Artificial IntelligenceSafety, Comfort, and Anticipation: Creating Safe Smart Spaces After COVID-19

Smartization, or smart transformation, has become a hot topic for individuals, enterprises, and society as a whole. The uncertainty in the early stages of the pandemic caused companies to rethink their existing business models, supply chains, production processes, and working environments. Emerging technologies, including but not limited to IoT, AI, 5G, blockchain, and quantum mechanics are having a very real and exciting impact across all industries. As remote work and remote development have become widely adopted during the pandemic, companies have taken swift actions to address this market demand with technology breakthroughs to foster new drivers for growth.

In this context, Gartner, a world-renowned research and advisory company, along with Tuya Smart, an IoT development platform, and media platforms, Global Intelligent Business and IoT Business Vantage (IBV) have collaborated to produce the whitepaper, The 60 Smartest Companies Thriving Post-Pandemic, published October 21. The white paper explores how new technologies contribute to smartization trends across nine major industries. Here are two examples that demonstrate this transformation across the hospitality and security monitoring industries.

Smart Transformation Helps Hotels Welcome Back Customers

The hospitality industry, which focuses on personalized services as its core business model, was hit especially hard by the pandemic. In less than a year, more than 150,000 hotels have closed globally. Smart transformation allows companies to embrace new technologies and innovative solutions to solve the challenges of COVID-19 and be poised for a strong comeback. One such company is A-STAY, a contemporary Belgian hospitality brand. Its parent company, BESIX, a century-old construction group headquartered in Brussels, has a presence around the world in Europe, Oceania, Africa, and Asia. Its signature projects include the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai and the Grand Egyptian Museum at the Pyramids of Giza.

In November 2019, the first A-STAY hotel opened in Antwerp, Belgium. Soon afterwards, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic drove hotels across the industry to adopt contactless check-in to ensure guest safety. With its technology-friendly approach to the hotel business, A-STAY hotel not only rolled out contactless check-in but also sought to find further smart device solutions to improve the guest experience.

A-STAY created contactless public spaces by installing biometric locks across its hotels. To date, the company has applied the biometric palm scanning solution for door locks on nearly 200 guest rooms to further expand contactless check-in and contactless room entry to elevate guest safety. The company is also piloting faster and more advanced biometric palm scanning technology in selected A-STAY guest rooms to continually experiment and improve the hotel guest experience.

A-STAY hotels utilize both smart hardware and software. Guests can adjust room lighting, control the thermostat, operate window curtains, make instant online orders, and book public spaces such as meeting rooms through the TV screens in their rooms or using their personal mobile phones.

With a strategic digital approach to smart transformation, hotels can harness the benefits of digital technology and leverage it to improve the guest experience, enhance personalized services, create high-impact marketing content, and streamline everyday administrative processes. Smart transformation in the hospitality industry is a necessary and highly rewarding path for hotels of every size, meeting the needs of a digital consumer market while preserving a quality experience.

Smart Security Transformation Comforts an Unsteady Society

As COVID-19 brought fear and uncertainty into people lives, contact-free social interaction has become a global trend. During the pandemic, the application of science and technology, including smart security technology, is helping society win the war against the pandemic.

A company leading this trend is AvantGuard Monitoring (AG), a provider of wholesale alarm monitoring solutions throughout North America. The company name is derived from the word avant-garde, meaning, “leaders in new and revolutionary ideas.”

With a history of more than 40 years, AvantGuard was originally established as a traditional security alarm company. More recently, its business has evolved into a premier monitoring service, rapidly expanding across the United States and Canada, serving over 1,200 distributors and 1.2 million subscribers.

In the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, AvantGuard began to explore how to insert AI into its wholesale alarm monitoring services. After analyzing thousands of incoming subscriber calls, AG developed an AI-powered solution that recognizes and gives priority to more urgent calls that require live monitoring agents to dispatch emergency services. This smart transformation has substantially improved work efficiencies and subscriber outcomes.

At present, the AI solution created and utilized by AvantGuard has effectively handled over 500,000 alarm signals throughout North America, providing interconnected security operations for its clients and deploying solutions rapidly.

Adaptability is now a mandatory business competency, and an accelerated pace of change has become normal. Business executives around the world have become more trusting of what technology can do, and they are pushing ahead with smart transformation. The benefits long extolled by technophiles have become more broadly embraced across organizational leadership. Plus, it’s become apparent that few companies will rebound on their own, leading to a stronger need for partnerships and collaborations. Reliance on tech platforms is more acute, and those platforms, along with the brands who use them, will deliver positive results.


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