company into ‘smart’:
Nuki Smart Lock 2.0
A very interesting possibility is that you incorporate an intelligent lock at the door of your business, which will only be visible from the inside. This gadget will come in handy if you spend a lot of time outside (because you do business visits, for example) and the place is usually closed, but you still have to provide access to suppliers, customers, employees, etc.
Smart Lock 2.0 gives you the possibility to open your business door from a distance simply by using a mobile application installed on your smartphone. You can even share temporary codes with familiar people or workers so they can enter without having a physical key. It allows to manage virtual keys for up to 200 different users.
With this software you can also keep track of accesses of who has entered and at what times of the day it has occurred.
Its installation is quite simple and anyone can carry it out in a couple of minutes. You just have to couple the device in the lock. The Smart Lock 2.0 is on sale for about 220 euros.
In winter the cost of the invoices is triggered by the use of heating and you can have unpleasant surprises if you do not make a proper management of energy in your business. Nest is a company specialized in smart thermostats that was bought by Google in 2014 for 3.2 billion dollars. Its flagship product is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which is already in its third generation.
The device allows you to control the heating and temperature remotely, by programming the different times of the day when it is turned on and off. Even if you are out, you can activate it so that your office is not so cold when you enter to work or so that the boardroom is a little more cozy when there is a meeting in sight.
However, the thermostat can automatically adapt to your office routines. You only need a week of use to know what time you usually enter, when you are going to eat, if you go out on Fridays before and heat the space accordingly. It is even able to control hot water.
Through a mobile application linked with Nest, you can access the energy history and receive a report every month. That way, you’ll know when you consume more energy and when you require less. The price of the Nest thermostat is 249 euros.
Philips has developed an entire intelligent lighting system that will allow you to create and play with different environments and shades in your business. Smart E27 color bulbs can change to 16 million colors. There are also models that are capable of using more than 50,000 shades of warm to cold white light.
This variety allows infinite uses of the same space. With the play of lights in the office you can enable a relaxation area, another for video recording, you can organize a festive event, or you can play with different environments according to other needs that arise.
A very interesting possibility that technology allows is to be able to activate the lights from a distance in order to deter potential thieves during vacations or at night. It is a good option to imply that someone is working and its energy impact is not very large if not very strong lighting is used.
Philips sells a starter kit with three bulbs and a wireless switch included for about 200 euros.
TP-Link smart plugs
Another very useful complement to improve energy efficiency. This type of plugs gives the possibility to turn on appliances or lights from anywhere, since they are connected to the WiFi network.
Accessories are usually linked to a mobile application to activate or deactivate them and the one used by TP-Link is called KASA. With this tool you can configure the Out of Home mode to simulate that there is someone.
In Amazon each unit is sold at a price of about 20 euros, but you can combine several to locate them in different places of the office. A version that can monitor the energy consumed is also sold. The latter costs about 40 euros.
Xiaomi Dome camera
One way to monitor what happens in your business without being in it is through one or several surveillance cameras. In principle you must be careful because to record your employees you must warn and inform them before you are going to do it, according to the law. However, these devices are useful when the premises are closed or without activity.
These Xiaomi cameras in addition to image also capture sound. They have a night vision mode, have 360 degree rotation and can be used in various ways. You can configure them to record 24 hours a day. For this it is necessary that you get a memory card of 64 GB capacity and insert it.
You can even prepare them to be activated only when they detect movement. In this case they track the object or the person by placing them in the center of the plane.
Dome cameras connect to a mobile application that sends alerts to the user phone in real time if it detects something rare. With the software you can mark up to 8 favorite positions so that they are placed in them when prompted.
Also published on Medium.