The internet has become a major part of everyone’s life. Technology is improving so quickly and making lives easier through the creation of standard devices. It is also creating dramatic changes in the travel industry. One potential change looming on the horizon is, IoT (Internet of Things).
IoT is new technology which allows for the embedment of internet-ready-sensors being placed in everyday physical objects. It is already showing up as a life-changing force in buildings, vehicles, and appliances. Gartner, an IT research firm estimated over six billion ‘things’ would be connected by the year end of 2016.
Travel with IoT
The tourism industry is in the lead of IoT technology. It has been estimated this industry spends over $100 million per organization on their investments in IoT. IoT is not just a technology trend for the future; it is happening now.
The Hospitality Sector
The IoT technology already has a tremendous impact on the hospitality sector. It affects both the back-end-house operations and the traveler. One hotel group already offers an app for their guests allowing them to interact with their room. The guests can control the temperature of their room and monitor their TV. They want the guest to be able to use the app to control essential functions of their room while staying with them. Through this technology, a guest will be able to unlock their room door when they get within close proximity.
Another hotel chain is implementing the use of ‘like’ buttons so their guests can give them real-time feedback on the amenities they make use of during visits. The visitors can immediately send feedback on the cleanliness of a room, service received, or condition of areas such as the workout room or pool. On the business side of this benefit, hotels will also be able to keep tabs on how much electricity each guest uses and alert the front desk if they exceed a preset limit. If they use an IoT-enabled elevator, it can alert maintenance immediately if there is any malfunction.
The Transportation Sector
Airports are offering the use of IoT through an opportunity for passengers to navigate terminals easier. This service will be used to send targeted messages from retailers to a special wristband worn by the traveler. In a recent study, it is estimated more than 90 percent of airports have already initiated this system or plan to within this New Year. These proximity sensor wristbands are called, ‘beacons’.
Some airline hubs are using IoT to allow passengers to monitor security line wait times. In Austin, their ‘RFID’ (radio frequency identification) will tell travelers how long they can expect to wait before clearing security. The ‘RFID’ can determine this by the location of the signal, and then follow it down to the end of the line, where using an algorithm it can determine the wait time.
Baggage handling is another potential application for travelers to appreciate. One airline is implementing an IoT-enabled ‘global bag-tracking system’. This tracking system will allow passengers to keep track of checked luggage while traveling to ensure their baggage is moving with them. In the back-end of airline operations, IoT intelligent sensors will be able to keep track of parts and fuel levels and send alerts when more needs to be ordered.
An airport in London will be the first hub in the world to use IoT, so they will be able to communicate with passengers through machines. The system will allow them to manage passenger movement. The IoT will let them send gate reminders to smartphones, find particular travelers in the case of an emergency, determine each travelers journey times, and find luggage that has gone missing.
The Entertainment Sector
Travelers setting out to big theme park vacations such as Disney World in Orlando will experience a whole new customer service unlike any before. The Internet of Things will provide the park the opportunity to streamline operations and allow the staff to focus more on your satisfying the visitor’s park experience. Guests will wear a tech-enabled wristband that will help make transportation and dining more straightforward. Chief operating officer, Tom Staggs says these wristbands will allow staff to assist guests better so they can create more memories.
Travelers should be delighted with all the new technology changes in store for them. Each new piece is being designed to make travel less stressful, more convenient, and quicker. The travelers of 2017 will experience a more seamless journey as they benefit from the Internet of Things.