Exploring the Idea of “Smart Hotels”2 min read
You almost certainly have a smart phone. You might be dreaming of having a smart home, and you’ve possibly read about the concept of smart cities. But are you ready to wrap your head around the idea of a smart hotel?
A smart hotel is a hotel that plugs in to the burgeoning Internet of Things to create a better temporary living experience. The idea is that connectedness will yield mountains of usable information and data, which will then be presented to hotel guests in a way that they can choose to take action – whether that’s knowing about tickets for a show that just became available, or being warned about a traffic jam on the route from your hotel to that show.
Here’s what you need to know about the idea:
- They really don’t exist yet. The concept of smart hotels was presented on travel industry site Skift late last year, and while hospitality companies are certainly heading in this direction, there aren’t any true, fully built-out smart hotels as some people envision. There are a few hotels that are branded Smart Hotels (most notably in Rome and Singapore), but that is not what the smart hotel concept is about.
- A smart hotel means more than just an advanced remote control in your room. The idea is not about pushing buttons; it’s about accessing information in order to better experience your destination. A smart hotel is one that will be able to deliver you information about the location in which you’re staying in order to create an experience. It doesn’t mean you’ll be able to turn on the TV and close the curtains from an iPad.
- The goal is to get you out of the hotel. The idea is that a smart hotel will be less about the accommodations, and more about the experience—an experience that happens as you explore your destination. After all, that’s why we travel, right? Smart hotels will plug in to smart cities to know what’s happening that may be of interest to you, with the idea that you will then go out to explore.
- They should be affordable. Smart hotels will realize that the goal is to create a great travel experience, but not necessarily one that is focused on getting you to spend your time and money inside the hotel’s walls. You’ll be spending less time in your room, it won’t be quite as posh, and the pricing will reflect that.
The goal of technology is supposed to be to make our lives better. The concept of smart hotels holds the possibility of creating a different, more fulfilling travel experience. Technology is getting to a point where things like smart hotels are possible – and no longer science fiction set way off in the future.