Recently, Hotel Magazine asked our CEO Greg Bassine how hotels will stay connected in 2020. Below is an excerpt from the article.
It’s the start of a new decade: in 2020, the iPhone turns 13, Facebook turns 16, and the World Wide Web celebrates its 29th year since going public.
In a relatively short period, these technologies and others like them have dramatically transformed almost every aspect of our lives, from the way we travel to the way we eat.
Accordingly, today’s hotel guest’s expectations now exceed merely a hot shower and room service. Busy guests with places to be may rarely stop to think about the complexities of providing high-speed Wi-Fi and in-room streaming in a hotel, but these are services that hoteliers and technology companies alike have had to implement remarkably quickly in the race to provide guests with the seamless in-room experience they demand.
Streamvision is an Australian provider of bespoke digital solutions, working with a variety of clients from hospitality ventures to large corporate entities. Hotel Magazine spoke to CEO Greg Bassine about the needs of the modern hotel guest.
“Ultimately, as the end-user, hotel guests and home consumers want the same thing – high speed, high definition content at their fingertips, and the ability to intuitively and immediately understand how to interact with an entertainment system,” he said.
Bassine pointed out some easily overlooked problems that hotels face when providing guests with connectivity technology. “It’s important that all guests staying in a given hotel room are able to cast their content to the in-room TV, but that their next-door neighbour is unable to ‘hijack’ their TV, either intentionally or unintentionally.”
Such a blatant ‘digital intrusion’ is a more visible example of a wider problem facing hotels: that of hundreds, or even thousands of guests accessing the same digital services in close proximity.
“The ability to monitor and control bandwidth usage is essential,” Bassine said, “to ensure that a few data hogs don’t consume all the available bandwidth, spoiling the experience for other guests.”
As well as virtual crowd control, hotels must deal with the fact that their guests are transient. Just as clean sheets and towels are a prerequisite of any guest room from budget to boutique, so too is clean data.
“Hotel entertainment systems need the ability to automatically log out of and erase all user data upon check-out,” Bassine pointed out. “If a guest has logged into her YouTube account on the in-room smart TV, that could lead to their data security being compromised.”
Such compromises are not unheard of – in July, Marriott was fined £99m (NZ$187m) for infringements of the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation after a cyber-incident exposed a variety of personal data contained in approximately 339 million guest records. Just a week or so later, US hotel management company AavGo was alerted by a benevolent ‘white hat’ hacker to a security lapse in their online booking system, exposing the data of up to 8 million entries…