Matthew Cooney, director of social media and emerging technologies for Nickerson Cos., a Boston-based public relations, design and social media firm, advises the firm’s clients on IoT and its benefits, particularly around smart buildings and smart cities.
“But in the phase we’re in right now, a lot of people are considering individual connected devices for the purpose of efficiencies and typically lowering costs,” he said.
Cooney said he tries to move his clients beyond that. He pointed to smart parking garages as a particularly persuasive use case for those in the real estate space. A smart garage that connects to drivers could quickly direct them to available spaces and adjust lighting and HVAC units to work only where and when people need it, thereby saving time, energy and, ultimately, money. It could also create a competitive advantage, attracting drivers to the garage for its ease of use.
However, Cooney said, even when developers and building owners buy into that kind of vision, they often struggle with execution.
“Each of those is a touch point, and all of those components require sensors and they need to communicate with each other to aggregate … and analyze data to react accordingly. But there’s not one central provider that will pull together all the IoT components. That’s why it remains a very conceptual thing,” Cooney said.
He added, “There’s a lot to take in, and, generally, people aren’t sure where to start and what value connected devices represent. Their degree of receptiveness is proportional to how well you can articulate savings.”