The Internet of Things and Humans: Shifting the Focus to People
Last week in part 1 of our Internet of Things (IoT) series, we talked about building management automation (BMA) and how adding BMA to your services offering could make you and your clients more “green” by reducing power usage with the help of IoT technology. This week we’ll focus on a more basic element to IoT—people. How these devices affect and interact with the humans that use them is the second element of IoT and is referred to as the Internet of Things and Humans (IoTH).
The difference between IoT and IoTH is focus. IoT focuses on devices (e.g. all of your things talking to each other), while IoTH focuses on how your devices interact with you. In other words, an automated building would be IoT. An automated building that responds to the people in it would be IoTH.
A Nest thermostat, for instance, learns by repeating what it has been told, after you’ve told it enough times. If you turn the temperature up before you leave for work and turn it down again when you get home, the device will eventually internalize that schedule. Do the same thing every day for a week and Nest will start moving the temperature up and down around the same time you’d usually do it yourself. Pretty cool, I know.
IoTH takes this a step further by putting you right in the middle. Continuing with the Nest example, consider what happens when you have the day off or come home early. If you connect your motion sensor lights or security system to the thermostat, instead of continuing with its default programming, it will trigger a building response.
We can apply that same idea to your BMA offering. While your clients’ office lights already know when someone is in the room, you could also trigger a thermostat response by monitoring the right object identifiers (OIDs). For example, you can create automation that turns down the lights, changes the thermostat setting and locks all the doors if it’s after 5PM and no motion has been detected for 15 minutes. Or, if more than 5 people have entered the building in the past 15 minutes, the system can unlock the usual doors, queue up lighting and readjust the thermostat.
By implementing an IoTH plan, your client’s building can be ready to interact with everyone who works in it. An IoT automated building is capable of learning habits, but an IoTH automated building is capable of adjusting to one-off situations. Allowing clients to operate on an IoTH basis brings your BMA service offering much more than cost savings; it creates an environment that’s focused on people and their comfort and productivity.
Next week, in the final part of our IoT series, we’ll explain how adding these types of offerings to your IT services will allow you to differentiate yourself from competitors and achieve “stickiness.”