Franzen Tips # 1166 : The Internet of Things (IoT) and Real Estate
Franzen Tips #1166: The Internet of Things (IoT) and Real Estate
Isn’t everything connected to the internet in this day and age? Well, not really. All the obvious things are like computers and smartphones and most cars etc. But what about all of the other physical devices that could be connected? Enter the “Internet of Things (IoT)”.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now getting connected to the Internet, all collecting and sharing data. Thanks to the arrival of super-cheap computer chips and wireless networks, it's possible to turn almost anything into a part of the IoT. The term IoT is mainly used for devices that wouldn't usually be generally expected to have an internet connection, and that can communicate with the network independently of human action. For this reason, a PC isn't generally considered an IoT device, and neither is a smartphone.
How can the IoT assist in real estate? We are glad you asked! An Australian “prop-tech start-up” Sensor Global has created an IoT smoke detector to allow smoke alarms to be remotely monitored, tested and managed. This is really (really) important in rental properties where tenants may not fully understand the status or operability of that little thing on the ceiling that is there to hopefully save their life in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors not only can fail to work but they also have a use-by date, and they should also be tested regularly to ensure they are in good working order. As landlords are responsible that smoke detectors in their investment properties are installed and working, they often engage a maintenance person to drive around, having already made a convenient time to access the property, and physically inspect and test the installed smoke detectors. How expensive is that?
Andrew Cox (Sensor Global’s CEO) said: “Our team has been motivated by the shocking Fire and Rescue NSW statistic that 56% of fire fatalities occurred in homes that had a non-working smoke alarm.” Mr Cox said the system has been built to allow property managers to test smoke alarms automatically or manually from anywhere and receive alerts on any smoke alarm issues in one of their properties.
Everyone knows that smoke detectors save lives, and this sounds like an excellent way to ensure these important devices are well looked after so they can do the job they are intended for.