There is now a wide range of trendy new environment monitors that cater for the domestic market. Generally these are internet based and require customers to have internet access and power for internet gateways even though the end sensor nodes placed around a house themselves are wireless. Zigbee has been the most popular wireless protocols between the sensors and the internet gateway, although Bluetooth Smart is gaining in popularity. The main limitation with these is that if there is no internet or power for the internet gateway, the monitors will not work.
There are many use cases where there is no power and limited or no internet access. There are also use cases where even though power or internet is available, they may be owned by someone other than the monitoree and are therefore not practically available. A perfect example is commercial property managers who may need to monitor the environment condition of office space. This may be required because of complaints by workers/tenants of poor heating or air conditioning. In the absence of being able to monitor accurately the affects of any adjustments, the property manager is left having to guess or rely on further feedback by workers of whether any adjustments are effective. This can take some time and leave workers/tenants frustrated at the property manager if they cannot get it right quickly.
The problem in relying on worker/tenant feedback is that certain people feel the cold/heat more than others, or may be more prone to complain about it. Also venting may be the real issue where certain people are affected more directly than others who are situated further away.
While traditional data loggers are available to property managers to try and gauge and address the problem, traditionally these have their own pc interfaces, requiring them to be taken to, and plugged into, a PC to have their data downloaded. This type of proprietary technology has historically been, and often continues to be, quite expensive in direct costs as well as indirect costs in labour involved. It can also be reasonably complex and less than intuitive to use.
We are seeing our Tempo Environment Monitor being used more often in these types of applications by virtue of it being completely cordless, not requiring internet access (although internet accessibility is an option using our wireless/cordless Tempo Anywhere internet gateway) and being compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. As the wireless range of Tempo is up to 50 meters line of sight, we are aware of commercial property managers being able to place it within offices and being able to extract the data from their smartphone without having to enter them. This avoids disruption to workers and allows data to be extracted even when offices are locked. Also, as the data can be analysed then and there by a property manager using their smartphone, labour costs are kept to a minimum and adjustments can be made a lot quicker than if the property manager had to return to their PC, download the data, analyse it and then return to make adjustments.
We also see Tempo being used by residential property managers for much the same reasons. We have ten of the UK’s leading social housing associations trialling Tempo in their housing stock to identify and help address issues with heating and moisture.
If you are a property manager looking for ways in which to quickly, cheaply and easily monitor the spaces you are managing, get in contact with the Blue Maestro team to see how we can help.