The Internet of Things (IoT), a growth of Internet-enabled devices, has been reshaping the business world for years, and the best is yet to come. The radical paradigm shift is about to turbocharge how enterprises and consumers use Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony. Whilst VoIP is gaining momentum as the technology foundation for phone system offerings, IoT provides new platform opportunities with new upsides for VoIP users. The synergy of the two would further drive the development of smart homes, smart offices, and smarter telephony solutions.
What Is IoT?
Essentially, IoT is a concept that aims to connect every internet-capable device to transfer and exchange data over a network without the necessity of human intervention. Everything from household appliances to industrial gadgets like voice sensors can be part of an IoT network.
IoT strives to make our lives easier. It comes to fill the gap where humans aren’t good at capturing data about their surroundings, with 24h attention and absolute accuracy. It builds a fabric of connectivity where data of different devices are auto exchanged and analyzed to offer smart automation and device control.
Let’s give an example to make it more tangible. One common real-world application of IoT is a smart home system. For instance, when office temperature goes up and beyond a certain threshold, the cooling system can automatically turn up to lower the temperature and send you real-time alerts via a connected app on your mobile phones. In this case, your temperature sensor, cooling system, and mobile device are connected to form an IoT network that allows innovations to work together, offering smart, proactive, impactful technology solutions.
This is just one of many IoT applications in the business and customer landscape, where VoIP services should also find its niche and be made full use of. But how can the VoIP be integrated with IoT to delivered smarter technologies?
VoIP’s IoT Potentials
IoT is connecting the tons of everyday appliances to provide a better, smarter world. Most of the IoT devices use the Internet Protocol (IP) to provide functionality and information. And VoIP intersects with IoT technology on this point. That’s why embedding VoIP services into IoT solutions isn’t pie-in-the-sky and is happening.
With the IoT, the value proposition of VoIP services will only broaden. It is making an impact on the world of VoIP by providing businesses with even more functionality from their phone networks.
Imagine the following scenarios:
When you are near home, you can call in and instruct your geyser to turn on, so you can have a warm shower once you arrive. Or, when you have a busy schedule and need an auto-reminder of an upcoming event, you can set your calendars to trigger auto notification via IP phone, so you won’t miss an important date.
VoIP can serve as a part of the IoT mechanism to fuel automation and remote device control. The technology’s great capacity to transmit information from a point to another, in a reliable and secure way, will only expand the data flow of an IoT system and bring immense upside to VoIP users by adding a level of digital intelligence to devices that would be otherwise dumb.
The synergy between the two has ushered in huge business potentials and will transform VoIP in the following years.
3 Major VoIP & IoT Integration Opportunities and Examples
1. Smart Home
Smart Home is one of the first technology arenas where VoIP and IoT combination could make a difference. The all-encompassing interconnectedness of VoIP devices and other household appliances will facilitate the control of home security, smart thermostat, lighting, etc.
Here’re some examples of how IoT can work in the background using a VoIP phone system to automate smart home services.
- By connecting your mobile device to your thermostat, you can adjust the temperature from your phone anywhere with an Internet connection.
- A refrigerator takes an inventory of all its current items. The connected appliance then sends a list to a shopper’s VoIP phone to inform him/her of what is needed from the grocery store.
- Being connected to VoIP numbers and devices, cars can notify about mechanic service when needed.
2. Smart Office
VoIP allows businesses to work at any location and from any device. When connected to IoT, this ability will be maximized. By connecting IoT and VoIP, businesses can build smart offices that allow them to significantly improve their efficiency and performance.
For example, your on-the-go workers can connect their VoIP softphone with office equipment like printer, fax machine, and desk phones, so they can leverage office resources anywhere to remain productive. Another example, which is commonly deployed by businesses today, is to integrate a VoIP system with business CRM platforms. With the integration, salespeople can pull customer data upon a customer call to facilitate the sales process.
Applications alike abound. As IoT being increasingly ingrained in the everyday experience, the interaction between VoIP and IoT could be pivotal for business efficiency.
3. Security and Access
VoIP endpoints can play a proactive role in keeping any location safe and secure while also controlling access to that facility.
IoT imaging devices like IP security cameras and door access systems can be configured as VoIP endpoints and be called from any internet-connected device to view live feeds. These security devices can also be set to automatically call and notify IP phones when any security events occur. For example, when visitors arrive, a door access system connected to the VoIP network can initiate a call to notify users to decide whether to allow or restrict access.
The Bottom Line
VoIP itself has made a revolution by providing businesses with a high amount of cost-savings, increased productivity, and an ultimate level of mobility and flexibility. And all of these advantages can be supplemented with the capabilities that IoT applications enable.
While VoIP and IoT have not been fully integrated yet, the potential is there. The synergy between the two is the natural path of progression for both, and will undoubtedly play a significant role in all of our lives in the future.