Industry Update
Opinion Article17 March 2014

The ‘Beacon-Enabled’ Hotel Of The Digital Age

By Tim Groot

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Groot

Our homes are becoming more and more connected to so-called 'smart homes' with smart tv's, smart fridges, and smart lights. Hotels want to give the feeling of comfort and one way to achieve this is to replicate the feeling of being at home. Smart homes are the future and Hotels should embrace change and be at the forefront of technological innovation.

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I have been blogging about iBeacon technology and how it could create a whole

new experience in stadiums and museums. While many have been focusing on the marketing and shopping benefits of implementing the latest technologies I want to help you look further than that. I would like to introduce the smart hotel.

The Smart Hotel

The concept of the smart hotel is to automate everything you want to forget about and

let you have more time to enjoy the good things. The hotel app in combination with Beacons can takeaway many of the hotel formalities and make aspects such as room service, contact with staff, and in-room entertainment much more fun. The app is more than a tool, it is a personal concierge.
  • Check-in. You don't have to search for your reservation number, you have entered your personal details when you booked the room. The information you need is automatically opened up in passbook and you're provided with your electric room key because of the beacon at the entrance.
  • Find your room. Beacons are great for determining your position in large hotels and will guide you to your room.
  • Lights. Saving energy is important and with LIFX bulbs and beacons you can make this easier. The light switches on and off automatically when you enter and leave the room and you can switch it off in the app when you want to go to bed.
  • Room Service. Check out the Menu for tonight and watch a video of where the ingredients come from and how your dish is prepared. Once you have made your decision order your favorite choice in the app.
  • Room Cleaning. Which rooms are ready for cleaning? The rooms of the guests which have checked out. Make this beacon based information available to the cleaners and they never have to knock on a door again.
  • In- room entertainment. Playing your own music straight from your phone and watching your favorite series and the TV is just the beginning.
  • Messaging. Ask simple questions before, during, and after your stay to the hotel staff in a WhatsApp like messaging style.
  • Everything Personalized. Customer will increasingly demand choice over every aspect of their hotel stay far beyond the standard check-in and departure time. Service levels, size of the room, decor, furniture, entertainment facilities, food and beverage options. To create more loyalty you could make these personalized aspects only available to people that book through the app.
  • Analytics. Informed decision-making based on the data that is provided by the app and the beacon technology. With a greater understanding of customers better decisions can be made, which will result in higher customer satisfaction, superior growth in revenue and profits
I mainly focused on automation and making the experience easier. The next step is to look at ways hotels can increase revPAR (revenue per room), which I will focus on in the next article. People have been talking about smart housing for a long time but that is over now. Smart hotels will be realised. The only question is: By who?
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Tim Groot

Tim is a business developer at Nodes with a prime focus on introducing new technologies into new and existing businesses. He also has a good understanding of how a mobile strategy can positively influence customer satisfaction. Nodes is one of Northern Europe’s most experienced mobile app development agencies.

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