How Technology Evolutions Are Making Our Lives More Efficient by Andrea Vollf

Until not too long ago, cellular phones were used only to place calls. Besides its outrageous price, all you could do was place a phone call and/or check messages. Nowadays, we can use our cellular phones to control our home and business simply by pressing a button and as more and more items are becoming Internet-enabled, having a strong residential network is more than a luxury. It’s essential. According to a research performed by ABI Research, by 2014 to total of connected home devices could reach a global market value of $10 billion, but what does it mean for the design and construction industry?

It means Productivity and Efficiency. From an employer perspective, having all employees connected wireless generates productivity and revenue on both B2B and B2C platforms. Large meetings that before used to take days to get scheduled due to a conflict of interest and a lot of back and forth calls between all participants are now easily arranged by using Doodle’s poll system. Instead of going back and forth trying to find time for one-on-one meetings with my clients, I now share my Doodle’s MeetMe page with them. This way, all my clients (and friends too) can easily see my availability and send me a meeting request from wherever they are. This app really makes my life easy as I no longer have to worry about double booking or any other issue.

Even though nothing replaces the face-to-face meeting, many companies are now alternating their meetings between face-to-face events and video conference calls. This way, they can cut their costs in half while increasing productivity as their employees no longer need to leave their work early to get on time at the meeting location and the need of renting a space for the meeting along with any catering service is also eliminated.

When I got my first iPad, everything changed. Instead of carrying all the weight I used to this little device became my new best friend. It was the end of having to carry an enormous handbag in order to fit a notebook, a computer, a portfolio, a calculator or two, a camera and it’s accessories, etc. Easy to carry around, tablets are now the must have all-in-one device. At the job site, this little tablet will allow you to view CAD files, schedule meetings, take notes, organize files, and even process payments. In the office, it will serve as an extension of your computer.

As technology evolves, building automation continues to grow and, nowadays, if you take the residential market as an example, almost anything electronic you can imagine inside a home can be easily integrated and controlled. With the touch of a button you can control your home’s audio and video, security system, lights, garage doors, sprinkler systems, HVAC, and appliances.From a consumer stand point, outside individual devices in the home, audio and video streaming through products like Pandora and Netflix are becoming the new standard, creating this way a steady demand for a strong and reliable network system.According to data from CEDIA’s 2012 Size and Scope survey, “having business-level networking equipment is becoming pretty standard in residential use: 37 percent of routers and 34 percent of networking switches used by home technology professionals are commercial/enterprise grade.” After so much progress, what’s next?

VK Sustainable Concepts’ Principal Andrea Vollf, LEED AP ID+C, is a registered interior designer and sustainability professional with over fifteen years of experience in the interior design and marketing industries. Recently nominated by the Daily Herald Business Ledger as one of the Influential Women in Business 2012 and with articles published across US and Canada since 2009, Ms. Vollf is an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter, with in‐depth knowledge of all aspects of Sustainability – Social, Environmental and Economic. Ms. Vollf is also one of the co-founders of NEW – Networking of Entrepreneurial Women – a networking group that is committed to supporting and promoting entrepreneurial women living and working in the Chicago suburban area. Connect with Andrea on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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