Smartphone has become almost an everyday tool for many people, and its capabilities are still increasing, to enable people to realize benefits of smart home, smart city, smart government, etc.
Besides making calls, smartphone is gradually turning into an e-wallet, as the adoption of Apply Pay, Google Pay and LINE Pay increases. IoT company ATW Technology Inc. is integrating all the three mobile pay capabilities into one app, so that consumers can make purchases more easily.
ATW is working with different vendors, including hotels, retailers and service providers, to make mobile pay available to customers. In the hotel application, customers may choose to use their phone as the key to their rooms, besides using it to make payment, for foods and drinks they consumed in the hotel, for example.
Hotels desire the mobile pay functionality too, because it gives them another option to charge if there are any property loss or damages incurred by customers. Hotels may even send photos of damages via cellphone for damage confirmation before they charge.
Hotels may even charge for other in-room services. The reason mobile pay is gaining traction is that mobile phone is usually just a pocket away from the user. Vendors can send payment push notifications easily, and users can pay from their phones in a couple of swipes and taps.
ATW says the phone may also serve as the tool to track employee attendance. The company is helping a hotel client setting up a human resource system, to let its staff swipe their phones by a machine to punch time. There is a camera at the machine to double-check if the smartphone swiped matches with the owner.
The hotel may also cut down on front desk receptionist manpower after allowing guests to check-in and open the room with their phones. All in all, the hotel may decrease human resource expenses by 30%, according to ATW.
Smartphone is considered the future. Hotels will allow guests to unlock the door of their rooms from a smartphone. This requires a makeover of existing doors that are RFID-enabled.
BLE Doors Contribute to Cost Saving
Hotels will need to add Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity to their doors so they can communicate with BLE-enabled smartphones. It is costly but the price will come down eventually, according to Rupert Spaetauf, Managing Director of Hafele Taiwan, which provides smart door locks to five-star hotels. The BLE-enabled doors connects with a control panel indoors that controls lights and other appliances.
“The supply of keycards is a thriving business since many guests ‘forget’ to return the cards when checking out. Even though card prices have dropped significantly, it is still a cost factor for hotels and where BLE-enabled doors would further contribute to cost savings,” Spaetauf said.
Hotel application is just one example. The mobile key can be applied in a community complex, a commercial building or even a government building. “Our vision is to promote smart city, where people can using their smartphone to open doors, to make payments, and everything else,” said Sam Lin, CEO of ATW Technology.