If you’ve ever wished for a clone of yourself to get more done, you’re not alone. We all want to work smarter, not harder. Thankfully, the Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionising the way we work. Now, smart assistants can lend a hand, and smart coffee machines always get your order right. In this article, we’ll look at the Internet of Things definition, multiple ways to boost your business, and IoT innovation in Southeast Asia. 

What is the Internet of Things?

If this phrase is new to you, let’s begin with an Internet of Things definition. IoT is the connection of any device with an on/off switch to the internet. The possibilities are staggering, and analyst firm Gartner predicts we’ll see 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. The world is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), defined by the combination of traditional manufacturing with new technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality to improve business functionality.

International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts IoT spending worldwide will continue to grow, surpassing $1 trillion USD in annual spending by 2022. Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility at IDC commented on the trends of IoT in businesses, “We are increasingly observing how data generated by connected devices is helping businesses run more efficiently, gain insight into business processes, and make real-time decisions.” The benefits afforded by this technology is worth considering for your business. 

How can IoT devices help your business succeed?

Use smart assistants 

In business, time is one of the most valuable resources. A smart assistant can help you from the moment you walk into the office, with immediate access to the day’s schedule, and throughout the day by booking meeting rooms and integrating data from multiple sources while keeping security intact.

Digital Assistant by Adenin and Amazon’s Alexa for Business are two smart assistant options for a connected workplace.  

white and black Amazon Echo dot

Increase productivity with smart coffee machines

Offices are powered by people. But people are often powered by coffee. If the office coffee is bad, chances are high; your employees are walking out the door to the local coffee shop—

increasing the time of their breaks and decreasing productivity. Offering a high-quality, smart coffee solution may add to the break room budget, but the increases in productivity should mitigate any financial impact. 

Track assets with IoT tagging

We’ve talked about saving time and increasing productivity, but IoT can also help save money by tracking tangible assets. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) asset tags like the Aruba asset tracker can track any asset in real-time—from finding a wheelchair in a hospital to locating a computer in an office. These tags are equipped with a 3-4 year battery life, ensuring you can track assets from an app on your phone for years without the need for maintenance. 

Save money with smart thermostats

Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with your smart thermostat at home. It’s nice to come home to a cool house, knowing you didn’t waste money on air conditioning while you were at work. Many of the smart home thermostats are not recommended for office use, but there are intelligent  solutions for cloud-based energy management. Manage heating, ventilation, and air conditioning from an app on your phone—no matter where you are with Zen HQ’s simple energy management for office buildings

gray Nest thermostat displaying at 63

Internet of Things: Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia leading industry 4.0

The IoT-based tech space in Southeast Asia is full of opportunities for success. The most engaged internet users worldwide live in the region, and leveraging the internet to save time and money is a profitable next step for businesses there. Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives have secured the nation’s spot as a forefront in IoT implementation, with the aim to transform Singapore through technology. However, other countries in Southeast Asia are also making strides to integrate IoT into their national culture as well. 

We explore deeptech trends in Southeast Asia

Malaysia plans to be the premier regional IoT development hub, and has published a plan to achieve their mission to “create a national IoT ecosystem to enable the proliferation of use and industrialisation of IoT as a new source of economic growth.” Thailand is also developing strategies to leverage IoT, announcing a Thailand 4.0 plan which includes “smart-street lighting, smart water meters, smart electricity meters, smart parking, smart smoke detectors, trash bin monitoring and manhole cover monitoring.”

IoT is on the rise in Southeast Asia and all across the world. Businesses are saving time and money with innovative, internet-connected devices. When will you join the IoT revolution?