IoT for hotel automation

Mobile engagement

Today, the number of cellphones globally (6.8 billion) is almost equal to the number of people on the planet (7.6 billion), with over 85 per cent of the world’s population covered under cellular networks. The ever-pervasive cellular devices can be utilised in various ways. Smartphones can be used by guests as the key to their room or for submitting requests to the front desk.

Through the use of EAM CMMS application, smartphones can act as back-of-the-house tools as well. Through mobile devices, engineers can access work requests or work orders on-the-go to increase guest satisfaction. This eliminates the need for paper-based requests that are prone to loss or damage.

Hyper personalisation

Data can be used to customise a room setup as per the guest’s personal choices. For example, an IoT platform could over time memorise that specific guest’s comfort preferences, such as temperature and TV channels, and automatically set up the room for the next stay.

APIs and third-party integration

Vendor consolidation is a possibility with further maturation of the IoT. It will lead to a smaller number of vendors with more cohesive system offerings. Until then, integration will provide work for many, and application programming interfaces (APIs) will be the lifeblood of an integrated IoT system.

As technology advances, application areas of the IoT will widen in the future, adding more trends for guest experience and back-end control.

Limitations of connected devices

While connected devices bring forth improved productivity and efficiency in businesses, these also open gateways to threats like cyber-attacks and security breaches.

Hackers can exploit any device integrated with a hotel’s digital infrastructure. For example, Hotel Casino in London fell prey to cyber threat when a hacker got access to its high-roller database via a thermometer in the lobby fish tank. Attackers used the thermostat as an entry point to get a grip on the network. Once in, they found the high-roller database and pulled that data back across the network and up into the cloud.

Such examples represent potentially extreme cases of vulnerability. Nonetheless, it brings forward the possibilities of risks through unsuspecting connected devices in the vicinity, like thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC systems and devices like Alexa.

The IoT is the way forward for businesses. While every technology comes with its own limitations and risks, the best way forward is to leverage the solutions with necessary precautions. With proper implementation, the IoT can be an effective tool to increase customer satisfaction and, consequently, increase business revenue.

 

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