With temperatures increasing and all of your friends ready to spend the Summer Holidays in dreamy places, you can’t wait to start your holiday too.
Maybe it’s just a matter of days before you close your laptop and drive to the airport or maybe there are still a few days to go before you can say “Goodbye everyone, see you when I’m back!”. In either case, you have long been waiting for your holiday and the last thing you want is for unexpected incidents to ruin it. On the contrary, it is estimated that more and more people expect customised travel experiences, during which they can 100% relax.
This new trend, together with the increasing number of millennials booking their first holiday, is completely reshaping the travel and hospitality industries. Hotel chains, airlines, museums and restaurants are taking advantage of modern technologies to make sure their guests enjoy unique experiences.
No doubt, the technology that’s currently having the biggest impact on the travel and hospitality sectors is the Internet of Things, i.e. a newtwork of wifi connected devices infusing connectivity into everyday objects and enabling users to manage them at a distance.
Nowadays, IoT is so pervasive that Gartner estimates that the number of connected devices will reach 20.8 billion by 2020, with a planned investment of approximately 128 million per organization in the hospitality sector alone.
Because hotel chains and airlines are so prone to invest in it, it is time for travellers to realize why the IoT will be a revolution for holidays as we know them.
Here are three ways the IoT will contribute to making your holiday a unique experience.
NO MORE LOST LUGGAGE WITH LUGGAGE TRACKING
When you are on holiday, you want to make every minute count, therefore having your luggage mishandled and even lost can be incredibly annoying. Although the number of mishandled pieces of luggage has decreased by 70% in the last 10 years, still it is estimated that 14.000 pieces of luggage were lost or mishandled 2017 and the number increased by 47% in case of connections.
Who wants to spend their first day in a different country at the Lost and Found desk?
Recently, major brands and luggage retailers have started to implement luggage tracking systems, such as UrbanTracker, into their products.
IoT-connected tracking systems use the wifi network to execute accurate triangulation and locate the item they are placed on. With wifi-based tracking systems, users can keep track of their luggage at anytime, even when it’s on the plane, and they are able to find it in case it gets lost. Thanks to paired mobile applications, users can follow their luggage throughout the whole journey and alert the airport staff if they see unexpected movements. What is more, modern mobile apps allow users to set location based alarms, so as to receive a notification when one’s luggage is in an unusual location.
THE INFORMATION YOU NEED ON YOUR SMARTPHONE
If you are visiting a new city, or you are simply venturing in an unfamiliar place, chances are that you might get lost. Whether you do not want to buy the city map because you do not want everybody to see you are a tourist, or maps aren’t really your thing, IoT technology can come to you aid.
Beacons technology allows businesses, as well as town councils and tourist centres, to send tailored information to travellers and help them find their way to the nearest museum, hotel or store.
Placed in strategic locations, beacons send tailored information to the smartphones nearby. They can alert turists on the location of a museum, signal that one’s hotel is just round the corner or provide travellers with customised marketing information so as to entice them to enter the nearest shop.
What is more, several museums have already implemented beacons as a replacement of traditional audio guides. The New York Guggenheim Museum implemented a beacons-connected mobile app which visitors can download on their smartphone so as to receive information about the drawings and works they are looking at, thanks to the beacons placed next to them.
Hotel chains have taken advantage of this technology by implementing beacons alerting travellers when they approached their room. The next frontier is now the mobile key, allowing users to open their room door with their mobile.
LEAVE THE CONCERNS AT HOME WITH CHATBOTS
When you leave there are a million thoughts that come to you mind. Did I switch off the lights? Did I close the windows? Is the front door locked? We all know how it feels like to endlessly wonder if you did all you had to do. But how does it feel when you realise you didn’t?
Thanks to Chatbots, we might never know. Chatbots (also known as Talkbots or Bots) are voice-activated, smart and easy to use applications making all human-to-machine interactions (HMI) much faster and speeding up daily-life tasks. Installed on smartphones and mobile devices, chatbots enable users to activate and operate connected devices at a distance.
In this way, users are able to turn on the heating or the boiler just before coming back from their holiday; they can check what is left in the fridge and do the shopping online; they can see who is at the front door and open it to let the courier deliver their parcel and much more.
In other words, Chatbots allow users to perform their every day tasks and take care of their home, wherever they are in the world.
Tracking systems, beacons and chatbots are just a few example of how the IoT will change the travel and hospitality Industries.
To keep up with IoT in the Travel Industry, visit our website.