The way we communicate and stay connected remotely in both our homes and workplaces has changed dramatically over the past 50, 10, and even five years. Communication has moved from traditional landlines and cellular calling to Internet-enabled voice and video through apps like WeChat, Facebook, Line, WhatsApp and more. This is true on the enterprise side as well, as most companies have ditched traditional landlines in favor of VoIP solutions.
But the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has taken real-time communications a giant step forward. Virtually anything can be an IoT device, from a lightbulb to a child’s toy, as long as it is connected to the Internet. When these physical devices are connected to other devices, they contribute to a new kind of communication, one no longer reliant solely on laptops, tablets or even smartphones.
Live streaming video has become a popular feature on many platforms. People around the world can connect with family, friends, and coworkers via real-time voice and video, no matter their location. Combined with the IoT, live streaming has the power to connect people beyond the average web or mobile application.
Here are some examples of live streaming IoT devices redefining modern connectivity:
On the surface, smart doorbells don’t seem like a real means of communication. In fact, it’s their ability to prevent unwanted communication that makes them such a valuable safety tool for homeowners everywhere. While smart doorbells vary, most contain a motion detector and a built-in security, microphone and speakers. Through a connected app, users can view activity live or watch recorded footage later. The live streaming feature, in particular, is essential to ensuring the homeowner is able to communicate with wanted guests or report malicious activity at a moment’s notice.
Smartwatches have seen a rise in popularity in recent years thanks to brands like Apple and Fitbit, but wearable devices are more than fun gadgets that track steps and sleep patterns; they’re capable of supporting live streaming video. dokiWatch is a wearable phone and smart locator that combines video calling, voice calling, and messaging in one device. Designed specifically for children not yet ready for the responsibility of a smartphone, the dokiWatch lets parents and guardians see and hear their kids live at any time.
Utilizing IoT and live streaming technology for home security and child safety is a no-brainer, but new innovations are helping improve person-to-pet communication as well. While there are a variety of pet monitors on the market with different capabilities, most utilize live streaming and microphones so owners can see, hear, and even talk to their pets in real time. The PetChatz HD Pet Camera even has an option called PawCall, which allows pets to initiate a two-way call with their owners via a button on the floor or wall.
As more companies look to hire remote employees and more workers seek remote positions, the need for enterprise technology that improves communication is more important than ever. Telepresence robots, like those available from Double Robotics, give remote workers a 360-degree view of the office or workspace — literally — by combining the convenience of a video call on an iPad or tablet with a mobile base. Instead of only participating in scheduled meetings, remote employees can hear the impromptu, yet important, information shared in a regular office environment.
Integrating live streaming into IoT devices
While live streaming IoT devices are truly revolutionizing the way people communicate, these advances in technology are virtually useless if the experiences they create aren’t high quality. When it comes to live streaming, a lack of network connectivity and disparities among user devices can present problems. To ensure that remote users can communicate effectively, IoT device companies should have access to distributed data centers wherever their users are located and customize their products and services so they work across as many devices as possible.