Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 06/07/17

Smart Living: Z-Wave Devices Moving into an Office Near You

By Ryan Ayers

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The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a dream for many in the tech industry for years. A network of interconnected devices opens up so many possibilities, automating many tasks and making life easier for everyone. While the industry is maturing and becoming more popular each year, the options for devices are only just beginning to expand-and the applications are getting more exciting than ever. 

Smart homes have really taken off in the last few years-everything from sophisticated thermostats that can adjust according to the needs of the family to interconnected security systems, home locks, and garage doors. These automated devices aren't just great for use in homes, however-they have a lot of potential to enhance efficiency and comfort in the workplace. Here's what you need to know about the z-wave devices moving into an office near you. 




What are Z-Wave Devices? 

IoT devices must operate over a network, and z-wave is one of the most popular options for wirelessly connecting smart devices. It is specifically designed to be used in home automation IoT devices, and uses radiofrequency (RF) technology to allow devices to communicate with one another. Many of the most popular smart home devices produced by different manufacturers are already using this technology in order to ensure compatibility between devices. All z-wave devices are connected to a network controller, which manages the devices in the home (or office!). These networks can theoretically operate more than 200 devices, but network problems can occur after 30-40 devices currently. 

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Z-Wave Devices in the Workplace 

Z-wave devices are beginning to move into offices, because they just make sense for the workplace. These devices don't use a lot of power, and they can improve efficiency, cut costs, and improve comfort. What's not to like? Many z-wave devices optimize energy usage to cut down on utility bills, improve security, and make it easier to control connected devices all over the office. In addition to saving energy and creating a greener office, smart devices can trim unnecessary spending, leading to a leaner business overall. Smart devices that operate on z-wave technology also produce low electromagnetic emissions-about 4000 times lower than those from a mobile phone. Z-wave devices tend to be secure, affordable, and easy to install-benefits that makes them perfect for the office. In the future, smart devices might make it easy to automatically order new supplies or access the entire knowledge base of the company to answer a customer's questions. The potential for IoT applications in an office setting is staggering. 

As it stands now, the biggest obstacles to widespread IoT adoption are bandwidth capacity, cyber security, and compatibility. Though z-wave devices don't use a lot of data, the number of them can quickly add up and overload our current system. With the centralized networking nature of z-wave devices, cyber security has been a major concern with IoT devices-if a hacker gains access to your smart lock, your office could be in jeopardy. Finally, since there are many manufacturers offering IoT devices, it can be difficult to ensure compatibility across all devices-that's why it's important to do meticulous research before making a decision. 

Types of Z-Wave Devices 

If you're dreaming of an office that's never too hot or too cold, then you may be wondering what kinds of smart devices are available for the workplace. Fortunately, the options are constantly expanding, and there are already some great devices on the market. Here are a just a few types of devices to consider for your office: 

Smart Locks and Security Systems 

Don't want to give each employee an individual key? Smart locks allow you to distribute virtual keys, and even allow you to unlock the door with your smartphone! Smart cameras can further enhance security to give you peace of mind. 

Thermostats 

While a smart thermostat can't mitigate the squabbles between suit-wearers and those who prefer lighter garments, they can control the temperature of individual rooms with remote sensors to maximize comfort. 

Smart Outlets & Smart Remotes 

If you wish you could unplug every computer in your office when it's not in use, smart outlets may just grant your wish. With smart outlets and smart remotes, you have incredible control over the energy usage and devices in your office. 

The Future of Smart Living 

As it stands, there are already some great IoT z-wave devices you can implement in your office to make life easier and more comfortable for everyone. As the technology matures even more, we may be able to engineer the ideal environment using automated devices, customizing our own spaces based on our needs and preferences. If you're thinking about jumping into the IoT z-wave of the future, just make sure your devices are compatible-and get ready to be amazed by what they're capable of. 

Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. 

Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers.


Related Keywords:IoT, Smart Homes, Z-wave

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