The launch of the new 5G-enabled iPhone last week brings the new network firmly into the mainstream – if users can find a network to connect to. There are now almost 200 towns and cities in the UK where it’s possible to connect to 5G, with access expected to be rolled out across the whole country over the next few years.
This sounds great, but what can you actually do with 5G beyond getting a faster internet connection? The main benefit is that the new technology signals the advent of the Internet of Things or IoT. To a certain degree, we’ve already adopted IoT in our homes, with greater connectivity between our heating and lighting systems and our mobile phones via devices such as Nest and Hive. Doorbells that use facial recognition are another example. But once the 5G network is fully accessible, this technology will grow exponentially in ways that, at the moment, we can only imagine.
Building management systems specialist Vinci Energies predicts a range of practical benefits that we will increasingly see in future. Here are a couple of IoT innovations that could positively impact the residential block sector.
Car parks - If you don’t have a designated space in your block car park, finding one can be frustrating. But by installing sensors in parking spaces and connecting these to an IoT smart parking system, spaces could be seamlessly allocated, reducing the time it takes to park. And smart parking wouldn’t just be more convenient, it could also turn down the heat on an issue that can be highly emotive and causes numerous headaches for block managers and their residents.
Anti-COVID measures and cleaning - IoT also has the potential to help keep people safe during the fight against COVID-19. For example, it could be used to remotely monitor people’s temperature and determine whether they are wearing the correct PPE, raising an alarm if there is a risk. Or it could be used to monitor the number and location of people in a building to help maintain adequate social distancing and trigger cleaning alerts. With an IoT system in place in residential blocks, cleaners could efficiently prioritise their time, saving resources and improving hygiene in areas where it is needed the most.
One that we’ve thought of – because it costs the block sector thousands of pounds each year – is smart water management. It’s already possible for blocks to have sensors fitted to water pipes inside the building to detect and prevent leaks. So if plumbing issues could also be notified to the flat owner’s mobile, a chosen contractor could automatically be alerted to deal with the problem quickly and easily. .
Vinci Energies believes the possibilities for implementing IoT are only limited by our imagination. They may well but right. One thing is for sure, IoT is the next great leap forward in technology and as a result our lives - and our homes - are likely to be very different in five years’ time.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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