By Ana Bera
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to be a gamechanger for those in the hospitality industry. Therefore, it is essential for managers, hotel owners, and other business leaders to try to make the most of it. However, according to research, 87% of people are not familiar with the concept of the Internet of Things let alone what this technology means for the hospitality industry. In this article, we have discussed this matter, and hopefully, you will learn more about the latest tech buzzword and how does it cater to client needs.
What Is the Internet of Things?
The term ‘Internet of Things’ refers to the idea of creating an ever-expanding network where physical devices are connected to the internet and are able to communicate with other Internet-enabled devices and objects. In other words, it means taking all things and connecting them to the internet. That includes everything from energy meters to thermostats, through to large machines and vehicles.
Essentially, the whole idea is to turn ‘dumb’ devices or appliances into ‘smart’ objects, which are capable of sharing data and communicating with each other, and with us.
What Does the IoT Mean for the Future of the Hospitality Industry?
IoT has the potential to revolutionize the way we do things, and that’s what consumers and businesses are learning as they’ve started to use IoT for everything from smart thermostats, and doorbells to smart-city apps that can reduce traffic congestion and reduce crime. But IoT is much more than just adding connectivity to existing objects or services. In fact, it’s more about changing the way these devices and services deliver value, and in doing so, products are becoming services while services are becoming more intelligent.
The hospitality industry will highly benefit from the evolution of IoT. That’s because the IoT industry is set to take customer experience to a much higher level while simultaneously cutting down the costs.
IoT: Smart Thermostats
Some hotels already use IoT technology to control in-room thermostats. By using smart (connected) thermostats, hotels can adjust room temperatures during check-ins and check-outs. The connected thermostats reduce heating and cooling costs in unoccupied rooms. It also reduces the likelihood of the guests having a bad first impression when they walk into a room with an uninviting, uninhabitable temperature.
This modernization can go even further beyond when the hotels combine the thermostats with other sensors, allowing the air conditioning to turn off automatically as soon as the guests open a window or balcony door. Furthermore, hotel owners and managers could set up automated window curtains that can mitigate temperature swings according to afternoon sunshine. These devices could be programmed to make these environmental adjustments during a certain time of day or when the temperature reaches a certain level that could potentially make the guests uncomfortable.
IoT: Predictive Repairs & Maintenance
Another potential use case of the IoT in the hospitality industry involves providing the hotel staff with real-time information about the operating status of hotel appliances and devices and notifying the maintenance personnel in case some device starts showing signs of deterioration, or unusual performance.
This could primarily cut down the repairment costs because it will allow the repairs to be carried out before the device fully stops working. This sophisticated type of preventive maintenance is especially important when it comes to crucial appliances that the hotel cannot operate without, allowing the repair of essential devices before any major loss of function.
IoT: Electronic Key Cards
Door locks and are some of the worst, and the most outdated piece of technology being used in hotels nowadays. The hardware can be so expensive that the hotels often wait for over a decade to upgrade to new locks. However, the implementation of IoT solutions opens up new possibilities in terms of sending electronic or digital key cards directly to guests’ mobile devices. With smart locks up and running in the hotel rooms, guests can unlock their room via their mobile phones, providing a seamless hospitality experience.
The potential of this technology can go much further. Hotels could use communication technology to send the digital/electronic key a couple of hours before the check-in, sync the door in the room with the check-in desk, allowing the guests to bypass the check-in process and go straight to their rooms.