At the recent HITEC 2022 in Orlando, Tammy Estes, chief product officer of Nomadix, Inc, discussed the latest additions to its product portfolio, which this year has already included the Nomadix Alerts, an affordable panic button geared to the challenges of the hospitality industry, and Nomadix Networks, a response to its customers’ desire for a single source to enable all equipment to work together. She also described for LODGING the company’s focus on future-proofing and having a customer-first product roadmap.
What did you most want to highlight at HITEC?
We started out on a strategy three years ago to become a single source of technology for hotels. Last year, we launched Nomadix Casting, which enables guests to easily and securely stream media content from their mobile devices onto their in-room TVs. We also acquired Angie Hospitality, a digital concierge that enables hoteliers to answer guests’ property-specific questions and respond to their requests, thus offering hoteliers the opportunity to upsell attributes and save on labor. Then, earlier this year, we added Nomadix Networks to our portfolio of internet gateways and guest-facing technologies with wireless access points, controllers, and LAN switches designed to comply with hospitality standards and meet the exponential internet and IoT growth demands while providing secure and easy management for properties. At HITEC, we showcased internet hardware and software starter bundle created in response to demand from small and mid-sized properties looking for affordable, high-performance onboarding and bandwidth management for guests and tenants. Our latest addition is our Nomadix Alerts, which is a combination hotel staff panic button and WiFi quality-analysis solution.
What are the special features and benefits of Nomadix Alerts?
This is a notification solution answering two ongoing challenges for the hospitality industry: (1) how to provide increased safety to isolated hotel staff who could be subject to threats and harassment; and (2) how to maintain secure and high-quality guest WiFi services. So, it includes two pieces—one for communication and one to tell where the person is. One of our big differentiators is that the intelligence is actually there in the button. How it works is that employees wear a smart badge and can request assistance by pressing the alert button. A distress message is also automatically sent when abrupt movements, such as falls, are detected. Colleagues are immediately notified of the incidents and their locations. In addition, the devices perform regular measurements of the quality and security of the WiFi experience as staff roam around the property and automatically flag potential issues before they start affecting the service.
What makes it inexpensive?
First, the hotelier doesn’t need to provide the relatively expensive Alerts buttons to all staff members, only those determined to need it. It is the location technology, BLE beacons, that must be purchased in large numbers for placement in various locations, such as under a desk, but they are not only inexpensive, they are already built into a lot of access points or door locks. This means a hotel can leverage technology that’s already in the hotel and put all the intelligence there. Therefore, they might need to purchase only 20 or so buttons and add more beacons to place throughout the property to supplement those that are already in place.
In addition to the recently announced Nomadix Alerts, why did you introduce Nomadix Networks?
Our own product roadmap is based on three things: what our customers want and need, what the market is doing, and what we need to do to keep our platform up to date. But the customers are the ones that are hands on, living with our products, and are therefore the best source of product direction. What we were hearing from customers and partners was that they were very happy with our gateways but wanted a single source, so all their equipment would work together. Nomadix Networks is designed to last as long as possible, so it has wireless access points, a controller, and three LAN switches. There’s a controller to control the three access points—one on the ceiling, one outdoors, and one that is wall-mounted; all are WiFi 6, so clients can future-proof their investment. The switches—a 24-foot one, a 48-foot one, and an aggregation one—all go together.
How do you see leveraging technology such as yours to help move hoteliers move into the future?
There are many ways we’re doing that now with the products I mentioned. There’s a single supplier with a suite of products that work together, casting, and a network that is being constantly monitored and updated. Our Angie in-room guestroom assistant also takes some of the burden off staff, which is stretched thin and can be further developed. The whole concept of future proofing can mean layering new products and features on top of your existing capabilities—for example, using the existing phone or thermostat to add intelligence, so guests don’t need to call the front desk for information or to have routine requests fulfilled.