The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) suggests Americans, on average, spend about 90% of their time indoors—this statistic is possibly even higher during a pandemic in which Americans are encouraged to stay at home by their local governments. Indoors, the concentration of some pollutants is often two to five times higher than it is outdoors. The very young, the very old, and those with cardiovascular or respiratory disease tend to spend even more time in built environments, and the EPA says these are the people who are most likely to be affected by air pollution.
Interest in leveraging smart technologies to measure factors associated with healthy homes and buildings, such as indoor air quality, is high. Key trends for smarter and safer homes range from environmental monitoring and control via HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and the use of connected smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms to connected lighting, physical access control systems, and smart electrical plugs and switches.
But the pursuit of smart and healthy homes isn’t a trend that’s limited to the home environment. In fact, being connected inside the home is no longer sufficient. The same consumers who want to leverage IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to create safe, convenient, and sustainable homes want the same systems to make life outside the home safer, more convenient, and more sustainable.
What starts at home can spread to the wider world—neighborhoods, communities, cities … and the planet as a whole. The IoT is playing a key role in helping not only individuals but also businesses and governments achieve their unique sustainability goals, many of which are rooted in the desire for supporting optimal health.