Smartphone is likely to become an essential tool that helps to enhance guest experience in a hotel, because it will send customer preferences to the hotel that they stay at.
Hoteliers are starting to add BLE connectivity to their RFID doors, so that guests can open the door not only with their IC card, but also with their smartphones. This allows guests to bypass check-in at the front desk and go straight to their reserved rooms.
But there is more. The smartphone sends the guest’s identity to hotels, which can then provide custom experience, tailored to the unique preferences of each guest. Access control solution provider Dormakaba is helping its hotel clients implement the custom experience.
Joey Yanire, Senior Product Manager of Mobile Access Lodging Systems at Dormakaba, said once the door is unlocked, it sends a command to the room controller to adjust equipment such as television, audio, lights and drapes depending upon the situation. “The system is able to share information with third party systems, enhancing energy management and room automation, and provides many levels of interoperability in a smart room context with the other in-room devices,” Yanire said.
The idea is to store customer preferences into a database so that hotels will know what service or products to provide when they arrive.
“If you are a loyalty member, your preference will be available to the room service management. The customer service may bring your favorite tea to you five minutes after you check in,” said Rupert Spaetauf, Managing Director of Hafele Taiwan, which provides furniture hardware for five-star hotels.
Major hotel chains understand it is essential to adopt a mobile oriented strategy to travelers. Dormakaba is helping its clients do this. “Our approach with Mobile Access for all hotel sizes, is to accompany properties in their mobile strategy, whether it is a property with in-house development team or an independent hotel with limited resources,” Yanire said.
Dormakaba is partnering with third-party app integrators to accommodate the hotel mobile strategy. It has developed a program that allows hotels without a development team to work with a third-party partner to take advantage of a mobile access solution.
Residents will be more apt to book properties that have smart home technology available. This applies to hotels as well as vacation rental homes. “Customers will continue to move towards more personalized, seamless interactions,” said Richard Lang, Vice President of Sales I Oracode at Dormakaba.
Facial Recognition to Identify Guests
Looking into the future, Yanire believes facial recognition will be the next technology to replace smartphones for access control. If a known and friendly face is detected arriving at the property, hotels may text promotional offers or a welcome message. Iris recognition can be used to confirm the identity of a guest who is making a room reservation through a loyalty member app.
Facial recognition is an emerging guest safety technology that hoteliers can use to enhance property security. Guest images can be stored in a property or chain cloud server. Property security can monitor facial recognition notices to detect when an unwelcome visitor walks through the property, Yanire said.