By Scott Heinlein, Ruckus Networks.
Consumers’ homes are rapidly transforming with the use of smart IoT automation. From digital assistants to wireless speakers, webcams, environmental controls, security systems and more, consumers are accustomed to instant and easy automated personalization of their space.
This ‘new way of life’ is increasingly expected when they travel.
While hotel rooms now include Wi-Fi and a flat-panel HDTV, those are often the primary technology upgrades in recent years. Most hotel rooms offer only limited personalization based on guest preferences, even for typical home automation applications such as thermostat controls. Hotel room keycards often result in multiple unsuccessful attempts to unlock the door. And personalized entertainment options, such as “casting” guests’ TV subscription services, are still mostly absent.
If this trend continues, guests will become increasingly frustrated with the stark contrast between their smart homes and hotel rooms. Ultimately, the hotels that can narrow the disparity and bring smart hotel rooms, will be the likely winners of establishing guest loyalty. This is especially true for frequent travelers and millennials— the critical audience segment for hotel brands—who have even higher expectations for the availability of smart technology to make them feel at home even when they’re on the road.
Hospitality IoT experiences that drive loyalty
WAV, Inc. and Ruckus want to help hotels redefine the guest experience. What does that look like?
Imagine your guest walks into the hotel, and their device with the hotel app installed automatically connects to the hotel Wi-Fi network. Through location-based services, the network knows they’ve arrived, and the guest is automatically assigned their room and sends a notification of the room number to their device. Tired from a day of traveling, the guest happily skips the registration desk and heads directly to their assigned room, using the hotel map automatically pushed to their device.
While they are walking to the room, the room is busy preparing itself based on the guest preferences. The TV is turned on and tuned to the appropriate channel or app, or their favorite music and artist is streaming. The thermostat is adjusted to the ideal temperature, the curtains are either drawn or opened, and the room lighting is set based on the time of day and preferences.
The guest arrives at their room and uses the installed digital key on their device used to open the room door. The guest enters the perfectly personalized room. They can relax and finish the movie they had been watching at home while enjoying the room service meal ordered in advance. And with reliable LTE mobile access available everywhere on the hotel property, they can quickly take a business call with no frustrating dead zones.
Every time they leave for the day or eventually check out, their room is returned to an efficient state. TV, music, and lights are powered off. The thermostat is adjusted for energy efficiency, and curtains are closed or opened for energy savings.
This new guest experience is possible today but putting the correct IoT and Wi-Fi network in place is critical. IoT technology is fragmented today with many standards and devices, creating the need for multiple networks (Zigbee, BLE, Wi-Fi, private LTE) to support the applications to make this guest experience a reality. Multiple networks result in an extraordinarily complex and costly network that is challenging to support.
Simplify and secure your hospitality network and lower the costs of deploying Wi-Fi and IoT applications
New wireless access points from Ruckus deliver more than exceptional Wi-Fi—they also enable a single, secure wireless network for all your Wi-Fi, IoT and LTE technologies. This significantly reduces complexity, cost of implementation and ongoing support & management.
The Ruckus IoT Suite includes open APIs for easy and secure integration with a variety of IoT device partners, using any of the most-accepted IoT technology platforms. And we bundle security best-practices—including digital certificates, traffic isolation, physical security, and encryption—to ensure your hotel network remains secure as you add IoT devices. Also, our OpenG LTE portfolio adds LTE coverage throughout the entire hotel.