Smart devices create new opportunities for guestroom design
by Jena Tesse Fox | Dec 11, 2019 11:11am
The Internet of Things is gaining ground in hotel guestrooms, with smart devices making it easier than ever for travelers to manage their room preferences and get information wherever they stay…
…Just as smartphones have combined entire desktops of gadgets into one pocket-sized device, new tabletop tools can combine a range of important room elements into a single unit that serves as the air conditioning control, TV remote control, radio, lighting hub and—yes—the phone to the front desk.
“Technology has really passed the majority of the hotels by,” said Yani Deros, CEO of Cirq+, who argued that hotels are now “scrambling” to modernize guestrooms. “What they have is a very costly and dated [private branch exchange] phone system that nobody uses. You have an alarm clock radio that nobody uses and—most of the time—is unplugged. You can never find enough power chargers next to the bed.” At the same time, he noted, many midscale hotels lack a dedicated energy-management system, and the environment suffers (as does a hotel’s bottom line) when empty rooms have air conditioning on full blast and lights at full brightness. “So based on all that research, we found a massive opportunity to consolidate devices [and] unify a technology platform,” said Deros.
During remodels and renovations, Deros added, hotels are spending “thousands of dollars” on wired headboards with integrated cables, plugs and switches. “That’s not necessary anymore,” he said. “[A freestanding option is] a fraction of the price of all this furniture that’s being put in and it can be retrofitted … It can either be on a small bedside table or it could be mounted to the wall.”