Hotel Technology Chapter 14 History review A Look Back: Hotel Guestroom Technology Between 1970 and 2000 Here’s the Exhibit on the next slide. Locking Systems Mechanical Locks: used by hotels well beyond the first half of the 20th Century. Electronic Locking Systems (ELS): not hard wired depend on a long-life battery to be a practical installation. Key Cards: the lock will not open unless the plastic card key is properly inserted. TECHNOLOGY IN THE ROOM: THE NEW GENERATION Biometric Locking Systems – In 2006, IBM exhibited a biometric locking system that scanned the user’s iris. – Arriving guests register their fingerprints or iris scans as part of registration process. – Guests do not feel comfortable giving up sensitive information such as fingerprints and iris scans. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – Another innovation undergoing tests. It relies on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. – A Radio Frequency Identification lock contains no open ports and no moving parts. Access is made by radio waves with the encrypted code carried on the tag, or key, or elsewhere, perhaps on a wristband. Energy Management and Climate Control Systems – The lodging industry spends nearly $5 billion annually on energy – Guests have the comfort of setting their own in-room temperatures and the hotels the anguish of controlling costs. – Ceiling sensors electronically communicate the status of the room to the energy management system. – Electronic Key Card Systems: A wall-mounted unit at the entrance to the room controls all electrical and HVAC devices. – Body-Motion Detection Systems: A motion detection system requires in-room sensors, and inhall sensors as well, since the installation should be extended beyond the guest rooms. When the ceiling sensor detects no motion, lights and HVAC equipment are shut down. – Body-Heat Detection Systems: Heat –detection systems are similar to motion installations, except they work from the body heat generated by guests and pets. – “ True” Detection Systems: A new energy management system has been developed by Smart Systems International. An added feature, an adaptive learning system, controls the amount of time needed to return the temperature to the guests’ set point once the room is reoccupied. Networked Fire Alarm System – A good fire system connects smoke detectors to a central management system by means of a wireless network. – Sensing smoke, the detector notified the closet receiving unit, which transmits the information to the central management system. Minibars – Minibars changed over time as technology improved the degree of automation. – The minibar is a good profit center for the hotel. – There are 3 kinds of minibar: + Traditional (Nonautomated) Minibars + Semiautomated Systems + Automated (Microprocessor) Systems Inroom Safes – Initially, most hotels charge for inroom safes. – Safes reduce theft. Electronic locking systems battle external theft; inroom safes reduce internal losses. – Similar to the door lock, access to the safe progressed through several steps. + Magnetic Stripe Cards + Code-Based (Digital) Entry + Biometric Safes COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS A Brief History of Telephone Service: – Between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, the telephone department was a big contributor to the hotel industry’s bottom line. Departmental income exceeded 2.5% of total hotel revenues. – Both social change and innovation brought a rapid decline to inroom telephone use. That’s why revenues began falling as the 20th century ended. Internet Access – Dial-Up Access: The first generation; speed is poor; business travelers prefer dial-up access because of the heightened security. – High Speed with Wired Access: The speed varies between 1Mbps and 100 Mbps. To minimize the hotel’s liability, guests are asked to sign a liability waiver before using the equipment. – High Speed with Wireless Access: Guests transact much of their business in public settings, such as lobbies and meeting rooms; less cost for installation than a wired one. Future of Hotel Telephones – Voice-Over-Internet Protocol (VOIP): It routes voice conversation over the Internet or through any other IP-based network. – VOIP telephones don’t look much different than their analog cousins (see Exhibit 14-19), but they are a world apart. They are also the future of hotel telephony. Wake-Up Systems – Manual Wake-Up Systems: Guests call the telephone operator requesting a wake-up call. At the appropriate time, the call is made to the room. – Semiautomatic Systems: It is the system, not the operator, that makes the wake-up call. – Fully Automated and Interactive TV Wake-Up Systems: + Guests push a “ wake-up” button. A digital voice walks the user through the several simple steps (Automated). + Guests set the wake-up call with the TV remote (Interactive). Voice Mail – Voice mail enables a caller to leave a message for an absent guest. – Voice mail is more common in full-service properties than in transient lodging such as motor hotels. – Guests can leave messages as well as receive them. They can have messages forwarded to another room. OTHER TECHNOLOGIES Inroom Entertainment Systems – Today’s generation of travelers expect rooms to have the same multimedia and entertainment choices that they use at home. – Inroom entertainment is a fast growing revenue center. – Visitors are willing to pay for movies, videoon-demand, inroom games and high-speed Internet access. At the Desk – Technology’s greatest impact has been at the desk. – The property management system has quickened the speed of service; reduced labor cost; improved accuracy; and modernized the look and flow of the lobby. – The self-service kiosk that speeds the guest along simultaneously saves the hotel labor (between 15%-20%). Stages in Hotel Technology – Control Panels: Now, guest-room control panels are showing up in a few avant-garde hotels. – Standardization: From HITIS and Beyond The Hospitality Industry Technology Integration Standards (HITIS); The Open Travel Alliances (OTA); and The Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG): All these three organizations bring manufactures, suppliers, consultants, and end-users together.