Smart Office Automation

Philipp Schuster
26th September 2013 in Backstage

Automation doesn’t need to be restricted to your home, you know. We’ve shown you recently how you can Smarten up your garden and it goes even further than that. In fact, it goes all the way to work! Our USA office in Lexington, Kentucky is now fully automated, making for a great working environment as well as saving energy and cutting down on utility costs (something our Finance department love!).

Let’s take a look at a few of the nice features set up over there, shall we?

ACCESS CONTROL

ibutton

Like any visitor, let’s start at the front door and talk about access control. First of all, an iButton sensor was installed on the door. We programmed iButton keys for every employee – based on the hours that they need to be there – and handed them out. For example, our cleaning staff come in once a week – on a Wednesday – after hours, so their key is programmed to work on Wednesdays from 5pm to 10pm. That way if the key is lost or stolen and someone tries to enter the building using that iButton key (outside of their authorised hours), the Miniserver will call the Country Manager Chris and let him know that someone’s trying to get in.

When an employee uses their key in the morning the Miniserver not only unlocks the door for them but it also turns off the alarm, turns on the lights, and logs them into the phone system.

You can purchase our iButton products from our webshop.

SWITCHES

Switches

On to switches now. We have a couple of sets of 4 gang switches on the wall that are programmed to control our entire office. By pressing once or a combination of these buttons we can do all sorts of thing, including:

  • Unlocking/locking the door
  • Turning lights on and off and switching to lighting scenes
  • Turning on music
  • Controlling volume
  • Turning on the projector in our training area

When the last person leaves the office they just press the first and last button once at the same time to turn off the lights and the music and they’re done!

APPS

Everything in the office can be controlled simply and quickly with any one of our iPhones or iPads too. We control:

The Thermostat

Temp. Control_1Temperature Control_2

Here you can see the current temperature of our office and, by using the slide, make any adjustments that you need.

Music

Music_1

We can select music sources, volume, artist, playlists, all sorts…

Lights

Lighting_1

Here we can turn our office lights on and off with a simple touch of a finger.

Camera

Office_1

When you press the little ‘eye’ to the right of the camera you can see everything that’s going on in the office. We’ve installed an IP camera so we can also have a two-way conversation with anyone in the office. Ideal for when the boss is out of the office and needs to check in for whatever reason.

LED Strip

We have a LED Strip that displays an employee’s colour when they enter. This is just a fun, daft way to say hello in the morning!

Monitoring

Monitoring_1

We can monitor everything in one place. Who comes and who goes and what times… We can also monitor the temperature easily to make sure everyone is comfortable.

Set and disable the alarm

Alarm_1

We can also check on the alarm to set if it’s enabled or not. If the alarm icon on the right is green, the alarm’s on (if it isn’t – it isn’t!). You can even program your system to set and disarm your alarm from anywhere in the world.

That’s all we’ve got set up at the moment but we’ll no doubt be adding things to that list. Like we always say – the only limit is your imagination. What would you want setting up where you work?