As technology and the Internet of Things continue to make a presence in our daily lives, there are some innovative and interesting gadgets available for your smart office. Whether you are looking for a solution to declutter or an easy camera to keep an "eye" on the office, individuals and major companies are working to introduce new products to your smart office. Here are six gadgets that your smart office might benefit from:
1. Charge everything at once! With Alldock, you can charge up to six smartphones or tablets quickly. In fact, this charging station is one of the fastest on the market. The station also keeps cords nicely hidden. If you are not interested in the $119 price tag, they have smaller models, or you can search for alternatives with keywords like "charging station" or "docking station" on your favorite retail website. However, you may not need cables and cords after an emerging technology called WattUp becomes available—it charges devices wirelessly!
2. Easy video monitoring. The Nest Cam, formerly known as Drop Cam, is a simple camera that can allow you to monitor activities in your office while you are away. It promises setup within a minute, has security features, and you can access video from your smartphone, tablet or a web browser. The camera can also interact with other Nest products, such as the smoke detector and can alert you remotely. Nest Cam costs $199, and the Nest Aware service includes additional features for $10 per month.
3. Clean up those cables! Bluelounge's cable box, at only $29.95, conveniently hides your surge protector and includes ties to help to control cables in your office. Blue Lounge also has other products that can help you to tame tangled cords!
4. Go paperless. The NeatConnect is a scanner, priced at $499.95, that can help you to move your farm office files into digital formats and stores them on cloud services. This document management system includes a user-friendly setup that is secure, and its software is accessible on the web, your mobile device or desktop computer.
5. Smart connections that save. WeMo has several products including a plug that, paired with a smartphone app, can allow you to turn devices on and off, monitor energy usage or even customize notifications for security purposes. At $79.99, the WeMo Switch and Motion detector can turn lights on and off as you enter or exit the room to save on energy costs, or you can set it up to support your security needs. WeMo also offers a video monitoring device.
6. The computer that listens. Amazon Echo is a hands-free, voice-activated device that can answer your questions, set reminders and even tell you what is on your schedule. You may already utilize similar software on your smartphone, but what makes this device unique is that the device activates by voice only with a "wake word." The device sells on Amazon for $179.99 and is worth a look.
New technologies are exciting and provide opportunities to save time, but it is important to evaluate the cost of a new technology versus its value for your office. Do your research, and whenever possible, try before you buy.
The opinions of Jessica Michael are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.