Are you among those who believe that internet has changed the world? Well, then just sit back and get ready for yet another internet revolution – the Internet-of-Things. It is being predicted by the analyst firm Gartner, that by 2020 almost 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet and some sources even predict the numbers to be as big as 100 billion devices.
Now just imagine that your alarm wakes you up at 7 am in the morning and connects to your coffee-maker and toaster to keep the coffee and toast ready for you and your sensor enabled cup helps you find the spike in caffeine levels beyond a certain point. Step out of the house and use your smartphone to lock the door of your house and unlock your car! Your IoT enabled devices may even report the power consumption on your smartphones. Thus, possibilities are endless with the Internet of things, we just need to explore them.
The world is going to be an even more connected place. Almost everything that can be connected to the internet will have an IP address and sensors so that they can communicate with each other and exchange information with each other. These objects or ‘things’ will connect through wifi, bluetooth and proximity beacons.
How will IoT impact the Travel industry?
Travelers are going to be the ones who will benefit immensely from IoT, with the technology getting more and more seamless and making life a lot easier. Whether you’re at the airport or checking into hotels, with smartphones connecting with proximity beacons to help in better navigation across the airports or checking in hotel rooms through keyless technology life will be a breeze for the new age traveler.
Airline industry and the IoT
IoT is going to have mind boggling implications in the air travel industry and it will allow internet to be at the top of a comfortable and convenient travel experience. London City Airport will be the first in the world to implement IoT with the deployment of communicating machines that will manage passenger movements, measure journey times, deliver gate reminders on smartphones, find missing passengers and luggage and locating travelers in emergency situations.
According to a survey by SITA in 2015, 86% of airlines believe the IoT will provide “clear benefits over the next three years.”
Beacons will play an important role in transmitting relevant, targeted information or to broadcast useful information to smartphones in their proximity. This may help travelers navigate their way to the gate or help them find their way. They can also be used to track a portable device and its user if need be.
It will make easier to track your luggage at the airport with the IoT and when you go for booking an air ticket, the reservation system will provide offers related to your previous trip preferences.
Hospitality industry and the IoT
Just imagine yourself returning from a tiring day after sightseeing. You alert the staff about your arrival to the resort you are staying in, through the app on your phone so that when you enter your suite you get the room temperature and the lights of the room adjusted to your needs.
Better still, your smartphone communicates with the door panel when you are in close proximity of the door of your suite, and the door unlocks automatically.
Hotels can use it to keep a tab on the electricity consumption by the guests where an IOT enabled power socket will report power usage at the front desk if it has exceeded a preset limit of power consumption by the guests.
And suppose a hotel’s elevator is IoT enabled, it will send an error signal to the concerned technicians to get it repaired instantly without the hotel authorities worrying about the process.
In a nutshell, IoT has the potential to transform the entire travel experience and many hospitality and travel companies are investing heavily in this technology, keeping the customer at the forefront.
Tourism companies are realizing the power of IoT and investing heavily into it. According to a study by Tata Consultancy Services, the Travel, Transportation and Hospitality industry was expected to spend an average of $128.9 million on their IoT initiatives in 2015, as depicted in the table below.
However, IoT comes with its own set of challenges and issues. The first and foremost being the security threat to a person’s system. What if a hacker gets an access to his air-condition and simply get an access to your entire network of ‘things’. The second important factor is regarding the companies that will implement it for their customers will face heaps and heaps of data they will have to deal with which will be emanating from these devices. Third factor is that not all devices except your laptops,tablets and phones are able to receive updates and you cannot go about updating each and every device or object which you want to connect to the internet.
But for now, we can educate ourselves about IoT and how will it impact us in the future and wait for the technology to develop from its nascent stage.
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