Thanks to GIGAIPC, Self-Service Is a Real Option In the Hospitality Space

November 10, 2023

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Thanks to GIGAIPC, Self-Service Is a Real Option In the Hospitality Space

Self-service technologies are a category of technological solutions designed to perform tasks and transactions independently, without the direct assistance of a human. These technologies have become increasingly prevalent across various industries, ranging from retail and hospitality to healthcare and finance.

And they encompass a wide array of tools and systems, such as kiosks, mobile apps, automated machines, and web portals, all aimed at streamlining processes, reducing wait times, and enhancing the overall user experience. In deployment, self-service technologies are designed to offer convenience, efficiency, and flexibility to customers while reducing the workload and operational costs for businesses.

One example of where the self-service technologies can play a key role is in the hospitality arena, where they provide efficiencies both customers and businesses. Here, the self-check-in kiosk in a hotel can quickly and efficiently check guests in and out. It can provide instructions in multiple languages, making it accessible to a diverse range of guests in many geographies. The guest can use the touch screen to input their information, including their payment method.

The kiosk could verify a reservation, assign a room, and generate a key card for the guest. The guest can also choose additional services or upgrades, and pay for them through the kiosk. After completing the check-in process, the kiosk could provide a printed map of the facility, and answer questions about the facility or surrounding area, like making restaurant recommendations and reservations. Finally, the guest would retrieve a room key card from the kiosk. All this could be done without the need for assistance from hotel staff.

Happy Guest, Relaxed Staff

The intended result is an enhanced guest experience while freeing up the hotel staff to focus on other guest needs. Note that this concept really came to light during the recent pandemic, where human interaction needed to minimized. At that time, the hospitality industry underwent a profound transformation, causing a significant shift in the way guests check into hotels. With health and safety concerns at the forefront, the demand for contactless solutions soared. In fact, according to Allied Market Research, the global self services technologies market was valued at $32.23 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $88.33 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 10.55%.

When a system like the one describes works properly, it can provide a flawless experience. But there are always challenges that arise. For example, there could be technical issues, such as software errors, connectivity problems, or hardware malfunctions, leading to frustrated guests. There could also be user-experience challenges, as not all people are comfortable with technology, resulting in confusion and frustration. Extensive training of on-site staff is a must to quickly thwart those frustrations.

With any connected technology, there are always concerns about security, particularly when people are required to enter their financial information. Hence, ensuring data security is crucial. To that end, self-service kiosks would require regular maintenance and updates to ensure that they remain functional and secure.

Another key challenge is in integrating the self-service technology with the hotel’s existing infrastructure of reservations and other databases. This can be quite complex and may require a significant investment in both time and resources. To mitigate these issues, hospitality businesses would need to make the proper investment in robust technical support, cybersecurity measures, user-friendly interfaces, and staff training.

Technology Challenges

From a technology perspective, there is yet another set of challenges that must be overcome. For example, there is typically a very limited space for such systems, which potentially limits the hardware choices and could hinder the system’s overall functionality. That reduced area also could present thermal design issues. Balancing efficient thermal management is critical when accommodating processors of varying performance grades, ensuring reliable operation without experiencing any overheating issues. And finally, the diverse device connections must be considered. Managing multiple devices, like card and bar-code readers, scanners, printers, etc., with different connection interfaces poses integration challenges, requiring flexible solutions to streamline connections and ensure compatibility.

Supporting a range of Intel microprocessors, GIGAIPC’s QBi Pro 3.5-in. embedded computer board has the features needed to handle the needs and challenges of self-service terminals such as those in the hospitality sector.

GIGAIPC’s QBi Pro embedded computer has the features needed to handle the needs and challenges of this rapidly growing application. Its compact 3.5-in board size allows it to fit into space-constrained enclosures, making it ideal for applications with limited room for hardware, such as the self-service kiosks described here. The board offers a wide range of I/O options, including USB, serial, GPIO, LVDS, audio, and dual LAN support. As discussed, this versatility is necessary due to the potential diversity of peripherals. And thermal issues shouldn’t be a roadblock thanks to the QBi Pro’s wide temperature range, from -40°C to +85°C. Input voltages can range from 9 to 48 VDC.

The QBi Pro supports a range of Intel processors, from Celeron to the Core i-series. This scalability gives designers the flexibility to choose the performance level that best suits their applications, all within the same compact board form factor. It also eliminates thermal design challenges and ensures seamless integration.

It should be obvious why a designer would choose GIGAIPC over its competitors, starting with product quality and reliability, and including customization and flexibility. The company stands behind its products and provides exceptional technical support and service. And products can be customized when needed. You can also be assured that new technologies are always on the drawing board should an upgrade be needed. Contact the company today for all your self-service technology needs.