The increasingly omnipresent Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the major technological advancements for the hotel industry. Among the main benefits of adopting IoT is the enrichment of the customer experience and the optimization of operating expenses, two priority objectives for hoteliers.
What is IoT?
It is the materialization of the Internet in the real world. It concerns all objects, cars, buildings, and other elements connected to the internet by an electronic chip, or a sensor, allowing them to communicate, collect and exchange data.
From Smart Home to Smart Hospitality
One of the best-known applications of the IoT is home automation in the context of the Smart Home. Thanks to connectivity, it is possible to remotely control most of the home’s installations (light, heating, shutters, video surveillance, etc.) and easily create automation scenarios to increase comfort, promote entertainment and generate energy savings.
The connected home market has been growing for several years and should mature quickly. Hospitality professionals are interested in this “IoT smart hotel” philosophy which, once adapted to a collective environment, meets four concrete needs for residents and managers of establishments:
- Improved customer experience
- Cost reduction
- Personalized offers
- Customer knowledge
What Are the Applications for IoT in the Hospitality Industry?
Using IoT in hotels and residences is not only for the development of the connected room; there are also several business cases that hoteliers can generate from the use of IoT.
Improved customer experience
Thanks to IoT, hotels can allow customers to connect all their personal equipment (smartphone, connected speaker, PC, etc.) to the WiFi network to enjoy their devices just like they would at home.
By equipping the room with connected thermostats, lamps, and blinds, the customer can control them remotely via his smartphone or a provided in-room tablet.
Common areas can also take advantage of IoT, whether it is to provide customers with useful information on screens using digital signage or to let them know if the treadmill in the gym is free.
Enhanced Customer Security and Protection
With IoT, the hotel industry can develop intelligent surveillance and use equipment such as connected cameras, presence and object detectors, intrusion detectors, etc. This also applies to fire safety via connected smoke detectors allowing an alarm triggering in two stages (manager for verification then general alarm).
Access supervision can also benefit from IoT development in the hotel industry, particularly through connected locks, allowing centralized and easy access management that also enables door openings to be detected.
Optimized energy consumption
Optimizing energy consumption is a major environmental and financial issue for hoteliers. Thanks to new IoT devices, this is now possible. The new systems make it possible to carry out measurements and trigger actions that optimize energy expenditure and generate savings.
Building an IoT-Ready Hotel Infrastructure
Integrating IoT within an establishment does not only mean equipping the environment with various connected objects. Indeed, the strength of the IoT lies in the interconnection and communication between connected devices. Thus, suitable network infrastructure is essential to power the IoT environment and allow it to function properly. It is obviously possible to deploy equipment dedicated to IoT, but there is a more interesting alternative.
Almost all hotels and residences have a WiFi infrastructure. Today, manufacturers of wireless equipment specializing in WiFi have developed IoT-ready ranges, allowing the existing LAN network for IoT to be used in parallel with WiFi. These access points are compatible with the main market standards: Zigbee, LoRa, BLE, etc.
This, therefore, makes it possible to couple the hotel’s WiFi infrastructure with the IoT infrastructure, allowing savings on material costs (cabling and switching in particular), deployment, and maintenance.
Future-Proof Your Hotel with IoT Solutions
As the hospitality industry runs smarter and leaner, hoteliers must continue to adapt. By increasing efficiencies through smart hotel technology and creating cleaner environments through IoT solutions, hoteliers can remain competitive by keeping up with changing customer expectations.