This post is by Michael Fertik, Executive Chairman & Founder of Reputation.com
When we think about the Internet of Things, it’s easy to default to the sexy stuff.
The house that welcomes you when you come home. The thermostat that adjusts the temperature to your preference. The refrigerator that tells you what staples you need to get. The technology that lets you check in on your home when you’re away. Asking Amazon’s Alexa to play your favorite songs as you get dinner ready.
But most people haven’t started integrating this technology, despite the hype. Early adopters are in but as with most things, the progression to becoming mainstream technology is slow. Despite that, there are pockets where you can see some really interesting applications for the Internet of Things – but they’re not in fancy homes in Silicon Valley.
They’re in the garbage. Literally.
Companies like SmartBin and Enevo are using smart sensors to innovate garbage collection – streamlining pickups by identifying when bins are full enough, optimizing routes for drivers, and saving tons of money, gallons of gas and person hours in the process. Another company, Echelon, provides a smart commercial lighting option, which cities and municipalities can use to improve driver safety and lower energy consumption. Everybody wins.
Similarly, we’re starting to see other IoT applications in residential and commercial buildings to create value-added services. It’s not a stretch to imagine that fairly soon, multifamily residential real estate companies will use distributed digital locks so that you can just give a code to let visitors get in your house. In fact, companies like Latch are creating digital smart locks with the ability to provide temporary pass codes. No more waiting for repair people when you should be at work – or leaving early to make sure you let in that out-of-town guest. Likewise, it becomes simple to eliminate access to your home (e.g. the recent ex).
As these services continue to proliferate, companies will see an influx of new residents, attracted by the reputation of a living space that makes living, well, easier. That becomes a very nice cycle for a business: the more services that add value, the stronger the reputation, and the greater the value. And that, of course, is the real benefit and brilliance of the Internet of Things: its ability to provide tangible gains to everyday things we take for granted through value-added services.
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