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What are room beacons & why should you care?

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Let’s start with IoT, the Internet of Things. In my mind, IoT is still firmly connected with the idea that my refrigerator will talk to me and remind me that I’m out of milk. That’s a thing that could behave differently if it were “smart” and connected, and people seemed to be pretty excited about that idea for a while. But IoT is so much more than that. It is actually in use every day all around us. We just don’t think of it that way. And maybe we’re not aware of it at all.

Take cars. You know that Tesla you just bought, or the one your neighbor has that you used to roll your eyes at but that now seems completely normal? It’s packed full of IoT. I’m a business person, not an engineer, so I can’t explain the details, but I do know that the vehicle diagnostics, assisted driving, and ability to personalize your driving experience all rely on IoT

IoT also shows up in ways that aren’t always clearly visible, like the way WrkSpot uses beacons to make your hotel ‘smart’. Beacons are ”just a new Bluetooth-dependent technology,” according to Dataconomy. They are simply sensors that use Bluetooth to ping off of other smart devices, like your phone or tablet. Their value lies in the way you use them, and they’re being used in an increasing range of situations, like tracking inventory and delivering targeted advertising. WrkSpot uses the technology to create ‘room beacons’. These devices are placed in rooms and public areas, to let you see where your employees are at any given time. This means you know who to message when the guest in 302 needs towels or a toothbrush. You know that all of your employees were far from the area when room 514’s laptop disappeared. And in the worst case scenario, you know where every employee is when there’s an emergency. 

What are room beacons?Beacons ping off of the WrkSpot app on your employees phones, so they “see” people who are logged in and who are in the area for more than a few seconds. It’s similar to locating your child or other family member by tracking their phone, but more targeted and designed for your needs. The map you see in WrkSpot only includes your employees who are on the clock. That’s a big benefit for guest requests. You can immediately see which housekeeper or maintenance person is closest and can fulfill the request soonest, without sending out a general request by walkie talkie or relying on a post-it system. And can use stored data to verify that a specific employee was in the hotel at a certain time, or where employees were in specific time frames. In the rare case that an employee is accused of a theft, for example, you can look back at the date and time in question to prove that all of your employees were far from the area where the theft occurred.

If you’re an existing customer, you already know that placing the beacons is a simple process. As part of your WrkSpot onboarding, you worked with our team to create a map of your hotel, determined where tracking is needed, and placed the beacons we sent you in those pre-determined locations. And voila, you can see who is clocked in and where they are as they go through their work for the day.

So room beacons are “pretty high tech stuff,” as my dad would say. But they’re also easy to understand and use. And the rewards are significant. From finding an individual staff member to ensuring your entire staff’s safety, room beacons make it faster, easier, and more effective.

If you have questions about your room beacons, or about adding Smart Hotel to your WrkSpot subscription, you can reach out to WrkSpot Customer Success by calling your rep or emailing support@wrkspot.com

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