Across the world, the Internet of Things has taken over. Smartphones have made almost any phone before it obsolete, and smart appliances have paved the way for smart homes to take their place in the lives of early adapters everywhere. To create a better experience for all while traveling, the idea has surfaced of developing smart hotels. Though there has not been a hotel that is known to be a smart hotel as of yet, that looks to change in the very near future.
In the age of the Internet of Things, almost the entire world is engulfed in the next smart object, so why wouldn’t a hotel give a guest the same experience? In order to compete with the whimsy of other staying options like AirBNB and specialty resorts, hotels need to find a way to stand out.
Enhancing technology within and outside of the rooms can attract not only the average traveler, but the early adapting travelers who are not fascinated with the idea of wanderlust that these other modern options provide. If reasonably priced for guests and structured to handle the amount of appliances the average guest uses, smart hotels could be the next big opportunity for the hospitality industry.
Much like a smart home, a smart hotel can allow a guest to control the temperature, the lights, or even a bed setting from his/her phone upon check in, so that requests are fulfilled “instantaneously” and reset upon checkout. One company has a system that can detect when a guest has gotten out of bed, turning on a light for them so they don’t have to find a light switch in the dark.
Additionally, though it is common now, guests should be able to check out from the comfort of their own phone to avoid lines. As technology progresses, it does not seem out of reach for a smart hotel to be able to detect when a guest is out of the room for housekeeping to determine their schedule and perform their duties without disturbing the guest.
These amenities could also be of great benefit to the hotel in order to increase productivity of the staff and reduce energy costs.
Even if you simply include a hotel app for guests that includes a simple in-hotel map, it would enhance user experience at your hotel immensely. There is nothing worse for a guest than getting lost in a hotel by following the many overhead signs on the way to the gym.
Enhancing hotel common areas to be “smart” could also be extremely helpful to guests when planning their schedule. Smart hotels would be able to alert or inform guests how long ago breakfast was made, distances to attractions or other locations within the hotel or outside of the hotel, or the amount of guests that are populating a common area of the hotel such as a pool or gym.