What’s new at HITEC 2013

Exciting developments found at HITEC.


Samsung Electronics is showcasing a wide array of strategic alliances with many of the leading providers of broadband and interactive solutions for the hospitality industry at HITEC 2013. Samsung will be showing a variety of LED
TVs, solutions and alliances designed to meet the varying needs of hotels, cruise lines and hospitals at the Minneapolis Convention Center this week.

“We have worked very closely with a number of industry-leading integrators over the last year including Guest-tek, Quadriga, Swisscom, Acentic, UIEvolution and Intelity,” said Jonas Tanenbaum, vice president of Hospitality at Samsung Electronics.

Many of the LED TVs on display at HITEC 2013 offer Samsung’s proprietary H-Browser platform which is made available through alliances with integrators such as Guest-Tek. Built on the HTML5 standard with Flash support, H-Browser is a true smart TV solution that provides guests with a premium interactive experience and features both free and video on demand content. It is able to interface directly with the head end, whether the head end is located on or off the hotel premises.

“We have been delighted to work with Samsung over this last year to provide our hospitality customers with the robust, flexible H-Browser solution,” explained Arnon Levy, CEO of Guest-tek. “As the number one global smart TV brand, this offering from Samsung has been a game-changer in the hospitality industry. It provides unparalleled opportunity for hoteliers to offer premium entertainment options without costly VOD hardware for the first time ever.”

Allowing premium properties to achieve the next level of interactivity, H-Browser eliminates the need for a VOD set-top box, a costly and unsightly item. In addition, the slim, sleek design is not obstructed by external hardware, allowing for beautiful and space saving room designs.

Twisted Pair Solutions

Twisted Pair Solutions is providing demos of its WAVE communications platform and application suite this week at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference.

Hospitality organisations may have a number of hotel and resort brands, franchises and locations, along with multiple operating departments and busy staff. With each location and staff member comes a number of communications systems, networks and devices – such as two-way radios, telephones, PCs and mobile phones – none of which were designed to work together. Born out of convenience, BYOD has become a nuisance for organisations trying to manage the myriad devices and technologies to ensure a seamless, effective communications system. This often proves unsuccessful and results in an organisation’s inability to quickly and directly address guest demands and problems.

“In today’s social world, where customer loyalty and referrals drive substantial revenue and business, improving the guest experience is of utmost importance to hospitality organizations,” said James Mustarde, marketing director for Twisted Pair. “If a customer has a single bad experience, that results in the loss of their future business in addition to any potential revenue from referrals. Hospitality organisations can’t afford to ignore the need to implement a solution that allows staff to swiftly and effectively address customer requests and issues.”

WAVE software allows seamless, secure communications so hospitality staff members can connect with each other instantly and coordinate across departments to meet guests’ needs, regardless of device, platform or network. The patented technology, widely deployed by the US government, the military and other public safety and commercial organisations, offers government-grade security to ensure the privacy of customers’ communications.

WAVE users can share voice communications with other individuals or groups of users in push-to-talk fashion without being tied to a certain device or service provider. This secure, carrier-agnostic approach redefines the role and value of PTT for businesses and hospitality organisations. Not only can organisations expand their arsenals of communications equipment easily by leveraging existing investments in two-way radios, office telephony and smart phones, they can also extend the scope and reach of their communications networks.


NEC introduced a new biometrics-based solution for the hospitality industry during the Hospitality Industry Technology Expo & Conference, taking place this week in Minneapolis.

According to the company, NEC will be demonstrating two systems, both aimed at customer engagement. First, the company will show off its new VIP guest recognition system, which uses the company’s popular NeoFace facial recognition suite to identify VIPs as soon as they walk in the door.

“Being able to identify VIP guests immediately could enable the front desk staff to have room information pulled up before the guest steps up to the registration desk and be able to greet the guest by name,” Raffie Beroukhim, vice president, biometrics solutions, NEC Corporation said. “Overall, this capability helps enhance a VIP guest’s experience through personalization of services and increases customer satisfaction with the property.”

Next up, NEC will be demonstrating a smart content delivery system. This system, also based on facial recognition, uses analysis to anonymously capture visitor attributes, such as gender and age. The idea behind this solution is that hotel marketers can deliver targeted physical ads to guests.

“The use of biometrics in hospitality is emerging and could be beneficially applied to other areas of the business, including security, guest check-in line control, marketing traffic analysis, and more,” said Kevin Ruhman, hospitality vertical practice leader, NEC Corporation. “We’re seeing its application within the hospitality market expand to help organisations not with only internal operations, but also to improve the guest experience.”

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