Ambient Computing Can Make Guestrooms Smarter

SAN MATEO, CA—Smart devices are a way of life for most consumers today. As hoteliers seek to offer the comforts of home on-property, they are seizing opportunities to provide smart technology in the guestroom.

Coming in February 2018, Brilliant Control is the latest innovation in the internet of things (IoT) realm. It’s more than just a smart light switch that replaces your existing light switch; it also integrates with other smart devices in the space such as Sonos, Nest and Ring, to name a few. It also installs in less than 10 minutes.

“The use of smart technology is fundamentally broken,” said Aaron Emigh, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant, creator of Brilliant Control, based here. “For the homeowner, if you’re sitting on your couch and want to lock the door, you have to get your smartphone, launch an app and move a slider. It’s not a natural action and it’s worse when it comes to houseguests or children because they don’t have the right apps or have smartphones. You end up with a bunch of capabilities only the owner has access to.”

Emigh added, “This translates to the hotel because it’s all guests. If you’re a hotel and offer hospitality to whoever is coming in for the night, you need to offer something that exposes the capability to anyone in the room, and its difficult to do with today’s technology.”

According to Emigh, the hotel room of the near future is not just about adding smart devices, but harnessing their capabilities intelligently. That’s where ambient computing comes in to play, integrating with a network of IoT devices to drive greater efficiencies, ease of use and real-time responses for the user. Brilliant Control utilizes ambient computing, making it suitable for residential or commercial use such as hotels.

Brilliant has its share of believers, too. In October, Brilliant revealed it raised a $21-million Series A round, led by August Capital. Other participating investors included Miramar Ventures, The Box Group and the Stanford-StartX Fund, creating one of the largest Series A investments in the smart home industry, according to the company.

In addition, former Sonos sales executive Kostas Reissis joined the company as its VP of sales.

“I think there are two things that are really key for a smart hotel room: first, it has to have an ambient capability available to anyone without special hardware or applications installed on guests’ phones,” Emigh said. “Second, it has to be discoverable and straightforward for guests in the room to be able to access the capabilities.”

With its launch in February, Brilliant Control will be the first native control capability that addresses the consumer market, said Emigh.

“We’re taking this ability with a nicer user experience and making it as easy as replacing a light switch. It’s cost effective. If you have a hotel with hundreds of rooms, it’s more economical and an integrated part of the space. You don’t have to break the bank to use it,” he said.