Connections – Making the right connections

electric radiators

We live in an exponential world with technology developing at a lightning-fast speed. For evidence, look no further than how far we have come in just the past 250 years or so.

British inventor Edmund Cartwright developed a steam-powered loom in the 1780s, resulting in the proliferation of textile mills that helped spark the world’s first industrial revolution. The second revolution came about when Henry Ford developed mass production in the 1913. The third was prompted by the growth of electronics and computers starting in the 1960s.

We are now at a defining moment in terms of technology as we enter the fourth industrial revolution with the coming together of automation, cloud-based internet and machine-to-machine communication (the Internet of Things, or IoT).

Indeed, the rules are changing rapidly as the IoT becomes an increasingly powerful tool in households around the world. Gone are the days when you turn a switch on and off to control your household appliances. Controls are becoming intelligent, learning from how things change day by day, and modifying their behaviour accordingly.

Nowadays, anything that can be connected will be connected. Consultancy firm Gartner reckons that, by 2020, the world will contain more than 26 billion connected devices.

One example of a connected device is our own self-learning electric radiator, ULTRAD. It comprises five models from 500 to 1,500 Watts and can be controlled via a smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac app from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, it can control itself, detecting movement in a room and adjusting its temperature accordingly, thereby reducing energy and ensuring the right comfort levels at all times.

And there is more. The ULTRAD, in common with many other IoT connected devices, learns when you use a room within the first week of installation and continues to learn thereafter, enabling it to heat the room automatically to a comfortable temperature for when you arrive home.

Electric radiator safety

The radiator – which is safe for children and the elderly thanks to an in-built thermal safety limiter – also detects how long a room has been empty and lowers its temperature to an economy setting, then anti-frost setting, reducing energy and saving money.

But IoT doesn’t only benefit end users; it also offers solid business advantages to the professionals. For example, the features mentioned above are a powerful selling aid for electrical wholesalers. They also benefit from packaged units ready to display to customers, and a UK-based team for training and support.

For electricians, installation is fast and easy because no set up, configuration or programming is necessary. On top of this, fewer tools are required to complete the installation, and the radiator features auto time and date recognition from switch on. Wall mounting brackets are included, as is a template to ensure correct height and positioning.

So, although the IoT isn’t new – techno geeks and industry experts have been discussing it for decades, and the first internet-connected toaster was unveiled in 1989 – it is coming of age. Indeed, in years’ time, everything could be connected and we will accept the radical technological shift caused by the IoT in the same way as we have come to accept smartphones, tablets and driverless cars.