While the current pandemic continues claiming lives and livelihoods around the world, hoteliers are finding themselves in an unprecedented position as they prepare to help alleviate the risk of COVID-19 transmission through enhanced cleanliness and safety protocols.
Given the current environment, there is no doubt that the guest experience will be remarkably different from the moment a guest walks through the entrance of a hotel. This includes everything from how employees can dress, to other physical changes like plexiglass dividers and handwashing stations. While cleanliness and safety have always been a core part of hotel operations, hoteliers are now presenting visual cues that the guest can associate with high-frequency cleaning to give them a sense of security that they’ve come into a safe place.
Is this what guests want to see? Or is there a certain point where these measures become inhospitable and off-putting? After all, these physical changes are anything but normal and hotels are there to deliver extraordinary guest experiences.
Many hotel brands are implementing sensing technology solutions that enable them to make data-driven decisions to support health and safer engagement while upholding industry standards and providing a consistent guest experience as we adapt to the new normal. mmWave radar sensing is uniquely suited to aid in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in a hotel environment. How so? Here are three ways.
- Crowd Density Management
Social distancing is part of our new normal and the hospitality industry has a responsibility to protect both staff and guests by monitoring and maintaining occupancy to prevent a second wave of the virus. Radar sensors ensure optimal social distancing throughout the hotel by enabling accurate counts of people entering and leaving a space and providing a reliable understanding of the frequently changing hotel environment.
While cameras are good at recording what's happening, radar provides data points such as presence information, the number of people in a given area, where people are located within the sensor field-of-view, as well as the distance between people. This data can be aggregated and analyzed to gain insights on crowd density and hotel visitor traffic flow.
By analyzing this data, hospitality operations managers can anticipate and mitigate transmission risks before they happen. By knowing the real-time occupancy and utilization of gyms, conference rooms and other common amenity spaces, staff can manage occupancy to maintain social distancing, adjust cleaning services, food and beverage, and staffing to match real-time attendance.
- Building Automation
Another major benefit of radar technology is that sensors enable real-time signal processing in advanced building automation use cases such as management of HVAC, smart security lighting and fire safety systems. mmWave sensors use onboard processing to reduce false detection by ignoring signatures of static objects that are not of concern, such as chairs and desks, and dynamic objects such as fans.
Radar sensors can count the number of people in a room and determine where they are located. This data can be used to adjust the HVAC and lighting systems automatically to ensure the optimal balance of comfort and cost savings. This also removes interaction with high touchpoint areas, like light switches and thermostats, to further reduce the risk of transmission. In another example, sensors can send automated alerts to service bathrooms and lounge areas after a set number of visits. In our new normal, this is a helpful way to deliver a high level of consistency and cleanliness, without invading or disrupting the guest experience.
- Guest Experience Preservation
The guest experience is drastically improved by the implementation of radar technology. Because radar sensors facilitate social distancing through proper traffic flow planning, guests are provided with the first level of safety assurance before they even walk through the entrance to check-in. The data collected by sensors provides powerful insights to more effectively and efficiently remove friction points in high traffic areas, providing extraordinary protections to hotel guests.
Because radar sensors do not use cameras or optical lenses, they are also suitable for privacy-conscience applications such as hotel guest rooms and restrooms—they can even be installed behind the ceiling or wall, to improve aesthetics and further reduce privacy concerns.
Andrew Boushie is Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships at Ainstein. In this role, Boushie leverages over fifteen years of experience in technology sales and partnership development to increase Ainstein’s presence in the autonomous vehicle and IoT industries.
Immediately preceding his time at Ainstein, Boushie founded and developed BOUSHIE BUILT, a trailblazer in building custom bicycles, boasting a customer-centric model and a community focus. Prior to this, Boushie spent much of his career serving in partnership, strategic sales, and sales leadership roles within SaaS organizations like Oracle as well as within the Google Enterprise ecosystem with Agosto, Google’s top Cloud Platform partner globally during his tenure.
Boushie received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Wabash College.