IoT Will Enable “Hotels of the Future”

IoT, Hotels, Future

With people accepting and expecting everything to be ‘smart,’ the hospitality industry too needs to integrate IoT with their systems, to meet these expectations. 

With connected experiences fast becoming the buzzword, IoT has the potential not just to enhance customer experience but also solve business problem areas in hotels and restaurants. The 2018 Lodging Technology Study by Hospitality Technology shows that hotels are recognizing the need to leverage IoT and connected devices and services, to stay ahead of the market. The report says 18% of hotel operators have started recognizing the need to integrate IoT into their systems.

Some ways in which hoteliers can integrate IoT for smooth functioning are:

  • Increase Operational Efficiency

In a restaurant, inefficient back house operations impact service. IoT can be leveraged to track the life cycle of an order-from placement, its travel through prep stations- to the customer table. IoT enabled system restaurants can help analyze operational workflow, diagnose and remediate inefficiencies, predict order volumes and simultaneously update ingredient inventory needs. Additionally, all this data can also be tracked used for further customer preferences and lifecycle analysis.

  • Energy Use

IoT solutions are helping to monitor and control guestroom utilities, including energy-consuming devices. According to data from Evolve Controls, implementing in-room controls can reduce energy costs by 25-30% annually. Wireless thermostats can detect when a room is empty and automatically shut down and also begin heating or cooling when the guest arrives. For restaurants, IoT can switch on the kitchen appliances in a phased manner even before the operators arrive.

  • Increase Workforce Efficiencies

IoT integrated wearable technology can help improve staff communication. For instance, when an urgent request arises by a guest, the employees receive silent vibration on their device/smartwatch, and the concerned employee accepts the task with just a tap. With this, managers can also track tasks in real-time until the service is completed.

  • Personalize Guest Experience

According to Florida-based Hotel Internet services, in a survey of 1200 guests, 65% of guests expressed a desire to stream their own content on the television. For this, they expect the same voice control functionality, wireless casting and content streaming that they have in their homes, without affecting privacy. With IoT creating a uniform experience platform, their customer satisfaction increases, which is good for repeat business.

With extremely discerning and cost-conscious customers, increasing competitiveness and a rapidly specialized market, good hospitality offerings or world-class brands will no more be enough for hotels to do good business. Guests are already expecting ‘hotels of the future’ where the room can greet them, respond to their voice commands and can be controlled by a smartphone, among other things.

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Meeta Ramnani is the Senior Editor with OnDot Media. She writes about technologies including AI, IoT, Cloud, Big Data, Blockchain across various industries with a focus on Digital Transformation. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries four years of experience in mainstream print media where she worked as a correspondent with The Times Group and Sakal Media Group in Pune.