Ember and Bartech Enable Smarter In-Room Tech

| June 13, 2008

Bartech, a world leader in automatic mini bar systems for the hospitality industry, is teaming with Ember, a leader in ZigBee technology, to provide hotels worldwide with real-time status and charges from in-room mini bars. The ZigBee-enabled system helps hotels provide a better guest experience while improving staff efficiency by wirelessly monitoring in-room refreshment centers remotely.

Typically, attendants in hotels have to "blindly" visit every room to check on inventory and replenish mini bars resulting in staff inefficiencies and inconvenience to guests. But Bartech's Web-based dot.net software can now report which products need to be replenished in a specific room. Additionally, mini bar doors can be automatically locked and unlocked at check-in or check-out times, and the staff automatically notified of any malfunctioning cooling units resulting in speedier repair. The Bartech system also monitors the shelf life of any products in or outside the mini bar for freshness based on expiration dates.

This technology also helps Bartech make mini bar systems more energy efficient. Property managers can remotely monitor the system's temperature and control the cooling units to save cost based on variable energy rates. They can remotely adjust temperature levels in any refrigeration unit according to the status of each room (occupied or vacant).

ZigBee is the fifth communication standard employed by Bartech which also supports both wired and wireless Ethernet (802.3 and .11b/g), and MATV Coax Cable. Bartech implements ZigBee whenever there is a need for wireless communication for monitoring and control in any hotel building.

Bartech ZigBee enabled mesh networking systems use Ember's EM250 system-on-chip (SoC) and EM260 network co-processor along with the EmberZNet PRO platform, which supports the ZigBee PRO Feature Set. It also implements advanced security features using 128-bit keys (Link and Network keys) to secure all minibar communication throughout its wireless ZigBee networks.

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