When you think of the Internet of Things (IoT) in hospitality, if you assume it’s just your hotel that’s connected, think again. Even if you have everything from HVAC, security, utilities, and door locks monitored and managed online, you’re still not close to maximizing the ways IoT impacts the guest experience. In fact, it’s the guests who are and will continue to be the most connected elements in your hotel. Below are just a handful of ways they will bring IoT with them to your property.
It began with bracelets that monitor physical activity before it became a trend in reading text messages on smart watches. It didn’t stop there, though. Wearable digital devices come in all shapes and sizes. Smart jewelry is no longer limited to bracelets and watches. Guests may wear brooches, necklaces, or rings to more subtly give them notifications while remaining fashion-forward.
And don’t forget about connected clothing, too. From GPSports vests worn by European soccer players (and other serious athletes who want to monitor performance) to the casual denim jacket manufactured by Levi’s that allows the wearer to control their phone using gestures only, hotel guests will be packing more wearable devices with them for their stay at your hotel. It’s all part of the ever-growing IoT.
While it could be argued that every IoT device serves a purpose of convenience, some are more vital to users than others. Medical devices like pacemakers and glucose monitors provide life-saving information in real time, making it possible for patients to travel despite conditions that would have been limiting in the past. There are monitors that track patient behavior and activity levels for individuals with chronic diseases who continue to live their lives in spite of the symptoms they experience. Data may alert the patient to adjust medications or activity, or it may alert the physician who then advises next steps.
Hoteliers may never see these devices, but rest assured there will be families and business travelers who bring them to your property.
AI personal assistants
You may be familiar with names like SIri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, but those are just the headliners in a long list of artificially intelligent (AI) personal assistants that includes Athena, Viv, and Jibo. AI assistants do everything from answer questions about nearby restaurants (like a portable concierge) to taking pictures of everyday events (like tiny members of the paparazzi) and reminding users of appointments and tasks they need to tend to (like the personal assistants they are).
These AI devices may follow the same path as blow dryers. Initially guests bring their own, but eventually, hoteliers recognize the device as a way to distinguish themselves from other hospitality providers so they put one in each guest room as an amenity. Chances are that guests will grow accustomed to their own (and the AI will evolve with machine learning) to the point that they won’t want to use one provided by the hotel. Then we’re back to guests bringing the IoT with them.
It’s not just Alexa and her friends who enjoy their masters’ wanderlust. Roomba’s friends are getting in on the action, too. Companion robots take AI to the next level with more interactive personalities and machine learning. They do everything from monitor home security (not likely at your hotel) to capturing photos and video, educating kids, or just being a friend. Some robots, like Kuri and Buddy, are limited to a home environment simply for navigational purposes. Others, like Plen Cube and Professor Einstein, are portable and likely to travel with owners who have grown accustomed to having their services at hand.
Biometric authentication uses unique body measurements (fingerprints, facial recognition, or retina scans, for example) and calculations to positively determine the identity of an individual. Whether or not your property chooses to use biometrics for guests to check in or access their rooms, guests will bring devices that require biometric authentication to access the Internet of Things back home.
Countries like Canada are using biometrics on passports to make them less susceptible to fraud. Airports and airlines have already mapped out plans for passengers to travel document free using biometrics as a key element of security and efficiency. As consumers become more familiar with and accustomed to the technology, they will also become more likely to use it for personal and professional purposes… even at your hotel.
Get expert advice
As the Internet of Things continues to expand, guests and staff will become more and more reliant on seamless wireless connectivity at your hotel. Can your network handle the demands? Talk to a Samsung Wi-Fi specialist to find out more about how you can be hospitable to the Internet of Things your guests expect to connect to. The consultation is free.SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION