10 Ways the Internet of Things Is Helping You Free up Time in Your Life

Our 10 IoT projects help you to free up time at home and at work: More relaxed at home. Less stressed at work. How the Internet of Things boosts productivity and time management.



Despite our busy day-to-day life, there are some things we all have to make time for. However, there are also lots of opportunities to save time. This is where the Internet of Things comes in. Whether we are talking home automation, smart cars or smart office, there are plenty of simple measures involving smart devices and services that take care of things for you, freeing up time in the process. Today, we are going to introduce 10 Conrad Connect projects that boost productivity and help you save time in the digital age. And what’s more, all of them are ready-to-use means the only thing you need to do is to import them into your Conrad Connect account.

Tipp 1: Umbrella Reminder

golden retriever with umbrella. smart weather project
Der Golden Retriever ist bei dem smarten Projekt zwar nicht dabei,
aber Regenschirm und Gummistiefel vergessen Sie nicht mehr.
Image by otsphoto_shutterstock.com

We all have been there. Getting drenched but catching the bus? Staying dry by going back and getting an umbrella, missing our ride? Relax, here’s a project that makes taking a meteorological gamble a thing of the past. This nifty umbrella reminder app sends you a text message to pack a brolly whenever rain is forecast where you live.

Requirements: Conrad Connect account only.

Tipp 2: No More Trips to the Local Delivery Office

Yet another trip to the local delivery office because you like your music loud and didn’t hear the postie knocking on the door? Fret not, my friend. The People at Your Front Door applet makes sure it won’t happen again. This template turns down the volume of music listened to on Spotify for 3 minutes as soon as the Netatmos Presence camera detects a caller approaching your doorstep. And if you also use smart light bulbs from Philips Hue or other smart brands, the light colour changes to orange to announce somebody's at the door. Also means you can head straight for the door instead of having to walk o the speaker to lower the volume manually. Goes without saying that, besides Netatmo and Hue, the templates support a wide range of other smart home security products and smart light brands.      

Requirements: Netatmo Presence camera, Spotify premium account. Smart light bulbs (Philips Hue etc) are optional.

Nest Cam Überwachungskamera
With your computer, smartphone or tablet, you can see who's at the door, like here for example with the Nest Cam surveillance camera.


Tipp 3: Instant Reply: How Much Power Do Your Appliances Actually Consume?

Ageing domestic appliances turning into notorious electricity guzzlers means you are bleeding money by the minute. Time to replace them with energy-saving successors. In this context, smart mains plugs allow you to keep an eye on the electricity consumption of your appliances. However, do you know what the readings actually mean? Before you start hitting the interwebs, spending hours looking for relevant reference data, check out the guys from Fresh Compare. This smart analysis service provides consumption reference material sourced from a wide range of databases at a mouse click. You receive an email containing a clear and concise assessment of how well your appliance does compare with similar products from other brands, and whether replacing it would save you money on your utility bills. Fresh Compare covers washing machines, dishwashers, freezers and fridges, is available from our service marketplace and doesn’t cost you a thing.  

Requirements: Mystrom and Zipato smart mains plugs, Fresh Compare subscription (free)

Tipp 4: Mute Your Robot Vac. Sort Of.

The little smart helper keeps your floor dust-free, with smart
projects it will be even more practical for your everyday life.

Clean less. Live more. Robot vacuum cleaners constitute a highly efficient household implement, no doubt about that. Unfortunately, they are neither invisible nor inaudible. Addressing the latter issue is easy: why not unleashing the little bugger when you’re about and about? What’s more, this doesn’t necessitate programming or manually turning on the robot. This applet is centred around  Smartwares’ Princess Cleaner and an Ergardia home security system. It activates the robot whenever you arm the alarm. Cleaning stops at the time you disarm security upon returning home. And if you wish, your Sonos speaker welcomes you back home by playing your favourite tune. The set-up also works with a range of other triggers, such as CarConnect geofencing.        

Requirements: Egardia alarm system or geofencing actuator, Smartwares Princess Cleaner Robot. Sonos speaker (optional).

Tipp 5: Tiredness Can Kill. Be Smart. Take a Break.

Boosting productivity is all about proper time management. This also includes taking a bit of my time. Sure, covering long distances non-stop might save you a couple of minutes. However, what’s the point pushing it if this results in being too exhausted to do your job as well as you can? Taking breaks helps you arrive safe and relaxed ready to do your very best. Enter CarConnect, a Smart Car service that reminds you to take a break after three hours behind the wheel. You can choose from a range of options. Also, you don’t need to take it to the level of the guy who came up with this project. Besides CarConnect reminders, he also gets a call from his wife telling him to pull over, get out of the car and do some stretching. Does wonders for your health and wellbeing though.      

Requirements: CarConnect adapter (data  allowance applies).

Tipp 6: Automated Laundry Alerts

Washing machines with built-in Wi-Fi may be on the rise but not every household is equipped with one yet. Means most of us still need to put the footwork in, to check whether the washing cycle has run its course. Well, at least that’s how it’s been up to now. Because this little gem called Automated Laundry Alerts saves you time on feet that’s better employed for other tasks. The project utilises the indoor module of the Netatmo weather station to monitor the operating noise of your washing machine. No noise being detected means the machine has done its job. The applet is triggered using an Action Button in the form of a dashboard icon, a wireless switch or a voice command.  

Requirements: Indoor module of the Netatmo weather station (or similar product). Wi-Fi button or speaker supporting Alexa or Google Assistant (both optional).

Tipp 7: Airbnb Keyless Smartlock Access

People providing estimated arrival times at booked accommodation aren’t always spot on, particularly when facing city traffic or peak hours. This means you as the property owner can’t really do anything else but stick around for another hour or so which may put a spanner in the works of whatever plans you’ve made beforehand. Fortunately, we are living in the age of home automation and smart buildings which offers a huge range of ways of getting things done without our physical presence being required. This includes projects like Rent out Airbnb Accommodation that allow remotely handing over virtual keys to grant people access to premises or accommodation.  Works like this: As soon as an IP camera (this project uses the Nest IQ Outdoor) detects movement on the doorstep of the holiday premises, you’ll receive a message on a device of your choice. Then unlock the door (needs to be equipped with a Nuki Smartlock or a similar product) remotely, for instance, by using your voice. And if you hook up a Wi-Fi radio (such as a LaMetric) you can also trigger a welcome tune being played.

Requirements: Nest IQ Outdoor camera (or comparable IP camera), Nuki smart lock. LaMetric Time Wi-Fi radio (optional).

Home Security Möglichkeiten_Nest_Gigaset_DoorBird
Wherever you are - control smart security systems, including cameras and locks, as here with Nest, Gigaset or DoorBird.


Tipp 8: Automated Unlocking and Heating up of Meeting Rooms

Most health and safety policies require that meeting rooms on company premises and in public and office buildings are kept locked. However, time-consuming old-school procedures relying on staff opening and preparing rooms for a meeting are now a thing of the past. Smart technology has taken over. Smart Office is a project that enables managing meeting room access via the Google Calendar.  If you name whoever is attending in the calendar entry, people can access the room using their iOS/Android mobile phones or NFC access cards. Moreover, the applet also heats up the room to a preset temperature level prior to the meeting and turns the heating off when the meeting is over.

Requirements: Google Calendar, TapKey Smart Lock, Honeywell thermostat (or another compatible thermostat).

Tipp 9: Battling Tardiness: Stop Being Late to Work

Morgens bloß keinen Stress_Picture by gpointstudio - shutterstock.com
Do not stress in the morning and be punctual at work.
Picture by gpointstudio - shutterstock.com

When it comes to avoiding rush hour traffic or missing the train to work, a few minutes can make a big difference. So why not allow your home automation system to assist you in this matter? Leave Home to Go to Work is a project that turns on Ikea smart light bulbs  (or similar products) for about 30 seconds when you need to get out of the door. Beats having to check your watch all the time. Say goodbye to tardiness and show up at the office relaxed and ready to go.

Requirements: Ikea Tradfri smart light bulbs (or similar product), Zigbee hub from Philips Hue, Osram or Zipato (or hub that supports smart bulbs from brands other than Ikea)

Tipp 10: Optimising Climate Control Boosts Productivity at Work

Konzentriert bleiben im Büro bei schlechter Luft ist schwer
To stay focused in a room with bad air is difficult.
Image by fizkes – stock.adobe.com

Talking about efficiency and output during working hours, building comfort constitutes one of the key contributing factors. Smarten up Your Office is a project that helps you control room climate in a way that benefits productivity.  It tells people when the noise levels at the workplace become inacceptable, and when it’s time to let some fresh air in. And when it’s time to call it a day, smart lighting alerts you when windows aren’t properly closed, and everyone gets a weather forecast for the following day, to make sure you get to work safe and in time.    

Requirements: Netatmo noise detectors (or similar product), Honeywell temperature sensor (or similar product), Wiz smart light bulbs (or similar product), Innogy smart mains plugs (or another compatible WIFI plug), Slack, email account.