Top Headlines from HITEC 2014

| June 30, 2014

The present and future of hospitality was on display at HITEC 2014. Hotel executives and vendors converged upon the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 23-26 for three days of perusing what technologies and services were being offered and sharing ideas and goals for the next-generation of the hotel industry. The diverse mix of product offerings are an excellent indicator of where the industry is heading, as evidenced by the fact that many of the innovations which were ground-breaking a few years ago, are now table stakes. Here are a few of the categories and headlines that were making waves at HITEC 2014:
 
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS:
Agilysys Launches rGuest PMS on Open Platform
Agilysys, Inc. announced at HITEC 2014 the preview of rGuest™ Stay, a cloud-based property management system that is the first in a suite of applications built using the new rGuest hospitality software platform. rGuest Stay is a guest-centric property management system that uses a standards-based solution on an open platform to enable integrated applications delivered from Agilysys, its partners and customers. The integrated platform is designed to allow hotels to gather and analyze guest data that can be used to create loyalty-generating offers and revenue. rGuest Stay also delivers real-time data so that hotels can more accurately forecast demand and scale services up or down accordingly. Its housekeeping capabilities leverage an optimization engine to assign resources so that properties can manage staff in a way that balances guest needs and operational efficiency. The solution's intuitive features enable properties to reduce staff training time and begin serving guests immediately.

IN-ROOM TECH & ENTERTAINMENT:
DIRECTV Targets Hotel Market with Residential-Like Programming
DIRECTV continues to target commercial hotel customers, with two announcements at HITEC 2014: the DIRECTV Residential Experience (DRE) is now fully available to hotels, and this summer it will be introducing an HD, head-end video solution, COM2000. DIRECTV's Residential Experience for Hotels is now available to all hotels over all wiring schemes (home-run or loop-thru/daisy chain). Properties utilizing the DRE will have access to hundreds of HD channels and exclusive sports programming, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET, plus a user-friendly interactive program guide and hotel PMS integration.
 
Samsung Launches Curved Smart TVs for Hospitality
Samsung Electronics America unveiled its new 890 Series at HITEC 2014, including two new curved LED TV models and a new 75-inch model, representing one of the largest TV formats in hospitality. The 890 Series combines high picture quality and enhanced energy efficiency with its edge-lit LED technology in a sleek form factor to help hoteliers deliver the ultimate in-room guest experience.

Acentic Teams with LG to Generate New Revenue Opportunities from In-Room Tech
Acentic, in partnership with LG, is launching a range of innovative technologies to generate new revenue opportunities for hospitality businesses and improve the in-room technology experience for guests. WiFi and HSIA are now viewed as a critically important component of the hospitality offering.   Today’s guests expect to be able to get online quickly, easily and reliably. So the challenge for hotels today is how to support this explosion in demand for fast connectivity whilst offsetting the costs through new revenue making opportunities.

Marriott Hotels Taps Solution for Charging Guest Mobile Devices
Marriott International, Inc. and Kube Systems, a division of hospitality brand Ramler International Ltd., has announced the formation of a business agreement to offer a premium charging solution to meet the needs of guests for its Marriott Hotels brand.Kube Systems' products deliver the charging power guests need in all locations and with more convenience throughout the hotel property.The partnership between Kube Systems and Marriott will provide a unique solution for hotel guests managing their battery anxiety. Qi wireless charging provides unprecidented charging convenience for an enhanced mobile experience.
 
CONNECTIVITY:
Fast-Growing LaQuinta Chooses Ruckus as Standard WiFi Provider
La Quinta Holdings Inc. has announced at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), that Smart Wi-Fi products and technology from Ruckus Wireless, Inc. have been selected as the Wi-Fi standard for next generation high-speed Internet access (HSIA) services within its corporate-owned hotel segment, and as a preferred provider for franchised La Quinta hotels. Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products deliver higher capacity Wi-Fi services that address the growing requirement by guests to view and consume their own personal content when traveling. For hotels aiming to deliver an online experience that rivals or exceeds the guest experience at home, a best-in-class wireless network architecture is no longer a negotiable requirement.
 
Motorola Solutions Intros Enterprise-Class Access Points for High-Performance Connectivity
Providing high-speed wireless Internet access in hotels and resorts can be challenging with numerous rooms, walls, floors, doors and other barriers potentially impeding high-quality coverage. Today’s hotel guests also are carrying more mobile devices and running data-hungry applications such as video in their rooms. Motorola Solutions Inc. is introducing an enterprise-class, dual radio 802.11ac access point (AP) designed specifically for hotels and resorts to provide reliable high-performance wireless connectivity.
 
DIGITAL SIGNAGE:
Flyte Systems Launches InfoBoard for Hotels, with Airline, Traffic, Social Content
Flyte Systems, provider of airport traveling information displays and digital signage content for the hospitality industry, unveiled three hospitality travel service innovations at HITEC 2014 in Los Angeles: InfoBoard glance-and-go information hub, a one-stop, glance-and-go information hub that combines real-time airline arrivals and departures for multiple airports with more than a dozen travel modules; EventBoard which offers remote scheduling for automated event displays; and the Mac-ready FlytePass uses 50% less power, sports edgy new design.
 
CRM & INTELLIGENCE:
CendynONE Debuts its Integrated, Cloud-based Guest Engagement Platform
Cendyn/ONE made its industry debut in June at HITEC 2014 in Los Angeles. A cloud-based software and services platform, Cendyn/ONE uses "Data Intelligence" to capture guest data and turn it into insights that increase conversion rates for an immediately measurable ROI. A core objective of the system is to help hotels execute data-driven digital marketing campaigns that drive high value business and shift bookings from OTAs to direct channels. The platform combines data integration, analysis and optimization experts, across first- and third-party data sources, to create dynamically generated, one-to-one marketing across all digital channels: email, web, display, mobile, video, social and search. According to the company, this data-driven marketing approach has proven to be four times more effective at generating results than campaigns that do not leverage a data-driven model.
 
CRM Tool Helps Operators Increase Revenue Through Combined Data
NAVIS launched NAVIS Reach at HITEC June 24 – 26 in Los Angeles. NAVIS Reach is a CRM tool that allows operators to increase revenue through combining data from online and offline systems for automated, targeted email campaigns. Clients use NAVIS Reach to easily identify marketing strategies, create successful email campaigns based on guest interests, and track results in real-time.  
 
CHECK-IN/OUT:
FCS Signs Strategic Partnership Agreement with Ariane Systems to Streamline Guest Check-In/Out
FCS Computer Systems (FCS), a comprehensive hospitality solutions and services provider, has announced a strategic partnership with Ariane Systems to allow for the integration of FCS solutions with Ariane’s award-winning online check-in system. The combined FCS/Ariane solution will provide the ability for hotel guests to register and check-in before they arrive through a mobile-friendly online check-in module or via FCS i-Guest, and then pick up their guestroom keycards from interactive kiosks located on the property, once they arrive. Upon completion of their stay, guests can also check-out online or via FCS i-Guest, while retaining the ability to request additional end-of-stay services.
 
Google Glass Assists Hotel Check-in Functionality
Itesso has announced that a Google Glass assisted hotel check-in solution is currently in development and was demonstrated at HITEC 2014 in Los Angeles, June 24-26. This new proof of concept solution is designed to maximize efficiency, functionality and convenience during the hotel guest check-in experience. Itesso's Google Glass assisted check-in leverages the most advanced technologies available, integrating them into a best-in-class solution with the potential to redefine the industry's protocol for the guest check-in operation.
 
KEYLESS ENTRY:
UniKey and MIWA Team to Offer Keyless Entry Solution
UniKey has announced integration of its keyless entry technology with hospitality door locks from MIWA Lock Company. The Smartphone based touch-to-open technology will be integrated with MIWA's flagship ALV2 System and was showcased to the hotel industry visitors at HITEC 2014.By uniquely combining existing technologies, UniKey has developed a proprietary Touch-to-Open™ Passive Keyless Entry system that will be integrated into MIWA's existing radio frequency identification (RFID) hospitality lock solutions, providing unparalleled convenience for hotel guests. This solution transforms the hotel check-in experience enabling hotel guests to gain quick and easy access to their hotel room with just a touch of the finger, eliminating the hassle of front desk check-in or the fumbling of locating a hotel card key at their room.
 
Kaba Launches Kaba Mobile Access Solutions
Kaba introduced a secure mobile credential deployment via a cloud-based mobile access system and a BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) enabled at-lock guest experience. Tests prove that platform-independent credential solution is secure, reliable. Kaba Mobile Access Solutions is a secure end-to-end mobile credential delivery system that can use both Bluetooth Low Energy and BLE key technologies. Kaba also demonstrated the latest enhancements of its online and RFID solutions.  

Check out these and more headlines from HITEC 2014 at www.htmagazine.com.
 

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