HOUSTON—Not surprisingly, HITEC Houston included a bevy of product launches and enhancements to existing innovations. While not a comprehensive list by any means, here’s a sampling of the technology unveilings at the recent event.
Evolve Controls Releases Consolidated Guest-Facing Room Controls Interface
Evolve Controls launched Evolve Guest Interface (eGI), a multi-protocol gateway built into a touchscreen interface device. The 8-in. Windows/Intel-based gateway enables guests to control in-room climate, lighting, shading and drapery, as well as other functions to increase efficiencies for both guests and staff. The eGI device will interface with Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth and WiFi.
According to the company, benefits of the platform include the following: turn down, butler or housekeeping services are accomplished with a touch of a button; the digital clock automatically syncs, eliminating the manual process of updating clocks; it is compatible with Evolve’s existing portfolio of in-room devices; it does not require expensive on-site servers to maintain, or costly home-run wiring; and each room can stand alone and operate independent of internet access.
The eGI allows the hotel to configure the home screen to include branding elements, as well as hotel-wide messages. In addition, guests are enabled to personalize functions such as an alarm clock and screen brightness settings. The eGI is available in table-top and wall mounted options.
Springer-Miller Systems Launches Teres POS
Springer-Miller Systems (SMS) launched its newest product and point-of-sale (POS) solution, Teres POS. According to the company, Teres provides a premium, guest-centric, point-of-sale solution for both food and beverage and retail operations at luxury hotel, resort or casinos. The product is built on a contemporary .NET Framework and a Microsoft SQL database. Teres delivers modern POS capabilities as well as integration with front desk and accounting departments.
According to the company, the intuitive design of Teres translates to improved speed and quality of service to the guest. Staff can access guest information and preferences through Teres POS as needed. When integrated with the SMS Host PMS system, customers also gain the ability to post charges to any guest account, synchronize F&B totals through an end-of-day accounting function and zoom into POS check details directly from an SMS Host guest folio.
SiteMinder Exchange Aims to Solve Hotel System Connectivity
SiteMinder unveiled SiteMinder Exchange, a solution that solves the connectivity problem for hotel property management systems and hotel applications. Enabling a seamless transfer of hotel data between PMSs and applications, SiteMinder Exchange is founded on a paradigm of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS)—or, data on demand.
Hotel applications pay no upfront cost to be integrated; instead, they subscribe to a low monthly fee for each hotel property that chooses to have that application connected to their PMS. The solution is free for PMSs and hotels.
Broadvine Introduces Broadvine Insights and Broadvine Essentials
Broadvine released two new products to increase the breadth and flexibility of its application. Broadvine Insights expands the data and analysis capabilities of the existing application, while Broadvine Essentials provides an entry-level product to companies needing to automate data consolidation, reporting and forecasting processes.
With Broadvine Insights, customers will be able to use additional data and analysis to better predict what is likely to happen instead of relying on historical data to guide their decisions, according to the company.
Essentials offers a combination of the company’s reporting, budgeting, and forecasting modules with an expedited onboarding program and a collection of key reports. Essentials is a cost-effective package targeted to companies with less complex properties or a smaller portfolio of hotels that would benefit from automated reports and an easy to use process for budgeting and forecasting.
SkyTouch Unveils New Hotel Technology Integration Platform
SkyTouch Technology’s SkyTouch/Connect integration platform is an Application Program Interface (API) that enables other applications to interact with the SkyTouch platform in a simple and seamless way.
According to the company, with SkyTouch/Connect, hoteliers will have more control over their technology, giving them the flexibility to enhance their SkyTouch platform by incorporating the technology they need.
Select third-party technologies can use SkyTouch/Connect as an integration specification. Vendors build the integration when it makes sense for them and then self-certify in a short period of time, reducing the time required to get their product offering to market.
Cendyn’s eInsight and Guestfolio, Duetto’s revenue strategy platform and Whistle’s guest messaging platform are expected to be among the first technologies to integrate with SkyTouch/Connect.
Electro-Media Design Unveils AVaStar at HITEC
Electro-Media Design has introduced a new solution for venue operators that will make the self-managing of AV Technologies an asset, rather than a liability, according to the company. Called AVaStar, the patent-pending solution is designed for in-house hotel staff who find themselves tasked with managing event technology processes and coordinating equipment rental, set up and servicing, even when it may not be their primary job responsibility.
The AVaStar SaaS will facilitate consultative selling, resource scheduling, inventory management, preventive maintenance and troubleshooting, management and operational reports, vendor management, and revenue and cost accounting.
Assa Abloy Reveals Security Innovations
Assa Abloy Hospitality introduced a series of new innovations at HITEC, including Vostio and Bluvision. According to the company, Vostio is a maintenance-free, cloud-based management system designed to maximize operational efficiency and enhance guest convenience. Accessed through the cloud, Vostio can be managed from virtually anywhere in the world, since local servers are not required. Vostio is GDPR-ready and built on the latest industry standards, ensuring total data confidentiality, integrity and traceability through the use of its encrypted system, according to the company. As a cloud-based platform, Vostio also receives automatic software updates to ensure that properties are always fully protected against the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
Bluvision uses location-based beacon technology to enhance safety, while maximizing guest satisfaction and property efficiency, according to the company. A Bluetooth Low Energy and cloud-based platform, Bluvision beacons can be used to detect movement in areas that are off limits, while providing the ability to create access badges that provide entry authorization. A platform that also focuses on empowering IoT-based services, Bluvision can further be used to provide guests with personalized offers based on their unique interests and specific location within a property. Staff members can use Bluvision’s asset management functionality to track the location of inventory, and its sensors can be used to monitor temperature conditions in cold rooms.
Novility Releases New Training Modules
Novility launched three new interactive training modules to complement its course curriculum, doubling it in size. In addition to Housekeeping, Introduction to Ergonomics and Ergonomics Awareness: Housekeeping, the modules have expanded to Cleaning Public Areas, Bellhop SOPs and Ergonomics Awareness: Bellhops.
The training is carried out on the Novility L.I.V.E. platform, an interactive training solution powered by motion-tracking and voice-recognition technology. Hotel employees are guided through their roles and responsibilities by the virtual trainer in a hands-on 3D environment.
Cloud5 Introduces the Hospitality Dashboard Experience (HDX)
Cloud5’s Hospitality Dashboard Experience (HDX), is built on Cloud5’s open and unified voice and data platform and will merge standard network metrics with data analytics to streamline staff workflows and optimize the guest experience.
By leveraging vast sources of device-based data, including inputs across IoT, the Cloud5 HDX will monitor and analyze performance, take proactive corrective actions based on network events and present opportunities to enhance guest service and operational efficiency.
Cendyn Releases Advanced Engage Application
Cendyn revealed the next-generation release of its Cendyn Engage guest intelligence solution. Advancements include enhanced user interface, reporting, rules engine and personalization options.
Used in conjunction with Cendyn’s eInsight hotel CRM, Engage sits on top of a hotel’s property management system or call center application, intelligently guiding staff to create authentic, meaningful encounters and upsell offerings based on guest history, preferences and loyalty status, according to the company. The lightweight application can be accessed on any device and features configurable messaging prompts and data displays.
Bittel Debuts Moda, a Smart Device for Guestrooms
Bittel Americas’ Moda, designed by Jacob Jensen, will equip hotels with stackable smart devices. Moda options include a charging module, alarm/clock module, speakerphone module, Bluetooth speaker module, casting module, and voice-recognition module.
Honeywell Launches New Connected Hotel Solutions
Honeywell launched a suite of next-generation energy management software, smart lighting, voice controls, and secure cloud communication systems at HITEC, including the Inncom InnControl 5 energy management and guestroom automation control system. The cloud-based and on-premise system monitors real-time guestroom data from intelligent Inncom devices, such as its e7 Thermostat, to improve a hotel’s energy savings, increase operational efficiency, and enhance the guest experience. InnControl 5 also provides a completely new, enterprise level executive dashboard that displays property and portfolio operational status. The executive dashboard gives asset managers, REIT operators, and hotel portfolio directors information on property conditions for informed decisions based on timely data.
Honeywell also debuted its new Spectre guestroom solution that merges smart thermostat technology with guestroom lighting controls. Spectre combines Honeywell’s e7 occupancy-detection wireless thermostat with intelligent, programmable wall outlets and lights to extend energy savings to guestroom lighting. The thermostat senses when guests enter the room and instantly communicates with lighting controls via a 2.4GHz RF to activate a welcome environment. When the room is unoccupied, the lights and outlets are turned off within a 30-minute time period to save energy. Spectre meets Title 24 Guest Room Occupancy Controls requirements for installations to support property compliance.
Ideas Offers Agile Pricing Approach
Ideas Revenue Solutions introduced Agile Rates—a fundamental change in pricing strategy designed to incorporate flexibility and simplicity into a hotel’s revenue productivity engine, according to the company. Available on Ideas G3 Revenue Management System (RMS), Agile Rates provides the ability to price and distribute key linked or independent products for the wider market or specific guest micro-segments.
Powered by AI capabilities, Agile Rates provides Ideas G3 RMS with superior visibility into a hotel’s rate strategy—understanding the relationships between products—which results in dramatically smarter pricing decisions and ultimately greater revenues, according to the company.
Oracle Hospitality Unveils Opera Reporting and Analytics Cloud Service
Oracle Hospitality’s Opera Reporting and Analytics Cloud Service provides hotel management with access to business data and performance metrics, intuitive data visualization and customized reporting. It is powered by Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) an industrial-strength analytics engine. With Oracle Business Intelligence at the core, Opera Reporting and Analytics Cloud Service empowers corporate hotel executives and front-desk staff to make more strategic decisions that optimize operational efficiency, enhance guest experience and drive continued revenue.
Opera Reporting and Analytics enables smarter decisions and better forecasts by allowing management to easily analyze and visualize data on property financial performance, guest profiles, reservations, room rates and revenue metrics, restaurant sales, catering events, and blocks, according to the company. The solution can be fully customized to reflect performance indicators and metrics unique to individual properties and multiple tiers of hotel staff.
OTA Insight Introduces Parity Insight
OTA Insight launched Parity Insight, a tool that helps keep control of distribution costs so that revenue managers feel more empowered to make smarter revenue and distribution decisions, according to the company. Parity Insight’s user-friendly dashboard helps hoteliers better control distribution and helps to manage their reliance on OTA business. The business intelligence solution tracks where hoteliers are losing valuable revenue and finds all discrepancies between their brand and third-party channels. Through Parity Insight, revenue managers are able to view historical parity issues to monitor the evolution of their performance, track future parity issues up to 12 months in advance, as well as monitor real-time updates on how rates are appearing on OTA and metasearch websites.