Many businesses have a mass of devices that you can hook up to the internet. Some things are still a long way into the future. Regardless, the possibilities this brings for small businesses are endless and often spectacular.
Thanks to advanced sensors which are hitting the market in large numbers as we speak, keeping track of your stock is a piece of cake. Products can now be equipped with a tiny ‘tag’ that you can read with a special scanner. Soon, even that scanner will become obsolete. Tags will automatically send information via the internet. This also allows for parcels to be tracked automatically, anytime and anywhere.
Do you also find keeping the refrigerator in your coffee room or cafetaria stocked a bother? Soon, your fridge will know exactly which products have been added or taken out. Next step: your fridge will automatically and autonomously order new supplies at a webshop of your choice. You only need to stock the supplies once you get them.
Making a presentation to an audience at the other end of the world? Not a problem if you use a connected videoscreen. Link your PC to the screen and your viewers can see and hear everything you do and say. Even more interesting: how about virtual meetings? With the right equipment, it will be as if you are giving a presentation in person.
Network printers that can print from every PC? Surely those are not new. But what if your printer orders its own paper and ink? By hooking it up to the internet and making it ‘intelligent’, you can do just that.
What is the temperature in your office, shop or warehouse? With a connected thermostat, you can easily keep track on your smartphone. Too hot? Then turn the heat down a bit. In much the same way you can also hook up your smoke detectors. As soon as they detect smoke, they can notify you and even send out a call to the emergency services.
Your alarm can also send you the necessary information on your phone or tablet, i.e. in case of motion detection or attempted burglary. You can immediately see where the alarm was triggered and a smart camera system will allow you, from a distance, to get a video view of that area. Another push of the button connects you to the police.
With smart, connected lights, you can immediately see if anyone left the lights on in your office or shop and turn them off from a distance. You can also link-up your alarms and your lighting, so as soon as a break-in is detected, the lights will automatically switch on.
Lots of cars already have SIM cards that allow them to connect to the internet. This lets you stream music or keep track of the latest traffic information via your GPS. But SIM cards also make it easier to manage your car and fleet. By sending mileages, for instance, or by allowing you to track and trace where your delivery men or representatives are. And of course, your car can easily book its own maintenance at your favourite garage.
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