THE EMERGING world of the Internet of Things (IoT) is both a challenge and an opportunity, according to Forrest Electrical Group, which specialises in creating smart electrical solutions for residential and commercial clients throughout South East Queensland.
“The rapid increase in demand for automated electrical systems has been aided by the release of products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and there is also the timely linkage with energy efficiency,” Forrest Electrical Group director and founder Luke Forrest said.
“Sensible programming, such as movement-sensitive lighting, is enabling homes and businesses to perform with better environmental responsibility.
“As in most areas of modern life, the technology moves fast and product choice can be overwhelming. Our clients are wondering what automation products they should use and which are reliable, and it’s our job to navigate these waters.”
Forrest Electrical has been involved in the industry for 25 years, and has been at the forefront of the introduction of sophisticated automation and control systems.
“Of course technology constantly improves, but this is a positive thing as its applications become broader, enabling us to diversify across sectors and reach new users,” Mr Forrest said. “There are currently possibilities within the disabled sector, as automated technology is being introduced to improve the lifestyle and capabilities of disabled persons in the community.
“Opportunity is knocking everywhere we turn, and it’s an exciting time.”
However, Mr Forrest said his teams were also mindful of the security challenges new technologies may introduce.
“Introducing sophisticated technology raises occasional concerns for our customers, and our industry is not immune to questions of internet-based security threats,” Mr Forrest said. He said most concerns were mitigated “by ensuring we use all manufacturers’ security protocols to protect our clients” and attention to “future-proofing”.
“With regard to this, the fact is most of these automated technologies have been around for many years already but, until now, not at an accessible price point,” Mr Forrest said. “They have and will continue to require software updates etc, but rather than panicking about obsolescence, we choose to minimise risk by dealing only with reputable suppliers and encouraging clients to maintain current software.”
Forrest Electrical increasingly found its teams were fulfilling much more of an advisory role regarding technology.
“Narrowing down the appropriate product always starts with questions,” Mr Forrest said.
“How does the device need to work? Is it Bluetooth-based for access while you’re home, or wi-fi-based, so that you can control it from anywhere in the world? Does it require secure keypad coding for 10 different users?
“We like to spend time with clients to educate them in all options, so they can feel empowered to ultimately decide what will best suit their requirements.”
Forrest Electrical Group is a 2018 Queensland Leaders Executive Member.