The term ‘Internet of Things’ does sound a little bit like a line from a sci-fi movie, but it’s becoming more and more of a reality every day, especially in the workplace. Forward thinking entrepreneurs and technophiles are taking advantage of an increasing number of new technologies that make use of the iOT concept to help boost productivity, increase security, improve employee satisfaction and more.
Not all of these technologies are within the financial reach of a smaller business right now perhaps – although some certainly are – but as they become more commonly used like everything else in the hardware world the price is bound to drop, so they are worth keeping mind.
Smart Office Furniture
Again, it almost sounds like we are wandering into the realm of sci-fi. Sentient office desks? Well, sort of yes. Desks like the Stir Kinetic Desk promise to make sitting for eight hours plus at a desk a more enjoyable, productive and even healthy experience and, if you are so inclined, you don’t even have to sit.
The Stir Desk can be used either as a traditional sitting desk or a hot right now standing desk and features a rather impressive inlaid touchscreen dashboard that can do all kinds of things. Thanks to a cloud connection it can remember height and use preferences for several users at once and, according to its creators it learns those preferences, so within a few weeks will respond to those preferences automatically. There is also a power cord dock, along with a fitness tracker of sorts that will track a user’s time spent sitting or standing and the potential health impact of all that time.
Interactive Presentation Tools
The projector as a presentation tool isn’t quite dead yet, but it’s definitely on its last legs. Video is the future of presentations in general and so the fact that video walls and other interactive presentation tools are becoming the norm for larger companies is a given. But video walls are becoming more affordable and more accessible to all, and for the company that lives or dies on pitching to clients it may well be an investment to consider right now.
On a slightly smaller scale the digital whiteboard is worth a look as well. Schools across the country are actually using them with great success, and for a business that does a lot of collaboration and brainstorming among teams as well as pitching they can be a real boon. Google’s own Jamboard is the current industry leader but the competing Spark Board from Cisco is catching up fast (and is slightly cheaper)
If you own a latest generation smartphone you may already be making use of biometric scanning in your personal life via the fingerprint scanners on your phone, but biometrics are also making strides in the business world.
Biometric scanners for business are gaining popularity for a number of reasons. They can eliminate the need for swipe codes, potentially insecure passwords and even for office keys. Employers love them for time keeping purposes as they eliminate that old ‘buddy punch’ issue that many have been fighting for years. Employees like them because they offer a greater sense of office security, especially when it comes to keeping out unwanted visitors.
Wireless Charging Stations
These rather low level iOT devices are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to upgrade your office quickly but once they are in place they offer more than just a way to keep a clutter of wires at bay.
For office employees, they mean a faster charge and a less cluttered desk, but for service businesses like cafes and bars, even retail stores, being able to offer customers a charge on the go when they left their cables at home can actually be a draw. There are lots to choose from as well, from the simpler, under $30 Belkin offering to this minimalist beauty from IKEA and this colorful, fun version from Tylt View.
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