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Ajitesh Gupta

IoT is pushing UC forward towards Glory
Ajitesh Gupta Senior Solution Director | December 19, 2018

We know that Internet of Things (IoT) will eventually reshape and redefine the core properties of the things connected to internet. Today, when we say Internet of Things (IoT), it not only means internet connected devices, sensors, and other industrial tools but also humans, animals, physical, and even non-physical things. The fusion of IoT and UC will not only revolutionize the communication methods but also expand the value landscape horizons of technology and communication. This combination does not seem to go out of style anytime soon. Also, as UC has been evolving from bulky and bricky end device to streamlined and far more flexible cloud-based solutions that are device and location agnostic. Their integration will prove to be highly beneficial for the campus, office, hospitality, and healthcare industries.

The concept of UC infuses in Internet of Things (IoT) may seem appealing and perplexing at the same time, however, represents growth in many ways. Firstly, because the traditional modes of providing UC services are becoming commoditized and crowded offering. Secondly, because the human population today is outnumbered by the number of various end devices, so it is a good chance for the service providers to monetize on this albeit, there is so much at stake.

Sooner or later we would be watching an intense rush for the integration of multiple edged devices. However, their Integration won't be troublesome because devices as simple as IP desk phones to sophisticated mobile phones have all access to Wi-Fi. Considering the size of IP desk phones and the price of BOM, connectivity would not be an issue, and Digital Signage could be implemented using a primary camera. What paves the way for the basic IP desk phone into the IoT domain is the BLE combo chip incorporated with additional connectivity factors, memory, and edge computing factors. The IP desk phones in a building act as aggregators or agents in a mesh network and optimize the data sent to the cloud. This way it would no longer be difficult to connect IoT devices in a building. Also, constant efforts by IoT vendors to continually add value will optimize UC as well as add additional parameters to the process of decision making and sometimes it may pave the way for a bottleneck.

An alternate method of combining IoT devices and UC could be by embedding sensors in audio and video devices. This method is also used in creating a smart office. It would also be possible to adjust different variables like the audio levels, camera positioning, etc., for better user experience. The conference phone can provide a solution to the problem of workforce optimization with the aid of BLE. When a new BLE sensor is added to the ecosystem, it means a new opportunity for the UC in the collaborative landscape. Android-based UC devices deployed in healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, finance would be a few examples. Different value added apps on Android can be written addressing different industry verticals need. Effective, affordable, and simple AR and VR use cases can be imagined in common places once the UC endpoints will have gesture, thermal, and video sensors.

An alternate method of combining IoT and UC could be by embedding sensors in audio and video devices.

The UC industry will get a new life if incorporated with IoT devices. Where IoT is a relatively new trend focussed on connecting traditionally unconnected devices, UC is a mature market largely involved with real-time communications and collaborations. IoT with UC might be considered as a perfect partners in the tech industry to enable further growth with a concept "something old and something new," and that's intersection of unified communications and Internet of things.