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Charge ahead with innovative charging solutions

15 percent of hotel guests travel with four or more devices, do you power-up to expectations?

Nine out of ten Australians travel with their laptops, and almost as many carry a smartphone. According to a survey conducted by Technology 4 Hotels, 15 percent of hotel guests travel with four or more devices. All these devices require charging to keep up with the demands of the modern world.

In light of the numerous gadgets most of us carry when travelling, it’s essential for accommodation properties to power up, there can never be too many power outlets in a guestroom. There should be at least four near the desk area and two at the bedside, all well positioned for convenience, and away from furniture or hard to get at places. These outlets are in addition to the power sockets needed for table lamps and clock radios.

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Many guestrooms also feature dedicated USB ports, and ideally, they should include the newer standard USB-C as well as the larger, older USB-A ports. Furthermore, many hotels have adopted wireless Qi charging plates that provide power to devices without the need for cables, a feature particularly appreciated by overseas visitors who can avoid the hassle of travel adapters.

The latest trends in hotel design incorporate charging facilities into bedside clocks and bedroom furniture. Technology 4 Hotels suggests that the widespread use of USB charging as the default standard for mobile devices has significantly reduced the demand for universal power outlets at hotels. Guests from around the world can easily connect to USB sockets for charging, eliminating the need for adapters.

Properties that offer a range of charging solutions, including in-room charging stations and portable device chargers, can significantly enhance the guest experience and set their brand apart in the competitive hospitality market.

With many guests carrying multiple gadgets, the importance of accessible and integrated charging options cannot be overstated.

Mark Aldrich, the Procurement Manager at Weatherdon, a family-owned and operated company that has provided a comprehensive range of stylish, high-quality products to the hotel, hospitality, and other industries, since 1975, says rapidly changing technology has seen greater demand than ever for charging solutions.

“We certainly see the value in having the latest charging conveniences in guestrooms,” Mr Aldrich said.

Image courtesy of EzyCharge

“Our company supplies a lamp that has an integrated wireless charging pad – it’s a narrow LED desk lamp – and we also have two bedside clocks that feature not just wireless charging but USB Type C connectivity.

“The future for all cables going forward is going to be based on this Type C cable. The brand new iPhone 15s are using them, and so are the latest Apple products. If you’re an Android user, by default, you have already been using Type C.

“The bedside clocks have USB Type C connectivity and our devices also have the PD feature – Power Delivery – meaning that they can charge larger devices such as iPads very quickly.”

USB-C PD can charge devices up to 70 percent faster than standard charging devices. When looking for an urgent battery boost, a quick 10-minute charge with USB-C PD might be all that is needed.

Mr Aldrich said the changing nature of electronic devices meant that his company was constantly having to anticipate those changes and bring to market products that hotel guests were going to find “the most useful”.

Many hotels are embracing wireless Qi charging technology because guests can power up their devices quickly without the need for cables or power outlets. Instead, just like phone chargers in many of the latest cars, they simply place their compatible device on the charging pad. No need for plugs or cables.

The Wireless Qi charging is compatible with a wide range of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

The Wireless Qi charging pads can be incorporated into the design of hotel furniture such as the lamps, bedside tables, and clocks, creating a sleek, modern look inside a guest room that is both functional and stylish.

The convenient charging option can also help hotels reduce costs by minimising the need for additional power outlets and charging cables.

An increasingly popular charging option for the industry is the portable chargers provided by the company EzyCharge. Russell Barwick was a high-profile sports broadcaster when he started the business in 2016 after his phone battery went dead at the races on Melbourne Cup Day. Some portable charging stations already existed, but he saw an opportunity to provide these to large sporting venues and organisations.

The multi-unit charging stations are provided free of charge to venues and through revenue sharing, hotels and accommodation providers can even make money from the rental of the portable chargers.

“We provide portable charges and secure lockers, servicing more than 2000 venues across Australia,” Mr Barwick said.

“Most are permanent venues but as you can imagine there are quite a few events and functions that take place. Our portable chargers can be at race meetings on a Saturday and then go to the football on Sunday, and an event on Monday!

“We are pretty much in every hospital, every university, every football ground, every casino, every major event, every convention centre, the list goes on. There is no charge to the venue for the device and the customer pays for the rental of the battery.”

The user-pays system allows customers to rent portable chargers, ensuring they always have vital power. The service not only benefits guests but also reduces the need for venues to keep cables and power banks on standby for emergencies.

Mr Barwick said: “In the case of a hotel chain, guests can pick up the chargers from one property and then drop it off the next anywhere within that group in Australia.

“Some hotels provide their guests with 30 minutes free, in others, guests pay from the get-go.  Many hotels, motels, and caravan parks choose to have a small monthly rental and offer free charging for guests for a set period.”

Mr Barwick also pointed out that EzyCharge was doing its bit for the environment.

“Our company is part of the sharing economy. I think it’s better for everyone to share chargers than to buy one just to have it sitting in the bottom of a cupboard.

“Sometimes people buy portable power banks and forget to recharge them. Ours are always recharged and the service means customers at a venue or guests at a property that offer our service are always looked after. With 99 percent of powerbanks returned to the same venue it means users are staying in the venue, most times enjoying a drink and some food.

“The venue keeps its customers or guests happy and can even make money through revenue share. Now that must be good for business!”

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