iBeacons are gaining momentum in the technology world, but they have tremendous value to the hospitality industry. iBeacons are a small communication device that, with the user’s permission, uses Bluetooth technology to trigger activities, launch websites, play videos or offer coupons and information on a traveler’s smartphone. With a little imagination and the right infrastructure, a hotel using iBeacons can transform itself into an interactive property that tech savvy travelers will love.
iBeacons work off the users proximity and can be programed to do a variety of things. Hotels could incorporate them into their front desk to communicate with the guest’s phone to retrieve their reservation numbers or any special requests or instructions the guest may have. So when the guest walks up to the desk, their information is automatically pulled up on the PMS, which will speed up the check in procedure. If a hotel has a restaurant or bar that runs drink specials or happy hour prices, they can push notifications to the guests in the hotel lobby to try and bring them into the bar. Hotels hosting meetings and events can assist organizers with push notifications to their attendees without needing to develop expensive stand alone apps. With the continued growth of the mobile market, digital concierge apps are growing in popularity, and beacons are a natural extension of those services. Guest can quickly gain access to local events, theater times or order immediate transportation services.
As systems like these continue to grow and become more advanced, guests will have even more functionality available to them. The best part about these notifications is that they extend a much higher level of service to guests that are looking for it, but is completely unobtrusive to those who don’t want it. A hoteliers creativity is really the only limiting factors to the potential of iBeacons.