In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. Neil Gross, Business Week, 1999
Thousands of gadgets and devices are connected to the internet every day around the world.
Smart thermostats, water meters, alarm systems, kitchen gadgets, medical equipments, industrial machinery and even personal vehicles.
According to HOSPA, in 2013 there was 1 smart gadget connected to the internet per person, worldwide. Their forecast is that there will be 9 smart gadgets with internet connection per person in the world, by the year of 2020.
This new digital age ecosystem will have a major impact on the travel and hotel industry, which are amongst the major beneficiaries of these novel technologies.
It will shape the future of humanity, all its component structures, and implicitly, the life of each and every one of us.
We are talking about The Internet of Things, in short IoT, the next frontier of the digital revolution.
IoT comes with an enormous growth potential for businesses, by increasing productivity, reducing costs, developing new products and services and new business models altogether.
At the same time, adhering IoT requires a complex integration of computer systems, software applications, networks, operating systems, and others, oftentimes very costly.
Still, IoT is the direction the world is heading, and we need to adapt to the change in order to make it.
The hotel industry especially. But let’s start with the beginning!
What does The Internet of Things (IoT) mean?
In other words, “the internet of objects”, namely smart objects, IoT is a whole new ecosystem per se.
It comprises of smart objects with data sensors, networks, cloud storage systems, apps and gadgets, that work together in order to help companies and consumers better manage their digital lives in a smarter way.
This ecosystem of interconnected devices doesn’t only include computers, smartphones or tablets, but all the “physical objects” that can connect to one another, and communicate data.
This is the short definition of The Internet of Things.
How will The Internet of Things shape our world?
According to a research conducted by SMA, 2 out of 3 people intend to purchase a smart device for their home in the upcoming year.
Forbes Magazine estimates that global IoT investments will reach $14.4 trillions by the year of 2022. The great majority will look towards enhancing customer experience, cutting costs and increasing staff productivity.
Giants like Apple, Samsung and Google have made great strides towards developing IoT solutions.
For instance, Apple is currently working on a new concept entitled HomeKit App, that allows you to control all the features and settings in your home directly from your smartphone.
The catch? Transforming your home into a smart one.
But these are just a few examples, in order to grasp the magnitude of IoT solutions and their implications in reshaping our world.
The impact of The Internet of Things (IoT) in the hotel industry
Mobility and convenience are two major aspects that the hotel and travel industry wants to improve with the help of IoT solutions.
If the hoteliers are open to embrace the IoT solutions already on the market, they may increase the efficiency of hotel operations and create a more personalized guest experience.
- New IoT technologies allow the hotel guests to check-in and access their room using personal mobile devices.
But this is merely an example of IoT hotel solutions.
- Other IoT innovations speak of room control systems, smart solutions through which the guest can adjust the room temperature or lighting, directly from their smartphone or the digital control panel in the room.
- The introduction of butler robots is another great example of how the IoT will change the face of the hotel industry as we know it.
The Internet of Things is a topical and vast subject that is spreading out quickly.
What the steps hoteliers need to take to integrate IoT solutions are, and our own approach to IoS smart hotel solutions, in an upcoming article.