U.S. operator AT&T is offering an integrated wearable device that will help hotel employees request emergency assistance in threatening situations. The device is part of a service offering called AT&T Staff Alert Service that is designed to meet the safety needs of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and major hotel brands.
The compact, lightweight device activates an alert whenever an employee presses its button. The employee’s exact location is then transmitted to hotel security for immediate assistance.
The AT&T Staff Alert Service provides micro-location data by means of a combination of Bluetooth, ultrasound and LTE connectivity. This methodology reduces the risk from congestion on the Wi-Fi network and enables for alerts in nearly real time. The service can be customized and is also interoperable with other IoT applications in a hotel, such as building management and asset tracking, according to AT&T.
AT&T’s IoT Professional Services organization is working with major hotel brands to deploy the platform across the U.S.
This offering from AT&T, one of the U.S.’s top two operators, is a signal example of the type of non-traditional, targeted service that can do a great deal to diversify an operator’s business, give it competitive edge and help maintain its relevance in an every-more-complex marketplace. We have written previously about the benefits for operators of developing solutions and branding technological developments; while consumers are interested in such things, when they are targeted at enterprises, as in this case, the revenue potential is generally greater.
Doing an exclusive deal with an industry-wide group such as the AHLA gives AT&T instant access to a large number of corporate clients that can pay for a cutting-edge technology and the connectivity needed to power it. The Staff Alert Service fulfills a necessary function, that of preserving the safety of hotel employees, who work in an environment where they are exposed to a wide sector of the public at all times of day and may well come under threat or become aware of a threat to others within the hotel. Therefore, this service boasts a high degree of utility, which indicates a likely high level of demand.
Not only has AT&T created a system tailored to the needs of a particular type of business, but it has also constructed a networking solution to power it. Combining its own pre-existing national LTE network with local Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the operator is aiming to provide the most effective, reliable low-latency connectivity for near-instant communication in a potential situation of danger and urgency. This aspect of the system distinguishes the product from a hypothetical third-party offering that would provide the security alerts and the device but not its own signal. For a major operator like AT&T, the ability to offer all aspects of the solution is a major strength to be exploited whenever and wherever possible.