IOT in Construction: The Selling Point? (Press)

The influx of IOT, connected devices and mobile apps is evidently making its mark on the construction industry. Management in head offices are now communicating with workers on site quicker and HR can now gauge employee progress and satisfaction even easier, plus more. Smart technology is now to altering the dynamics of construction firms like no other way before, and improving internal efficiency and productivity in all areas. If we look at Dewalt’s Bluetooth batteries we can see that even DIY brands/manufacturers are making their own attempts to make the lives of construction workers just that much easier.

IOT and connected devices are also making their mark outside of construction businesses, yet this is why exactly construction businesses should begin to take note. Today as consumers we’re becoming increasingly accustomed to turning to our mobile devices to seek something that we refer to as ‘mobile results’, which can vary from looking up product reviews on our smartphones, to now even controlling some of our most treasured domestic devices.

The Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year showed that manufacturers and well-known brands are beginning to react to this increasing need for ‘mobile results’ in the domestic sphere by releasing smart home gadgets of their very own. From heating thermostats, smart locks and kitchen utilities these products are designed to provide ‘results’ for home-owners everywhere, with the quantity of such devices set to exceed the 90 million mark by 2017.

These unveilings at CES 2016 comes at a time when consumers/homeowners have given their strongest indication that the prospect of a smart home is preferable. According to a survey by Better Homes and Gardens magazine 64% of people surveyed stated that they were interested in having smart technology installed in their homes. These devices stand alone and can be controlled by using a mobile application located on a smartphone, tablet or wearable device (pictured above).

If you’ve recently visited a home in the United States it’s highly likely that it’s deemed closer to a ‘smart home’ than any house you’ve visited in the United Kingdom. According to Statista the United States currently top the charts in terms of global ‘smart home’ revenue and household penetration, with the United Kingdom sitting fifth in that respective chart.

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Homeowners are becoming accustomed to controlling household items with mobile apps

 

Despite not being as prominent in the market as the United States it’s inevitable that the increased demand for connected homes will soon be crossing the Atlantic, meaning that it’s time for connected-plans to begin to take shape. According to an article by Internet of Business leading UK retailer John Lewis (below) have opened up a dedicated IOT department in their flagship Oxford Street store after an “81 percent rise of smart home products in the last year”.

There is already a growing demand for IOT/connected technology in the United Kingdom in the transport, healthcare and energy sectors. Since July last year the UK government have been encouraging cities and businesses to apply for up to £10m grant for a “single collaborative research and development project to demonstrate the capability of IOT in a city region”. Its aim is for citizens to benefit from “environmental improvements, economic opportunities, and more efficient delivery of services” through IOT solutions. Proposed developments will vary from smart lighting, lower noise pollution, enhanced passenger journeys and reduced emissions, which will undoubtedly shine light on the benefits that IOT technology can bring to consumers everywhere.

Research has shown that as people become more accustomed to smart technology in the home there is an element of expectation to follow. A survey by Coldwell Banker and CNET Smart Home Survey indicated that 81% of current smart-home device owners stated that they would be more willing to buy a home which has connected technology in place.

By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices globally according to Gartner. Although it’s difficult to project the ratio that will be domestically focused,  it would be a fair assumption to say that based on these findings the construction industry will play a prominent role. As for any construction project the key to its success is maintaining efficiency and productivity throughout (whilst cutting costs) and then offering an immaculate product at the end to potential buyers (whilst generating ROI). Including IOT and connected technology, and therefore taking buyer demands into consideration, will certainly take care of the latter.

Whether you’re working in the construction industry and would like some more information on the above, or seeking a mobile app developer to work alongside your IOT project then we’d like to hear from you. Visit our contact page or get in touch through our Live-chat on the bottom right of your screen.

This article was originally published on Building Design & Construction Magazine.

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