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IoT technologies helping businesses adapt to new normal

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed every human beings’ behaviour and people are looking at smart solutions in different view as the world is going through the worst health crisis in modern human history. Coronavirus has spread across the world like a wildfire taking down businesses, locking down countries, and affecting the day to day lives of human beings.

The entire hospitality industry has lost more than 70% of the business and millions have lost their jobs. 49 million people across the world could be pushed into extreme poverty. Nobody exactly knows how the future is going to unfold. Many countries have done well to control the outbreak and yet many so-called developed countries have struggled to contain the spread of the disease.

The countries who have succeeded in managing the outbreak effectively have done so by using a combination of community surveillance, strong social distancing, testing and contact tracing using technology, rapid clinical care, and effective public awareness.

Technology is going to play a pivotal role in the post-Covid-19 world to ensure the safety of human beings during any future outbreaks. PropTech will be greatly affected by technologies like IoT, AI, VR/MR and ML. Smart buildings will move towards a unified smart-buildings platform which allows various sensors and devices to communicate with each other. The adoption of wireless solutions will increase exponentially.

Here are the IoT solutions and technologies to watch out for in the post-Covid-19 world.

Contactless access control solutions
Contactless is a buzz word since the pandemic has started. Reducing human touchpoints is the key to reducing the spread of the disease. One of the major sectors hit by COVID-19 is the hospitality segment. The hospitality industry will start embracing contact-less solutions to get back into the business and provide the guest with a safe feeling during the check-in process and their entire stay.

Contact-less check-in, automated room door operated using a smartphone app could allow the guest to get into a well-sanitized room in a contact-less manner. A robot carrying out the function of room service may not be a farfetched reality.

Contactless elevator access
An elevator is one very commonly used touchpoint in high rise commercial and residential buildings. “Contactless Elevator Access Control” solution is something which is seeing huge demand across the globe. The demand is such that manufacturers will struggle to deploy such solutions in a short time.

BLE and BLE-mesh
BLE technology is not an upgrade to the original Bluetooth or Bluetooth classic, rather it is a new technology that focuses on Internet of Things (IoT) applications which works with Bluetooth proximity and helps exchange the communication between the devices at low energy.

BLE as technology will see a huge increase in demand for applications like proximity-based access control, location tracking solutions using beacons, occupancy management solutions, contact tracing solutions etc. Apple and Google have recently released development libraries for building contact tracing applications and this will drive the adoption of BLE technology.

BLE-mesh is a technology developed using BLE which allows IoT nodes like sensors and devices within a building to communicate with each other wirelessly over a mesh network. Use of BLE-mesh technology in smart building solutions will be a huge increase in the new normal world. This adoption will be driven by the low cost of products enabled by BLE and easy installation and set-up.

LORA and NB-IoT
Travel, even within a country, has become challenging. One would rather try to get things done remotely rather than going to the actual project site. This will increase demand for remote monitoring, and control of processes and equipment solutions.

LORA is a long-range WAN technology mainly used for remote monitoring of processes over larger distances. It is used for smart buildings, smart agriculture, smart home and buildings, smart electricity metering etc. LoRaWAN protocol is creating business efficiencies and improving lives around the world. LORA is one such technology to watch out for.

NB-IoT (narrowband – IoT) uses existing cellular infrastructure and helps your organization to deploy a high volume of low complexity. NB-IoT applications can cross many service categories such as smart metering (electricity, gas, and water), smart city infrastructures such as street lamps or dustbins. NB-IoT and LORA will compete with each other for market share as they both will enable similar use cases.

NFC
Wide majority of the world still uses cash and credit/debit cards to make payments. Despite the digital payment revolution, India is still a cash economy. The US still majorly uses cards for payments. China has done well to move to contactless mobile payments even before COVID-19. There are huge opportunities in contactless payments space enabled by technologies like NFC or Bluetooth.

There are opportunities in offline payment solutions which are more wallet-based solutions where no internet connectivity is required to do a financial transaction. NFC is one such technology which is used for communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm or less. NFC will see a growth in adoption in applications like contactless payments, and contactless access control.

AR and VR
Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. It has huge use cases across all the industry. When the physical presence of a person is not possible AR/VR will be the way one can experience the feeling of being there. In the post-COVID world, AR/VR companies will start pushing boundaries to create new possibilities and use cases.

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