Occasionally I get surprised when I find a new wave of technology suddenly makes sense to me. Last week I had one of those moments with the big wave of hype that it “the Internet of Things”.
We spent the week in a beautiful converted barn in countryside just outside of the town of Chesterfield on the edge of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park. The barn had been rebuilt from little more than its end walls in recent years, and so therefore had the benefit of luxuries like underfloor heating which, from the photo above, you can see was more than necessary in the height of the English Spring. There was wifi, and reasonably good broadband access – which one kind of expects these days – but also a mysterious box near the router in the hallway, with the words “Do not remove power” emblazoned on the front.
It turned out that that box was a bridge between the central heating system and the Internet; this house’s heating system was web-enabled.
As a customer, that meant that the house was lovely and warm on our arrival, despite not having been lived in since February. Presumably from the owner’s perspective it means that he is able to keep an eye on and control what must be one of the biggest variable costs associated with managing a holiday let in this country – fuel. A win-win situation.