Reflecting on HITEC Amsterdam 2018: Wireless is key to the hotel of the future
We have just returned from one of the biggest events in the hospitality calendar, HITEC Amsterdam 2018. It was a great show and smart technology was the hot topic of the conference. We were delighted to have met with a whole host of multinational hotel chains with our partners FourteenIP and HPE Aruba to discuss the most effective way to manage wireless power and monitor guest behaviour via wireless power. Our biggest takeaway was that smart wireless power is in high demand, bringing value for both brands and guests in connection with analytics. In terms of scaling, it’s no longer ‘if’ wireless power is deployed, but ‘when’ and ‘how’.
The race for consumer loyalty and engagement is front of mind for all hospitality businesses. No matter what calibre of restaurant or hotel - hospitality businesses are striving to get people through the door, and then provide them with such a great experience that they will come back again and again.
When you walk into a smart hotel room, wireless charging is just one type of technology that is allowing the hospitality industry to create a better customer experience. Beyond this, it can also help hotels to create and use rich data to get to know their customers better. There is a real opportunity to move nimbly, beating competitors to implement powerful and attractive technology to keep customers happy, loyal and engaged.
There are three main layers to deploying wireless charging in the hospitality industry - the wireless charging as a technology, smart monitoring, and data analytics integration. During our conversations at HITEC, we experienced a varying levels of interest from hotel groups regarding analytics and data however smart monitoring was a huge priority across the board.
The advantages for hotels are genuine. Chargifi as a platform allows for the management and monitoring of charging hotspots in real-time. The platform can manage large scale deployment and drives down maintenance costs. We are also able to provide up-to-the-minute information about guest usage patterns and hardware performance, giving hotel network managers the opportunity to optimise deployments in high-traffic areas.
Hotels integrating wireless power in their venues will have access to hyper-local location data based on where and when the user is charging. This is the key to understanding a customer’s real-life behaviours and movements.
Data provided via wireless charging is able to pinpoint the exact seating or standing location of any user in relation to a café or restaurant’s layout, in a way that Wi-Fi and beacons cannot due to accuracy limitations.
This is an intrinsic component in our journey to ensuring smart hotels, cafes and restaurants are truly personalised.
Creating a point of difference
The data insights and footfall increase via wireless power have the potential to create a huge point of difference for the hospitality industry. There is a shift for hotels from being just a resting space, to an 'experiential' space – the connected guest wants their hotel stay to be a business hub, an interactive experience, as well as offering smart room facilities.
Knowledge is power, and smart establishments have opened the door to a whole host of customer data and insights. The escalating use of mobile devices will become a convergence point for this smart functionality like cloud-based data – and if this year’s conference has anything to tell us then it is that wireless power is key to the hotel of the future.