It can’t be said that the Internet of Things is a completely new concept. It’s been here for quite a while and has already set new standards for numerous industries. In this article, we’d like to focus on the many uses for the IoT in the hospitality industry, to analyze how IoT solutions can improve guest satisfaction and consequently raise hotel profits.
Let’s start with some basics before we dive deeper into the details.
IoT in hospitality: Market overview
When speaking of IoT applications in the hospitality industry, it’s important to mention the notion of “smart hotels.” This refers to hotels powered by internet-connected devices that can communicate and interact with one another. In other words, the hotel contains a variety of ordinary appliances and devices that have special modules or features that allow them to send and receive data from other devices. Thanks to this data exchange, it is possible to control these devices fully remotely or to automate their functioning.
In general, IoT in hospitality can be explained as a network of connected smart devices that help to optimize business processes for hotels, reduce their operating costs and ensure the best experiences for guests.
For example, hotels can use IoT devices for facilitating and speeding up processes such as verifying room keys, registering guests, controlling door locks, etc. IoT also plays a very important role in ensuring the highest level of security at hotels, as smart locks and security solutions can detect any suspicious activities and unauthorized movements. We will have a look at IoT solutions used in hospitality in more detail further in our article.
One of the factors that have greatly influenced the adoption of IoT in the hospitality industry was the pandemic and all the related restrictions. It was crucial to minimize person-to-person contacts, and that’s when smart devices that could be controlled remotely or function independently entered the game.
According to studies conducted by PwC, around 70% of hotel managers who participated in the survey said they had already tested or implemented IoT solutions and/or pilots. And with the whole range of new possibilities that hotels can enjoy by using these tech solutions, it is reasonable to expect an increase in the number of smart hotels.
Benefits of IoT for hotels
So, why does it make sense for hotels to consider using a system of connected devices and IoT app development services?
- Optimized costs and efficient services. IoT helps to reduce operational costs by making it possible to manage a lot of tasks automatically. IoT devices enriched with different kinds of sensors (for example, an automated lighting system) can also be helpful in reducing utility bills.
- Improved guest experience. Advanced tech solutions can speed up a lot of procedures and help avoid human error, which has a positive impact on the general impression guests will get.
- Accurate predictive analytics. With smart hotel systems, managers can get a better understanding of guests’ needs and preferences based on the data collected by IoT devices. The gathered data can be used to identify patterns and trends in visitor behavior.
IoT applications in the hospitality industry
Now let’s take a look at some of the most widespread use cases of IoT in hospitality. If you are a hotel manager or work in another industry but want to invest in smart hotel systems, maybe these examples of IoT in the industry will inspire you.
Guest room automation
With IoT, you can create a centralized network of automated systems that will “remember” guests' preferences in lighting, air temperature, and even food and drink choices. Smart sensors can detect when guests wake up and will send commands to other devices to open curtains, switch on music or fulfill any other tasks based on the guest’s habits and traditional routine. When a guest leaves the room, the lights can be switched off automatically.
Voice-controlled customer service
Such solutions are already used at some famous hotels in various parts of the world. With this innovative option, guests can easily call for room service, book a table at a restaurant, order food to the room, or make an appointment for a massage session or any other spa procedure, simply by giving voice commands. Voice-controlled systems are significantly more convenient to use than traditional communication channels such as landline phones.
This IoT use case has already become standard for some hotel chains. It’s comfortable for guests as they don’t need to adjust their plans to meet some specific check-in hours. Secondly, if you don’t want to limit check-in to specific hours you would normally need to hire receptionists to work 24 hours a day. With automated solutions, you can reduce the number of employees and save labor costs.
This application involving many connected devices is used in a wide range of industries, to track the location of various items at warehouse facilities, supermarkets, etc. In the case of smart hotels, managers and guest service staff can use it to quickly and easily track the location of equipment such as luggage racks and cleaning carts. This reduces time wasted looking for such items.
Smart locks and security solutions
Safety and security remain top priorities for hotels interested in attracting more guests and building a good reputation. With an IoT security system of connected devices with sensors that can detect any movement or unauthorized door opening, it is possible to increase the level of protection for guests and the property itself. Such an IoT security solution can also be used to allow guests the convenience of using a mobile app instead of a traditional key to open their hotel rooms.
Energy savings and optimizing utility costs
Operating a hotel means paying some rather impressive utility bills. However, thanks to IoT devices powered by sensors that can detect parameters such as temperature, natural lighting, and movement, you can significantly reduce energy consumption. Smart devices can control the temperature and automatically turn air conditioning on and off, track the lightning and automatically switch lamps on and off, and identify when guests leave their rooms to turn off all devices (such as TV sets) that are not being used at the moment.
Integration of tablets and smartphones
It goes without saying that it’s much more comfortable for guests to manage all the devices and systems in their hotel rooms via their own mobile phones and tablets, instead of learning how to deal with a bunch of unfamiliar buttons and touchpads on the devices. With IoT, it’s possible to operate many features via guests’ mobile devices.
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Smart hotels: Automation trends
We can define a couple of trends in hotel automation that have the best chance of being massively adopted in the near future.
- Interactive dashboards for controlling various features in hotel rooms;
- Indoor delivery robots that are powered by AI and ML tools and can fulfill various tasks, including elevator operation;
- Connected thermostats for automatic room temperature adjustments;
- IoT systems for predictive maintenance that help hoteliers detect and eliminate problems with equipment while it’s still functioning.
Hotels that use IoT solutions
It is interesting to note that today, some hotel chains are actively developing IoT connected systems to offer to their guests.
One of the brightest examples is the Marriott hotel chain. The company recently presented its IoT smart hotel room of the future, a project realized with the support of Legrand and Samsung. The concept includes numerous systems, apps, and devices that interact with each other and exchange data for automating various processes. Marriott says the wide adoption of this project would allow them to increase their guest satisfaction and optimize business operations.
Another case is a common project of Schneider Electric and Le Méridien Goa. Their IoT-powered hotel helps to cut energy consumption and improve guests' experience.
Hospitality is one of the industries that may enjoy the biggest benefits of adopting IoT. Given the wide range of advantages, we can safely assume that the number of IoT-powered concepts and projects for hotels will only grow in the future. That’s why if you have an idea for an IoT-connected system and are looking for reliable developers who will help you, please bear in mind that at Cogniteq, we are always open to cooperation. With our expertise in the field, you can be sure of getting a cutting-edge, high-quality solution. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
What can IoT do for hospitality?
IoT in the hospitality industry fulfills two major tasks. Such smart solutions help to optimize business processes and reduce costs for hotels while enhancing the guest experience. All this is possible thanks to the introduction of connected devices and the automation of multiple tasks.
How is technology changing the hospitality industry?
IoT sets new standards and transforms the way some traditional tasks are performed. For example, automated check-in procedures, a huge innovation not long ago, have become common. In general, the Internet of Things helps to ensure better security and quality in the provided services.