Going on holiday is one of the few pleasures in life, it can also be pretty stressful. From trying to battle packing, airports and hotels, taking the Internet of Things on holiday could be the key to a stress-free getaway. Our Social Media Manager, Amy Bennie, tells us why.
At the airport
Putting all your worldly possessions into one bag and transporting them across the world can be risky business. It’s not uncommon for bags to get damaged or left behind on flights, leaving the owner stood waiting by an empty carousel. Smart luggage is now saving the day, with so many different options to help lighten the load.
The Tumi luggage tracker is a battery-powered tag that slips into your suitcase, that uses an accelerometer to trigger four different modes. Sleep Mode is for takeoff and landing, in travel mode the device automatically tracks a bag’s location every 20-30 minutes and builds a log of where it has been. Hotel mode gives a notification if the bag moves from a specific location and proximity mode alerts you if the device leaves your devices Bluetooth range. Other smart bags on the market can go one step further allowing you to track the ‘health rating’ of the inside of your bag, tracking Temperature, humidity, and g-force sensors. They can also alert you if your bag has been opened, and tags can be placed on your valuables within the bags to check if they have been removed, and some smart bags can even automatically lock when they’re certain distance away from your device.
Although these technologies help to keep you on track of where your luggage is, if you look at the app and see that your bag has accidentally been shipped to Timbuktu, they aren’t going to help you retrieve it back any faster.
At the hotel
You thought checking in at a relaxing hotel with a concierge to tend to your every need was easy? Well, it’s about to get easier. Companies like Hilton and Starwood are offering their guests the ability to check in and unlock their doors all through their mobile apps. Using these hospitality apps, after a busy day of touristing, you can return to your room set exactly to your requirements, controlling whether the lights, air conditioning and appliances like the TV are on or off.
There is also something in it for the hotel. If an appliance such as an air conditioning system stops working, predictive maintenance can alert the hotel staff so that it can be quickly and efficiently fixed while the guest is away from the room, before the problem is even recognized by the customer.
At the theme park
For anyone who has been to a Disney theme park, you will know that even the queues for the rides are sprinkled with Disney magic, and rightly so, because you spend so much of the visit waiting in them! Disney has utilised IoT to try and conquer this with the introduction of the ‘MagicBand’, worn on the wrists of visitors. The band features a long-range radio which can be picked up by the company’s ‘queue management’ who can monitor where customers are, what ride they are trying to go on, and how long they have been waiting in the queue. This can then allow the team to can to then take appropriate action to ‘speed up and enhance the user experience’. Not only does the ‘MagicBand’ provide essential data to the staff, but the wearers also benefit. The band can be used to enter the theme parks, check in their fast passes, connect to Disney Photopass and charge food and merchandise to their Disney Hotel Room.
Wherever you’re travelling to this year, by integrating IoT into your holiday, it might mean for once, you have a truly relaxing experience.