HITEC Update: Eight Hotel Tech Launches and Integrations

SONIFI partners with NEOU to deliver fitness content to hotel guests.
SONIFI partners with NEOU to deliver fitness content to hotel guests.
SONIFI Introduces SORA, Partners With NEOU and TraknProtect

SONIFI Solutions has introduced its new SORA platform, a visual complement to a guest’s overall stay that adapts to the environment, guest content preferences, and more. SORA will begin pilots this month. The platform operates on and supports multiple in-room hardware options—including Google Chromecast, set-top-boxes, and smart TVs. In addition to foundational features such as an interactive program guide, video on demand, and a hotel directory, incremental custom apps can also be enabled on SORA, such as hotel loyalty features or other branded and sponsored content.

SONIFI also recently announced a partnership with NEOU, a digital fitness platform and marketplace that aggregates the fitness and wellness brands on a single platform, to deliver fitness content to hotel guests. Guests will now have the ability to take customized classes through the SONIFI VOD platform anytime. NEOU’s in-house media production team has worked closely with fitness and wellness professionals to create custom fitness content for SONIFI inspired for an on-the-go exercise regimen designed to keep the guest moving and able to maintain physical endurance while traveling.

In addition to its partnership with NEOU, SONIFI has teamed up with TraknProtect to offer real-time location technology to hotels including employee safety devices, inventory, and room tray tracking, as well as vendor and service contractor monitoring. TraknProtect’s solutions use Bluetooth beacon technology and a software platform that tracks the location of employee badges, wearable safety devices, or tagged items in real time. The company will leverage SONIFI’s nationwide service platform to deploy its technology solution.

Allbridge Develops New Data Service Portal

Allbridge Skyway PortalAllbridge—which was established when Bulk TV & Internet, DCI Design Communications, and EthoStream merged last year—has introduced Skyway, a data management tool available exclusively for Allbridge systems. The portal delivers insights and the ability for property owners and operators to manage their environment, whether a single location, an ownership group, or an entire brand. Developed by the Allbridge team specifically to meet the needs of hospitality users, Skyway offers network reporting within a command center and access to advanced network configuration, customization, and reporting capabilities, enabling users to better manage guest requests, conference needs, and other changes in real time. Additionally, hoteliers can administer user profiles, view dashboards, or modify splash pages on their own and as often as needed.


“As guest-facing technologies continue to converge on IP networks, the tools that properties use to manage those technologies need to converge too. Skyway gives us a platform to support this today and into the future,” Matt Koch, chief product officer for Allbridge, said.

The Skyway portal captures and displays information such as how guests are using the data network, giving administrators insight into bandwidth utilization, network performance, and equipment status across multiple locations.

OTA Insight Creates End-to-End Parity Solution

At HITEC, OTA Insight will unveil Parity Insight, the latest addition to its suite of cloud-based business intelligence solutions for hoteliers. The new end-to-end solution is designed to allow teams to take control of key rate parity issues impacting hotels’ bottom line from one single dashboard.

“Hotels must clearly understand where their lost revenue is going in order to develop revenue and distribution management strategies that drive direct bookings and overall profitability,” said Gino Engels, OTA Insight’s co-founder and chief commercial officer. With Parity Insight, we went a step beyond just monitoring inconsistencies in parity by developing a unique new solution that visualizes revenue leaks and empowers hoteliers worldwide to take immediate action to close the loop and have the most direct impact on their brand promise and profitability.”

Using Parity Insight, hotels and chain/group-level managers will be able to detect, action, and resolve parity issues in real-time via smart workflow automation and communication between suppliers, chains, and hotels on a global scale, enabling a closed-loop parity control process for global hotel chains, local brands, management companies, and ownership groups.

Hotel groups will also have the option to check on wholesalers selling rates to unauthorized OTAs via automated root-cause detection technology. “Though many hotels have contracted terms with authorized OTAs, wholesalers are on-selling rooms to non-contracted OTAs, undercutting hotel rates as much as 25 percent, according to our data,” said Engels.

Crave Launches Video Platform Connecting Guests and Hotel Staff

Crave Video Service Platform

Crave Interactive, a developer of cloud-based digital guest experience platforms for hotels, today announced the launch of the Crave Video Service Platform (Crave VSP), allowing real-person multilingual services to be delivered to guests wherever they are. Crave VSP allows guests to connect with a member of a hotel’s staff via a secure video connection from any location—in-lobby via kiosk, in-room via tablet, and anywhere via the guest’s own smartphone. For hotel chains, it allows staff—whether general guest service or reservations teams—to be located anywhere in centralized service centers, streamlining operational costs while still providing guest access to hotel staff.

“Our new Crave Video Service Platform uses technology to provide a more personal and intimate service whilst generating additional revenue opportunities,” commented Crave CEO Gareth Hughes. “Hotels struggle with providing services in multiple languages and providing the right levels of staff at the right time to meet guest requirements. Centralized teams of video service staff are the answer, and I’m confident Crave VSP will transform hotel services in a positive manner, especially in groups.”

Crave VSP uses WebRTC as the underlying technology, and supports video, voice, and text communication. Guests click the service they want and the language they desire from available options. Crave VSP is accessed via a web browser window and can be integrated into existing hotel apps. It is also available via Crave in-room tablets and lobby kiosks.

Volara Partners With CIRC+, MCOMS
Volara is partnering with CIRQ+ to augment the company’s new multimodal interface system.
Volara is partnering with CIRQ+ to augment the company’s new multimodal interface system.

Volara is partnering with CIRQ+ to augment the company’s new multimodal interface system that includes a guest opt-in capability to address voice privacy and security in the guestroom. Volara’s conversation-management software and secure integrations will enable guests to use voice to communicate through the CIRQ+ Smart platform, an embedded room control and energy-management system. When guests enter their hotel rooms, they can speak commands to the CIRQ+ supported voice assistant selected by the hotel (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or IBM Watson) to control room temperature, lighting, and the TV. With CIRQ+ enhanced with Volara voice capabilities, guests have a new way to learn about hotel amenities, request food and beverage orders, set a wake-up call, book spa services, request housekeeping, call the valet, and discover local points of interest and activities.

In addition, Volara and MCOMS have announced a new integration partnership that combines Volara’s conversation-management software and secure integrations hub with MCOMS’ in-room entertainment platform to enable guests to intuitively control in-room TVs using voice commands. Through Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, IBM Watson, or SmartBeings Woohoo devices located in their rooms, guests can make voice requests to turn on and off the TV, open the TV guide, or turn the volume up or down. Additional features include channel selection by name or number, and channel up and down navigation. The Hotel Zetta in San Francisco, a Viceroy Hotels and Resorts property, is the first to go live with MCOMS powered by Volara.


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