The Forecast for Self-Storage: Future Tech as Seen at CES 2019
In January 2019, Las Vegas hosted the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES. Many different types of technology were displayed and demonstrated. Although most of this technology may not be available for many years, the technology on the exhibit hall floor provides a good gauge of what the future could hold for many applications including self-storage operations.
- Climate control
- Smart objects
- Internet of Things
We are already seeing many different types of high tech in the self-storage industry. Some facilities specialize in offering unique features that promise to keep storage units more secure and provide access at your fingertips. Common features include climate control to prevent damage from cold or hot weather, security cameras, and even RFID systems that track where valuables are in real time. Click here to read more about how RFID is becoming more mainstream.
For self-storage facility owners, this technology also helps with protection of the facility as well as improving operations. The Internet of Things makes controlling lights, thermostats, and security cameras a breeze when you’re away from the facility. However, technology doesn’t have to stop there.
CES is well knows for showcasing technology that seems like it comes from far away in the future. However, the use of robots may not be as far off as you think. At CES, robots of all types debuted including those that use artificial intelligence, those that can walk, those that function as personal assistants, and even some that fold laundry! Here’s a link that reviews a few different robots that were seen at the show. (https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/9/18175168/ces-2019-robots-best-worst-delivery-butler-tablet )
When the discussion turns to robots, you may think of the Hollywood trope of a walking, talking metallic personal assistant. Fully functional robots of that nature are still far in the future; however, tech that we are now seeing at the consumer level includes autonomous vehicles and smaller robots like the Roomba vacuum cleaner that are equipped with spatial awareness features. Combine this tech with smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, and these robots could accomplish a lot different tasks when prompted with a command.
Robots in Self-Storage
Robots are already being used in factories and warehouses such as those operated by Amazon. When an order comes in, robots are able to fetch small items and use spatial awareness to avoid bumping into each other. Here’s a video demonstrating these robots at work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sEVX4mPuto
Imagine the future applications of robots in self-storage. Someday, you may not need to wander inside your own storage unit. There could be a kiosk where you type in the item you’re looking for and your own little robot could go inside the unit and fetch it for you.
Similar techniques are beginning to emerge in commercial warehouses and may soon end up at the consumer level. How could a robot help improve operations at your self-storage facility? Let us know in the comments below.