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From Smart Home to Smart Hotel: Optimal, Made-to-Measure Comfort at Home or Away
Smart home products have been around for a few years now, but they are becoming more popular every day.
From Amazon’s Alexa to robot vacuums like Roomba, there is a smart home device for everyone. The increase in popularity is coming from a higher dependency on electronics that can perform better to make life easier. As more of these devices are being bought and brought into homes, more individuals become accustomed to a smart home experience. Even older homes can be transformed into smart homes thanks to the devices out on the market today.
While only 12.5% of homes were considered to be smart in 2016, that number is supposed to increase to 28% in the next three years.
Some of the most popular smart home devices like the Ring doorbell camera and Nest’s learning thermostat are changing the way people are living. No longer are bulky surveillance cameras needed, and many people are benefiting from the decreased energy costs of a Wi-Fi controlled thermostat. The decrease in daily living costs is one of the mains reasons why bigger corporations are taking note of smart home devices.
The Appeal of Smart Hotels
Hotels spend thousands of dollars per year on each hotel room they have. Energy costs an average of over $2,000 per year per room, which can attribute to millions of dollars spent.
Some costs are unavoidable when it comes to energy consumption, but hotels are now looking into smarter devices that can be installed to provide a better experience for guests while lowering the energy consumption and costs related to hotel housing.
Large hotel chains like Hilton and Marriot are currently beta-testing Internet of Things (IoT) to customize the hotel experience for guests. This includes things like changing the temperature to whatever the guest prefers, only turning certain lights on, preloading content onto the TV, and automatically turning lights off when the smart devices sense the guest has left the room.
Imagine going into a hotel room to have your preferences all laid out in front of you. To make things easier, this could all be controlled by your smartphone. This helps guests feel more comfortable upon entering the room, but it also saves hotel chains money.
Challenges and Benefits of IoT
Right now, hotels each have a protocol for how a room is supposed to be for a guest when they check in. This often includes a set temperature and lights on. To make guests happy, hotels often err on the side of too cold and too bright because it is much easier to turn off lights and air conditioning than having to turn them on.
Since rooms could be cleaned hours before a guest checks in, the energy consumption is extremely high when it might not be needed. This ends up costing the hotel exorbitant amounts of money that could be saved if they had smart hotel technology that programmed rooms for individual guests and also collected data for all guests. While some hotels have implemented smart devices like electronic keys, motion activated thermostats, and different streaming services on TV, hotels have yet to find an IoT system to connect all of them.
Putting smart devices in hotel chains could come with an upfront cost that some chains would rather pass on, but the benefits far outweigh the initial cost to implement the infrastructure.
Hilton and Marriot hotels are testing smart devices in certain areas, but the furthest along in smart hotel technology is Wynn Resorts for implementing an Amazon Echo into each hotel room. Amazon’s Echo is easy to use and fun for guests, but there are other smart hotel products out there that could do better in optimizing comfort in the hotel room.
GreenMe’s cube, for example, can track the data of temperature, air quality, humidity, noise, and other environmental factors. Smart cubes could track data from hotel guests and help hotels change their natural settings to appeal to the larger audience.
The analysis of the collected data would also be a way to see what might be bothering guests in certain rooms and not others, alerting the hotel of a problem that should be fixed.
Taking the data from smart devices could significantly help hotels make their customers’ experience more personalized and comfortable. Figuring out how to easily implement smart home technology into hotel rooms presents a unique challenge since most smart devices are focused on brands, like all Amazon, all Google, or all Apple devices.
Implementing an IoT connected device might come with some challenges, but it could also cut costs and improve customer satisfaction in the long run.