Gadgets and devices for a connected office

Technology that could transform your office into a futuristic productivity playground.

Automation and connectivity are impacting every aspect of our home life, and have also found an extension in the workplace.

Rise of smart working options (like telecommuting) combined with trends like the Internet of Things, mean that more workplaces are relying on connected technology to get the most out of their workers, and make their lives easier.

In this post, we look at a few gadgets that could be used in a connected office:

Padbot

Robotic carpet cleaners have been a revelation of late, working in and around the home to ensure the house is clean.

Chinese startup Inbot Tech has taken this concept further with Padbot, a telepresense robot.

Employees working remotely can use it to represent them in meetings by bringing them into the conversation using video-conferencing. It works across iOS and Android platforms, using apps for peer-to-peer video and voice interactions.

Anyone authorised to use the application on their smartphone or tablet can control Padbot to move freely around the office and angle its head upward or downward.

It even has collision prevention and anti-falling technology built into it. After the meeting, Padbot returns to its charging station until someone else needs it.

Watch: How fast broadband is giving the country’s professionals smarter work options

Smart locks

Connectivity is having a massive impact on security, with a number of gadgets designed to automate home safety on the market.

This has also found an extension in the workplace, with devices like smart locks. Smart locks - like the one manufactured by Kevo - use apps on a smart device, and could allow office staff to access the premises as long as they have the authorisation on their smartphone.

DLink Wi-Fi Smart Plug

This is another device that makes use of a connection to the Internet to control the devices in the office. The advantage is that it also tracks energy usage, allowing offices to figure out the best way to save money on electricity bills.

Bluetooth recorder

As workplaces evolve into more mobile entities, it is expected that mobile or VoIP calling will become the norm.

The Bluecarbon Earpiece from Senss acts like a hands-free Bluetooth headset but also has the ability to record all conversations, including Skype and mobile phone calls.

This could be the perfect device to ensure all actions from a meeting or call are recorded accurately.

Green IQ is a smart solution to maintain your little green patch at work. Photo: Green IQ press kit

While there are many gadgets designed to increase productivity, there are also a number of technologies that can help with some of the more mundane, day-to-day activities involved in running an office.

Self-monitoring planter

Plants (or a mini green patch) are a great way to bring a slice of nature into the workplace, but their maintainence could be a tough task.

Green IQ solves this - it checks the condition of the soil and is a great way to ensure the plants are well cared for, without the need to pay someone to tend to them, or risk forgetting about them while dealing with the day-to-day running of the business.

Connected coffee maker

For many of us, workday does not start until after the first morning cuppa. The Mr Coffee smart brewer allows users to make, monitor or schedule a cup of coffee remotely using smart device.