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The iPad is Coming to a Hotel Near You!

by Terence Ronson

January 28, 2010 - Finally after months of speculation, the iPad by Apple has been launched and most definitely, will be seen in operational use by Hotels – the question is – “as what”?

We’ve seen the somewhat clunky growth of in-room check-in powered by convertible notebooks that operate over Wi-Fi networks where allowed by the often tightly controlled security policies of Hotel groups. How will the iPad change that? With a good size screen, the eReg card with signature capture is now totally viable and PMS companies need to address this. Not only is it customer friendly, it’s also environmentally friendly since it eliminates paper and storage.


Photo courtesy Apple.com
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Will we see the device used as electronic menus which allow for full hi-res graphics of food items, or even wine lists that give Wikipedia like info about the vintage and vineyards, perhaps even access to a membership club where you can store and share tasting notes.

Housekeeping could window up realistic images of hotel rooms and use them to notify the relevant departments for maintenance defects by simply touching a graphical image of the defective item.

Security departments could use 9.7 inch Tablet to interact with the CCTV system via Wi-Fi for interrogation of a specific zone, or follow a potential suspect in real time as they meander through the building.

Sales and Marketing departments can really go to town with these machines and take them on the road for presentations, and connectivity back to on-property systems for immediate booking availability and confirmations. No longer will Sales people complain about the weight of such a device since it weighs in at only 1.5Lbs.

And how will the guest use these devices? Of course they will want to hook onto your HSIA infrastructure and suck up the bandwidth. Your existing policy of just allowing one or two connections per room will be challenged especially with guests toting a Notebook, iPhone and iPad – all needing HSIA access – what will you do now? You may very well ask - Will they carry all three? Likelihood is yes – since they do different things and compliment each other. Better get ready for this!

So come March when the iPad hits the street and millions will be sold to people you’d love as Guests, how will your Hotel be iPad ready?


© Terence@pertlink.net
 

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Contact: 

Terence Ronson
Pertlink 
Terence@pertlink.net
http://www.pertlink.net
 

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Also See: Post Show Review: Hospitality Technology Forum @ HOFEX 2009 / May 2009
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