When billions of physical devices are connected to each other via Internet, they collect, share and utilize data to achieve goals effectively and efficiently. This connectivity can be implemented in multiple sectors. One of the latest to join in the band wagon is the hospitality industry. IoT integration in hospitality has opened doors for new businesses and brought with it, profits! It has made reaching the 5 key points of service industry a real possibility. Service, quality, efficiency, reliability and customer first are the 5 pillars of service industry. IoT integration has increased guest flow, improved quality standards and most importantly, smart hotel solutions are a magnet for Star ratings! Hotels are rated as per the facilities they provide and not just the experience. Additionally, smart solution for hotels have the potential to jump start a hotel to an elite section simply by merging futuristic solutions with luxurious comfort. Some of the sections and examples where IoT integration is possible in the hospitality industry are:
1. Hotel Room Automation
Even before a guest checks in, IoT helps them determine the temperature of their room, set the water heater to desired temperature, set the fire place simmering at desired intensity and most importantly, it helps pre order meals. The wait time that is eliminated thanks to IoT makes for a happier experience. IoT enabled sensors can even be attached to the curtains and can detect sunlight before closing /opening themselves. This can be determined as per the setting preferred by the client. These above mentioned are practically possible with IoT integration and uploading all the amenities on to the cloud. IoT enabled application links are shared at the reception itself. The guest's mobile phone acts as a key throughout their entire stay on a hotel property offering ease of use.
2. Conference Room Automation
Being global citizens, our businesses too are now across international borders. Hence, there is a constant need for professionals and executives to jet hop to multiple locations to attend business meetings. This process is not possible for everyone due to economic or logistic reasons. Hence, when compared to IoT enabled guest rooms (soon to be a norm), IoT integrated conference halls are the next best thing. When large corporations or organizations want to host a meeting of their many divisions, they can do so with the help of an IoT enabled Conference room/hall. This IoT enabled room is connected via a common network. It can also send out e-invites to registered members at a designated time. Additionally, this automation can be extended to data driven triggers updating the concierge for the needs of the attendees. A global attendance for a conference is achievable thanks to IoT enabled conference rooms/halls.
3. Inventory Management
So, you run a 5-star hotel. All your rooms are sold out and profits are rising. What if a guest is to demand a particular dish or service that is currently not available in your inventory? How are you going to be abreast with the stock you have in store? One can do so with the help of IoT enabled solutions, which send out notifications to the responsible section in charge. They can then promptly place an order and keep their stock updated. This helps avoid unnecessary embarrassing situations. Restaurants in particular can implement this solution and provide a real time update on the status of an order to the end customer. This solution can be customized and adapted according to scale of requirement.
IoT enabled sensors when placed in Air conditioning ducts, oil tanks, electricity meters, gas tanks and most importantly to water containers can detect fluctuation of data. They can pinpoint and set an alarm / notification for any reading that is above or under the required norm. this helps the maintenance divisions. Maintenance schedules can be set and met with the help of IoT sensors. This results in time saved and property maintained.
5. Cross property linkage
A walk-in registration for a booking can result in an embarrassing situation. Prominently when they request for a specific property aka a bungalow or suite overlooking the sea / pool. As the front desk executive is often on a rotating time schedule, there is a good chance that he may not know if that particular property has been let out or not. Hence, a proper IoT enabled operating solution that links all the rooms and property is a must. Additionally, this solution can also be customized and used across different locations and multiple properties.
6. GPS Navigation for Safaris, treks and boat cruises
When one is on a holiday or on a vacation to exotic locales, they hire transport to and from must visit places. Hence, it is mandatory for hotels to have GPS enabled navigation on all their transport vehicles. The feather in the cap is the usage of IoT enabled GPS sensors which provide real time geo-tracking. In cases of emergency, such solutions can often be lifesaving.
Internet of Things has digitized every operation, boosting efficiency and bringing down costs. Improved services, reduced waste, optimized usage of resources and brand loyalty is the outcome of implementing smart hotel solutions. These solutions create the hottest implementations in the Hospitality Industry. Enhanced convenience, better personalization to name a few of the fantastic IoT solutions.
KEY FEATURES OF SMART HOTEL SOLUTIONS
One solution to ensure making hotels more user-friendly, is by transforming a conventional room into a smart room. This can be achieved by installing personalized room controls. Various devices which control heating temperature, AC systems, blinds, TV and more are now being connected with IoT capability. These are then connected wirelessly to the hotel's main frame systems via a central controller.
- Up on check in, a smartphone application is shared with the guest. This application works as a key thorough the entire stay of the guest. With it, guests can interact with the gadgets in their room and control all the services. Features such as voice-controlled lighting, turning TV ON/OFF or adjusting the TV volume regardless of where you are in the room, smart curtains that detect sunlight in the room at the crack of dawn are some of the features that make a room smart.
2. Better Energy Management
Resources are getting scarce by the day. Hence, in today's world, people are taking that extra step to be more focused on energy efficiencies and sustainability. Following this path, various hotels are investing in sustainable and ecofriendly energy solutions. Smart energy management solution and systems help in optimal usage of energy resources. With smart solutions in hospitality sector, one ensures major savings through controlled energy consumption.
- When a guest has checked in, IoT enabled lighting systems can be controlled by them via an application (previously mentioned) If the overall light level seems intense, the guest can turn the intensity of light up/down. Additionally, IoT enabled heating/cooling water systems too can be controlled by the guest ensuring a smoother stay. These smart features can also detect that if the occupants have exited a room, it can turn the AC, TV off and noticeably save energy.
3. Smart Privacy Protection Solutions
User privacy is a crucial and sensitive subject. Utmost care and attention needs be given to the data that has been collected. Every guest brings with themselves a huge cache of data information. If this cache is compromised and information leaked, the resulting devastation to the guests digital identity can be permanent. One of the advance hotel solutions that can be applied is minimum data requirement and cloud storage.
- Many guests use his/her personal Netflix account on the smart TV in their room, or play a radio station via IoT enabled smart speakers. Customized hotel solutions would ensure that this private information is deleted from their cache bank to ensure no compromise in the guests privacy. Predicting the guest's behavior and preferred choices may simplify their stay to a certain level, but it is not worth compromising their privacy.
4. Improved Personal experience
Holiday and vacations are when professionals let go of their inhibitions and unwind from their daily chores. With IoT solutions in place, guests save on waiting time. They avail swifter responses for room services, laundry, lighting systems, etc.
- IoT enabled devices allow greater personalized experience for the guest. They can synch up important dates such as anniversaries and birth dates to the calendar and that can be accessed by the hotel to go the extra step in celebrating the same.
5. Transform productivity levels
Real-time communication is an optimum solution when maximum integration is involved. Hotels like Hilton, Marriott and more have adopted this technology on their properties. They have installed new IoT devices in their guest rooms such as smart keys, lighting automation, etc. with voice activated assistants. Tremendously popular among the younger generations, thus resulting in increases brand recognition.
- Mirrors, hair brushes and many household gadgets are now converted into smart devices with the integration of IoT. This is being customized to suit individual property needs with the help of Raspberry Pi. Such devices help in customer
"Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you." – Tyrion Lannister— biz4intellia (@biz4intellia) May 17, 2019
These iconic words from #GameofThrones, resonate with us day in and out. #IoT enabled smart mirrors help one empower themselves! pic.twitter.com/Dm0z12hcQe
Studies show that while more emphasize is focused on regional arts and local traditions for a unique theme, a memorable experience is what makes an impression. IoT enabled products in the hospitality industry can give guests a memorable experience. This, while decreasing everyday operational expenses. The future is here. All that is needed is to adopt.