As we move toward a post-pandemic world, many of us have chosen to examine past mistakes and use those learning opportunities to reshape our future. Of the many things 2020 taught us not to take for granted, the value of connection may be the most important. While much of the connections that we missed had to do with personal relationships, we found that technology could keep us connected even when we couldn’t be face to face. Technology also allowed us to maintain work continuity from remote workspaces.

But humans weren’t the only ones who found new ways to communicate during this pandemic. IoT and intelligent tools continued their advanced communication between devices, while those who manage those devices found new use cases for them as the year went on. Now in the year 2021, companies are continuing to use IoT devices in fascinating and innovative ways. Here are some of the ways you can expect to see IoT integrations evolve this year.

Increased Office Automation

Office IoT automation isn’t a new phenomenon by any stretch. For years now, companies have allowed intelligent devices to control their workplace thermostats, monitor production and stop usage, and oversee security efforts. What’s more interesting is that not only are these devices talking to each other, but they are starting to talk back to people. The devices can make suggestions that range from the optimal temperature conditions for your workplace to the most cost-effective restocking strategies and sustainable office amenity usage. Office stakeholders can even set parameters that allow IoT devices to make independent decisions on these workplace conditions. As offices reopen, the use of an automation integration will only continue, and perhaps it will increase at a rapid rate.

Intelligent Sensors for Social Distancing

One of the newer technologies to emerge during the pandemic was the smart social monitor. These intelligent sensors allow companies to monitor the location of each employee and their proximity to one another. Businesses have used these sensors during the pandemic to ensure everyone was socially distancing when in the office by creating alerts whenever employees breached the spatial mandate that the CDC recommended. In 2021, as more restrictions are loosened or dropped altogether, companies will probably find different uses for these smart sensors. It will still be valuable to have a tool that monitors the occupancy level of each room within a facility or display the availability of shared desks and open workspaces.

RFID Tag Usage in Warehouses & Shipping Facilities

One of the more crucial takeaways that businesses got from 2020 was understanding how important it is to have a solid and scalable supply chain management and warehouse management strategy. During that year, insight into supply lifecycle and warehouse data was critical. That’s why companies leaned on enhanced usage of intelligent tools such as RFID tags and Bluetooth tags to monitor supplies’ location and proximity to one another. Using these tools alongside a robust asset tracking platform has allowed companies to monitor and control supply levels and communicate supply chain changes to managers and stakeholders. These tools enable companies to continue making decisions regarding their supply chains and accelerate their supply forecasting efforts to prevent the mishaps seen in supply deliveries and receivables within the last year.

Which IoT innovations is your company using? Let us know. Email at [email protected].