From smart hotel rooms to eco-friendly technology, hotels need to keep up with the latest tech trends to stay on top of the competition.
Here are a few of the innovations that have us excited for 2018.
1. Room keys are going mobile
No more fumbling with card keys, hoping you can get the little light to turn green. You’ll also never be locked out of your room … as long as you have your smartphone with you.
According to Mitel.com, “The next evolution of the hotel key transforms it into data on a guest’s mobile device. Some hotels have already started implementing this, whether it involves NFC technology or visually scanning a code like many airports now do with plane tickets.”
2. Hotel rooms are also getting smarter
Our phones are smart, so why shouldn’t hotel rooms follow the same trend? Along with turning mobile devices into room keys, your cell phone will also play an increasing role in providing you with a number of services. Imagine being able to do everything from order room service and control the TV to setting your room’s temperature with your phone. It won’t be long before hotels also develop a “virtual concierge” to help cater more to your needs.
The advances aren’t limited to the guest rooms, either. “The Renaissance New York Midtown hotel … boasts of interactive corridors that responds to gestures. The hotel also includes interiors that changes according to seasons. This allows guests to place their room service requests, order hotel merchandise and do much more from their room,” according to HoteloGix.com.
3. Mobile and room phone interface
With the increasing reliance on cellphones, it’s easy to forget that hotel rooms already come equipped with a landline. Hotels are working to come up with better uses for room phones, transforming them into a hub that can connect with all your mobile devices.
“Imagine a guest arrives at your hotel and pairs his mobile device to his room phone. Now he can use his mobile to control the TV and the sound system, perhaps even the blinds. He can use it to request a wake-up call if he finds himself out late. You can let him know that his dry cleaning is ready, even if he’s across town at a meeting. And if he needs to take his call from your lobby into a cab so he doesn’t miss a meeting – the handoff from Wi-Fi to 4G is seamless,” according to Mitel.com.
4. We have an app for that
Yes, many hotel chains already have apps that allow guests to book a room or check in remotely, but the next generation of hotel apps will encompass a much broader range of functions. You may soon be able to control almost every aspect of your stay, from deal notifications and hotel maps to the ability to send itineraries to conference attendees.
5. High-tech meeting spaces
Hotels that cater to meetings and conferences know that having the latest technology is absolutely essential. Business customers need to be able to make multimedia presentations and video conference with attendees in remote locations. Hotel chains are also working on tech upgrades like more user-friendly A/V equipment and the ability to order catering services.
6. Hotels are going “green”
We all want to save energy and preserve the environment. However, in the hospitality industry, this can pose a problem since guests still demand all the smart-tech amenities. But it’s not impossible to meet both demands.
“The correct use of energy with the new technology in hotels such as smart thermostats, LED lighting, ozone water treatments, eco-friendly laundry units that save water, motion sensor lighting systems, energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen area, and more help cut down costs on energy consumption,” according to hotelgix.com.
This service has been popular in Europe for a while, and it’s now starting to catch on in North America. SIP-DECT is a mobile-enabling feature that “… Brings the kind of features usually found on a fixed network to mobile workers all over your hotel or campus without tethering them down to specific locations. Since hotel service staff, like housekeeping, valet, concierge, and event staff are often on the go, SIP-DECT is a natural fit for hoteliers,” according to Mitel.com.
8. Services going into the cloud
Cloud-based services are on the rise in nearly every sector of business, including the hospitality industry. Cloud-based technology allows owners or managers to remotely control nearly every aspect of a hotel’s operations, including making reservations, allotting room bookings, assigning duties to staff, managing folios, running Point of Sale counters, and making periodic updates. The more flexible capability also makes it easier to expand services, as well.
These are just some of the tech trends that have us excited. We look forward to the seeing these innovations evolve and create a better guest experience for everyone.