Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal captured my attention with the headline “Now, Even Granny’s Fuzzy Slippers are Texting You.” What? I had to read on. The article pointed out a handful of new products that are leveraging embedded wireless data devices in a whole new way. Yes, even slippers that “sense trouble” based upon how a person walks, falls, or “becomes wobbly,” sending a text message to the person’s caregiver, friend, or relative. So what does this have to do with an enterprise?
The technology is not stopping there. Most wireless innovations are being driven by the consumer market. In fact, in a previous blog I addressed the “consumerization of IT” and it’s no doubt that consumers will remain in the driver’s seat. Yet, eventually these new consumer-driven technologies find their way into the enterprise ecosystem. Take social media and iPADS for example.
On top of that, new technologies mean more devices that will inevitably boost network demand and wireless penetration. Already, the U.S. has reached a 90 percent wireless penetration rate, meaning 90 percent of the population uses a wireless product today. That is projected to reach 400 percent, meaning essentially every person in the U.S. will have multiple wireless devices. Many already do. However, these new wireless inventions will not be the usual suspects: smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Data devices of the future will be the unlikeliest of products.
The Green Office
One area receiving much attention is wireless technology powering the green office. Consider a few examples:
The Wireless Appliance Manager
One such device, the Oregon Scientific advanced wireless appliance manager, “allows consumers to break down their home's electricity use on an outlet-by-outlet basis to pinpoint energy hogs. It can track energy use for up to eight outlets at once from a single display, allowing you to lower your energy bills efficiently and effectively.” Now apply this on a much grander scale to an office environment where IT can identify those resources and locations with heavy energy usage and determine if they are being efficiently utilized by employees.
The Solar-Powered Wireless Computer
Solar-powered technology continues to be a big focus in the going-green trend today. Everything related to the computer – keyboard , mouse, speakers, cameras, and even the computer itself -- can be powered by solar energy with many benefits. Once powered, these peripheral devices can function up to three months in the dark, says solcomhouse.com. And, since these new devices do not require batteries, companies do not have to be concerned with the impact of disposed batteries on the environment. What’s more, the user experience remains unchanged, so the technology is seamless to integrate. Granted, these positive changes will not single-handedly reduce energy usage on a grand scale for the enterprise, but taken together along with other green wireless wonders, enterprise IT can lead the wireless go-green technology transformation and yield a crop of real results.