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Once security vulnerabilities are identified and addressed, the applications for the IoT are nearly unlimited. IoT is already here, with many everyday items – such as thermostats, water meters and alarm systems – becoming ‘smart’. In fact, according to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) Spending Guide, worldwide spending on the IoT will grow from $698.6 billion in 2015 to nearly $1.3 trillion in 2019, indicating that the application of IoT is steadily growing.
For hotels and resorts, IoT systems are quickly shaping the next phase of the guest experience evolution, from devices that enable keyless entry to industrial grade sensors for measuring light, color, sound, motion and pressure.
Imagine a hotel or resort using eyeball-tracking devices that can distinguish between a passing glance and a 10-second gaze. The auto industry is already piloting this technology, and applications in hospitality are not far behind. Or, consider the combination of pressure and motion sensors that detect when guests leave the room, enabling housekeepers to schedule cleaning accordingly. If you can imagine a scenario, chances are IoT technologies will soon enable it.
Yet, for hotels, perhaps the most intriguing use of IoT technologies is in the area of guest service. Properties that want a competitive advantage will leverage the IoT to provide highly customized guest experiences and deliver targeted offers and services that enhance the guest stay.
Leveraging IoT Technologies for the Guest Experience
The adoption of IoT technologies is going to be very quick in the coming years. Gartner predicts there will be more than 20 billion IoT connected devices by 2020. And many devices that are placed in hotels will be enabled with IoT capabilities.
As new HVAC models and elevator controls come on the market, many of the more advanced ones are likely to have IoT capabilities that will streamline hotel operations. HVAC systems that use IoT technology could report when a motor is showing signs of failing and report it to the maintenance department, for example. The presence of IoT capabilities in your hotel creates greater possibilities for more digital services and interactions that are actually desired by guests.
Start Planning Now
It’s not too early. You might consider an incremental deployment, beginning with areas where you realize the highest return on investment and guest satisfaction. Take IoT into consideration when making technology investment decisions and partner with providers who offer systems with open architecture. This not only enables all of your networked devices to communicate more seamlessly, but also provides the greatest flexibility to customize the delivery of unique offers and services.
Whether it is the expanding needs of newer generations or the hoteliers’ imagination of how they re-imagine guest experiences, IoT technology is a key component to bringing that vision into reality. Maximize the value of every guest engagement. Preferences change quickly. Start planning now.